Articles Tagged with nursing home

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 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:

money walletWhen patients allege that a nursing home is responsible for injuries caused by elder abuse and neglect, what can they expect to receive in damages if they settle or win a case? According to a recent article in The Press Democrat, a “high-end Santa Rosa nursing home has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a wrongful death and elder abuse lawsuit alleging it allowed a patient to die from complications of a bedsore.” The settlement goes to show that nursing home abuse can happen at any level of facility—even at the most seemingly posh facilities—and elder abuse claims can result in substantial settlements.

To better understand the allegations, we should take a closer look at the case. In the meantime, if you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a California facility, you should speak with an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

Brookdale Fountaingrove Nursing Home Agrees to Million Dollar Payout

file851332343852It no longer comes as a surprise for many Southern Californians that our elderly loved ones can be at serious risk of nursing home abuse and neglect in facilities that we once believed were safe. But recognizing that there is a problem is not enough to solve it. What can we do to prevent elder abuse in a large-scale, lasting way? A recent article in the Cornell Chronicle cited a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine, which underscored the significance of the “It Takes a Village” approach to putting a stop to elder abuse.

Profiling the Most Likely Victims of Elder Abuse

As the new study explains, we have not learned that rates of elder abuse are increasing. Instead, we have learned more about how frequently elder abuse occurs and to whom. Over the last several years, physicians and researchers have identified a certain profile of seniors who are most likely to become victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Risk factors include but are not limited to:

file0002014909352According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, the family members of an 85-year-old senior are suing the San Pablo skilled care facility where she lived for elder abuse and neglect. The family alleges that the senior’s death was “the direct result of improper care at the facility where she was a patient for the last three years.” The family also alleges that the San Pablo facility, Vale Healthcare Center, failed to:

  • Meet staff-to-patient ratios required by the law;
  • Provide care plans for dementia patients;

Shower headOver the past couple of years elder advocates have been paying a significant amount of attention to physical abuse and neglect at nursing homes in the San Diego area. It is important to remember that nursing home abuse can take many forms, including emotional and psychological abuse. According to a recent report from ABC 10 News, allegations of elder abuse at a Vista facility have resulted in an investigation by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The article indicates that an employee at the LifeHOUSE Vista Healthcare Center has been “accused of using her cellphone to take footage of a patient getting in the shower, and then posting it on the internet.”

Elder Abuse Investigation in Vista

The elder abuse investigation in Vista got underway after someone who viewed the online video “took a screen grab” of it and sent it to ABC 10 News. The video was taken on Snapchat. According to the report, “it shows a partially nude woman from the shoulders up,” and there is an employee “standing behind her laughing.”

As of July 1, 2015, owners of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) in California were required to have liability insurance in the event of elder neglect and other related injuries. The new law, which went into effect just this past summer, began as AB 1523, a bill that was sponsored by the Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR). In the minds of many elder justice advocates, mandatory liability insurance for RCFEs represents one step toward safer care options for seniors in California. If we take a closer look at the history of the bill and the implications of mandatory liability insurance in our state, we can better understand how this new law may have an effect on incidents of nursing home abuse.

Background to AB 1523 and the Requirement of RCFE Insurance

Over the last couple of years, numerous advocates have voiced concern about the state of the assisted-living industry in California. Many reports about elder abuse and neglect appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune, emphasizing the need for reform measures throughout the state. One of those reforms includes the law requiring liability insurance for RCFEs. As CARR explains in a press release about the new law taking effect, the advocacy group conducted extensive research into the affordability of mandatory insurance. In short, CARR found that “the average monthly cost to a small, six-bed facility would amount to approximately $50 per month per resident.” According to CARR, $50 per month for each resident of an RCFE is “a reasonable amount by any standard.”

handsIf California nursing home employees go on strike, who will provide care for patients residing in the facilities? Should families of those patients have concerns about nursing home neglect? According to an article in the Marin Independent Journal, sixty nursing home workers went on strike last month in San Rafael following a string of nursing facility violations from government regulators. The strike was aimed at forcing the nursing facility to cease its understaffing practices and to encourage a work environment in which providing a threshold level of care for patients is among the most important logistics of running the facility. Even if such a strike is intended to improve conditions, who cares for patients while employees are on strike?

Understaffing and High Turnover Limits Quality of Care

The recent strike occurred at San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center, which is owned by Brius Healthcare Services. With more than 80 facilities in California, Brius is the largest nursing home chain in our state. For the last 18 months, employees of the nursing home have been working without having a contract. Why are employees working without a contract? About a year and a half ago, those workers rejected the terms of a union-negotiated contracted because it did not do enough to deal with the serious understaffing problem at the facility.

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