Articles Posted in Nursing Negligence

DSC_0761-300x199Chronic nursing home abuse that results in frequent trips to hospitals and intensive care units is a problem in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. According to a recent article in the Compton Herald, a chronic nursing home neglect case in Inglewood highlights the risk of serious injuries in particular facilities and the threat of continuing healthcare violations. In the recent case, the facility, Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre, is one of numerous facilities owned by the Los Angeles billionaire Schlomo Y. Rechnitz, which are operated under the chain name of Brius Healthcare Services and have already came under scrutiny in 2016. Does the recent case suggest that Southern California residents need to be wary of this healthcare chain? What can family members do to help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect?

Details of the Recent Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Case

As the article reports, a Southern California woman was admitted into the Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre in Inglewood, where she was supposed to obtain rehabilitative services after being discharged from the Centinela Hospital Medical Center. While in the hospital, the patient had received care for about six weeks for “a severe body infection.” When she enters Centinela Skilled Nursing, her family members indicated that she was “progressing steadily,” recuperating from the infection that required her hospitalization. However, when the family visited her at the nursing facility a short time later, they found her “sitting in a wheelchair in a seemingly catatonic state, trembling uncontrollably, mumbling jibberish with her eyes rolling back in her head.”

zdunbsai3p0-geo-darwin-300x225When many of us think about nursing home abuse or neglect in Carlsbad, California, we imagine scenarios in which patients have clearly been subjected to inadequate care. Yet nursing home neglect can be much more insidious, particularly when it involves malnutrition. What is malnutrition, exactly? An article in the Huffington Post clarifies that malnutrition simply refers to “insufficient food intake compared with nutrition requirements.”

As a recent peer-reviewed article in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care explains, “malnutrition in the nursing home is increasingly recognized as a major international research priority, given the expanding geriatric populations, serious consequences, and challenges conducting research in nursing homes.” What do you need to know about the connections between nursing home neglect and malnutrition in Southern California?

Learning More About Malnutrition Among Elderly California Residents

tuyyno_vdp0-sam-wheeler-300x199If you have an elderly loved one who recently required care in a hospital and now will need long-term care in a nursing home in Escondido, how do you know which facility will provide the best quality of care and does not have a history of nursing home abuse or neglect? According to a recent article from NPR, a potential change to the rules concerning Medicare and hospitals’ rights and responsibilities toward patients could mean that more hospitals, which often see elderly patients in Southern California and throughout the country, could provide helpful information to families struggling to select a quality nursing home in their budget.

Hospitals Required to Provide ‘Unrestricted’ Information About Nursing Homes

Up to this point, why have hospitals in San Diego County avoided giving patients and their families information about certain nursing homes that they believe can provide quality care? The article explains that “hospitals have long been reluctant to share with patients their assessments of which nursing homes are best because of a Medicare requirement that patients’ choices can’t be restricted.”

page1-424px-Looqi_polsband_productfoto.pdfCan nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Chula Vista and Escondido do more to prevent wandering among dementia patients? According to a recent article in McKnight’s Senior Living, “wandering and elopement are among the oldest challenges senior living communities face.” While incidents of wandering often do not lead to any serious harm, in some cases, seniors who do not have proper supervision can sustain severe and even fatal injuries as a result of wandering from the facility. Typically, cases of wandering and elopement involve patients who are suffering from dementia.

Given that wandering often results from limited staffing that may rise to the level of nursing home neglect, certain innovators have begun to imagine ways in which technology might be able to help. As the article discusses, technological innovations, such as radio frequency and real-time location devices, as well as behavior-tracking tools, can allow facilities to track residents and to prevent them from wandering outside the facility.

Learning More About Statistics on Wandering and Elopement

handsOne of the largest nursing homes in Stockton, CA is facing numerous allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect, according to a recent article from Recordnet.com. Reports from patients and their families allege lack of privacy, physical abuse, and serious neglect at Wagner Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. What else do you need to know about these allegations? Can they help families to understand the importance of researching a nursing home or assisted-living facility before allowing an elderly loved one to become a resident at a facility without the best patient ratings?

Serious Citations at Wagner Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

Based on data provided by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), Wagner “has been issued the greatest number of serious citations going back to 2010 . . . of any skilled nursing home in Stockton.” Over the last six years, it has received six serious citations. Why were those citations issued? According to the article, the following represent some of the most serious fines levied against Wagner Heights:

A common blood-thinning drug, Coumadin, has been cited as the cause for numerous deaths in nursing homes, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. What’s the problem with Coumadin? In short, it requires that a very precise amount be administered to patients, and either too much or too little of the medication can result in fatal injuries to the elderly.12175858204_36c6287934

What is Coumadin?

According to WebMD, Coumadin is the brand name for the generic drug Warfarin. It’s generally used to treat blood clots, or to prevent clots from forming (and thus to help reduce a patient’s risk of a stroke or a heart attack). This medication often is described as a blood thinner, but as WebMD explains, “the more correct term is anticoagulant.” Coumadin, when used properly, can decrease the clotting proteins in your blood, which ultimately can help blood to flow better if there’s a risk of clotting.

For the last 35 years, California’s Senior Legislature has been advocating for the rights of older adults throughout the state. Indeed, according to a recent report from NBC News, the ground has been proposing laws to state legislators aimed at preventing elder abuse throughout its tenure. Now, however, the advocacy group is facing a serious problem with funds and is taking steps to ensure that it retains a voice when it comes to lawmaking and the rights of the elderly in California.Getting from Here to There

Long-Time Group Advocates for Seniors’ Rights

The California Senior Legislature currently has 120 members, all of whom are volunteers. Its members come from a variety of cities throughout the state, from Southern California to the Bay Area. Each of the members, according to NBC News, is elected from separate senior organizations in their respective cities. “Throughout its history,” the report states, “the group has proposed a myriad of laws dealing with topics ranging from elder abuse to senior health issues.” Legislators recall members of the group actually walking through the state capitol in order to personally track down legislators and encourage them to carry proposals created by the group.

For elderly adults who live on their own or in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, falls can result in serious and life-threatening injuries. While falls are not the result of elder abuse, they can occur when there is a clear issue of nursing home neglect. A recent article in the New York Times emphasized that the number of reported falls among older adults—many of those accidents leading to serious and sometimes fatal injuries—is a number that is “soaring.”

Nursing Home Regulations file000289604980Aimed at Preventing Falls

How can nursing homes take steps to prevent dangerous falls? The New York Times article discusses the policies put in place recently by a retirement community which require that, during mealtimes, residents who use walkers to get around must have their walkers “valet parked” after they find a seat at the table. In addition, they are not permitted to use their walkers during the meal—they must stay in their seats while staff members serve them. While many residents of the facility argued that the policy “infringed on [one’s] freedom of movement,” it prevented a number of serious falls at the buffet.

Over the past several months, Southern California has been in the elder law spotlight.  With news of rampant nursing home abuse throughout the state and a PBS frontline special, California legislators have been looking to more closely regulate residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) in our state.  During the second week of March, the San Diego Board of Supervisors made a decision to “tighten oversight of residential care facilities for the elderly,” and they also elected to fund a “one-year pilot program to investigate and prosecute crimes committed at care homes, according to an article in KPBS San Diego.

Old Man

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem in San Diego and, indeed, across the state and country.  If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been injured because of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, you shouldn’t hesitate to speak with an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer.  At the Walton Law Firm, we have years of experience handling these claims, and we’re eager to help with your case.

Details of the San Diego County Supervisors’ Decision

Sometimes we forget that nursing home abuse isn’t always physical, and it may not be obvious. Particularly with older adults, abuse can be verbal, and it can wound seniors both emotionally and psychologically. A recent study conducted by researchers at Northeastern University emphasized that older adults typically aren’t openly willing to discuss their experiences with abuse, so the study provided elderly participants with more privacy when responding to questions about mental and physical anguish. According to an article in the New York Times, the study revealed that more than one-third of seniors have suffered physical abuse, usually at the hands of their caregivers.

Yelling.jpgIt’s no secret that elder abuse and neglect is a serious issue in California and throughout the country. Indeed, over the past few months we’ve mentioned that PBS Frontline and other national news outlets, as well as our own local U-T San Diego, have attempted to raise awareness about nursing home abuse and its serious consequences. Are you concerned that an elderly parent or loved one has been abused in a nursing home or assisted-living facility? It is never too early to speak to an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer.

Studying “Words that Wound” Older Adults