NYC Nursing Home Abuse Captured on Tape

Friday, June 18th, 2010

CBS news got an upclose and personal look at what takes place when a nurse, who is supposed to be taking care of elderly patients, causes unconscionable harm.  Now, the NY attorney general is filing criminal charges against the nurse, Jessie Joiner, who worked at the William Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion in Queens.

A camera had been placed to protect both patients and staff, and footage revealed that Joiner apparently jerked a wheelchair out from underneath an elderly woman, resulting in a broken hip.

This horrific incident took place after 9 p.m. in mid-March, as Joiner is captured on video tape pushing a medication cart along.  Suddenly, the nurse abandons the cart and heads in the direction of the patient who is 85 years old and suffers from dementia, who is in a wheelchair.  Joiner then proceeds to jerk the wheelchair sharply to the left, leaving the elderly woman to go flying to the ground.

In late May, Joiner hid from CBS 2 HD cameras following a court appearance.

In the video, Joiner is seen walking by the patient twice after the incident, as the patient lies flailing on the ground with a broken hip.  Incredibly, two minutes later another employee appears at the seen, and it looks as though he is going to help; over one minute goes by before he is seen speaking to the patient.  After three minutes have passed since the initial fall, Joiner is seen returning to the area where she finally calls for help.

Joiners attorney says that clearly the elderly woman was leaning over to get something, when Joiner saw her and ran to help – but it was an instant too late.

Unfortunately, our elderly loved ones often get treated in an inhumane way in nursing homes.  The very facilities that are meant to protect and care for our loved ones are often the places where harm and neglect are inflicted.

If you suspect abuse or neglect of your loved one in a nursing home facility, contact a reputable New York nursing home abuse attorney.  This kind of treatment is absolutely not acceptable, and those responsible for these types of horrors should pay.

Connecticut Nursing Home Closed Following Surprise Investigation and “Disgusting” Violations

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Connecticut state investigators conducted a “surprise” investigation at a New Haven nursing home, the West Rock Health Care Center.  Now, the facility is being closed down based on the results of that investigation.

The owner of West Rock Health Care, Anthony Pinto, was forced to file bankruptcy in 2009, after running out of money.  He has owned the facility since 1998, and states that this year he was pushed out as owner and forced to close the nursing home.

Pinto doesn’t understand why the facility should be shut down, and says the state has been at West Rock Health Care since April 12th correcting problems.  He believes that the investigation findings were mistakes on the part of the facility, but since no one died he should not be shut down.

In the report by Department of Public Health regarding the investigation, 37 pages found numerous violations on the part of the nursing home.  According to these pages, patients were found in beds on sheets that were accumulated with soiling, and many resident’s apparently had not been seen to regarding personal hygiene, as hair was greasy and unkempt.

The Department of Health also found that out of four residents reviewed, all four were not provided medications on a timely basis.  Boxes of patient medical records were sitting in pooled water, and a nurse was found to have cleaned an open ulcer on a patient using the same washcloth that was used to clean the patient, which contained fecal material.

Pinto stated, “believe me, I understand that’s not an easy piece of paper to take.  I was concerned like everyone in this facility but my God it was correctable.”  Pinto also called the closing a travesty.

The closing of West Rock Health Care will result in 79 patients needing to be placed in other nursing homes, and the loss of 90 jobs.

It seems that nearly every week, there are reports of abuse and/or neglect in nursing homes across the nation.  Some of this is neglect by staff members to provide personal care and medicine, while other reports involve physical abuse to residents.  Families who place loved ones in a nursing home expect that they will be well cared for, but this is often not the case.

If circumstances cause you to suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact a New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at once to determine what rights your loved one has and what actions may be necessary to correct the problem.

New York Nursing Home Fined $38,150 Following Elopement Incident

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A Westchester County nursing home in Briarcliff, New York was fined by the U.S. Federal Government recently to the tune of $38,150 following substandard care findings stemming from a September 2009 investigation.  Elant at Brandywine was fined after surveyors found that systems for monitoring and preventing residents that have wandering behaviors and cognitive impairment were inadequate.  The nursing home was cited according to the inspection report.  This left residents with the ability to exit the facility and wander about undetected, which puts them in danger of getting lost or being injured.

A resident who was cognitively impaired eloped from Elant at Brandywine two days before surveyors investigated, then wandered out again during the night.  About 3 1/2 hours later, the resident was found by a staff member who was on her way to work more than 3 miles away from the facility.  Given the residents medical history, she should have been wearing a Wanderguard monitoring device, but staff members had not placed the device on her.  As a result of this incident, the nursing home received an immediate jeopardy citation, which is the most serious classification.

Nursing home residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s are at serious risk when not properly monitored and capable of leaving a facility without supervision.  Elopement can and often does result in fractures, falls, heat stroke, hypothermia and other serious injuries.

Cases like this are unfortunate, and represent the neglect that takes place in many of our nursing homes today.  While this isn’t the same type of neglect as failing to administer medications or food, failing to monitor residents who may wander off and hurt themselves is still not acceptable.

If your loved one suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive behavioral problems, it is essential that a nursing home facility take the proper precautions to prevent wandering or elopement.  Contact a reputable New York nursing home abuse lawyer if you feel that proper precautionary measures are not being taken to protect your loved one from neglect and possible injuries.

If yourself or a loved one is injured in another personal injury incident, please consider contacting Brown Chiari; personal injury attorneys NY.