Nursing Home Abuse Statistics That May Surprise You

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

We all realize that abuse goes on all too often today in nursing homes, but the real facts may surprise you.  When we place our elderly loved ones in a nursing home, we expect them to be treated with respect and dignity, provided meals and medications on time, and well cared for in general.  Unfortunately this is often not the case.  Negligent workers, a shortage of staff and other factors often make our nursing homes a dangerous environment for our loved ones.

Physical abuse isn’t the only concern when your elderly loved one resides in a nursing home.  Mental, financial and sexual abuse are also forms of abuse that may take place.  Below you will find recent nursing home abuse statistics from 2011, some of which you may find shocking.

*  It is nearly impossible to determine how often elder abuse takes place in our nursing homes as only 16% of cases are ever reported according to the National Elder Abuse Incident Study.

*  5,000 nursing home patients died due to bedsores, starvation, malnutrition and dehydration in 1999 according to reasons listed on death certificates.

*  According to federal reports, more than 30% of nursing homes are cited for abuse.  This is nearly 1/3 of our nursing homes, a fact that is truly devastating.

*  Of the different types of abuse in nursing homes – Buffalo included, 20% involves emotional abuse, while 16% suffer physical abuse and 3% of elder abuse cases involve sexual abuse.  The remaining reported abuse cases consist of caretaker neglect; this accounts for 12% of cases that are reported.

*  Residents are not only abused by staff members, aggression between residents is common.  In fact, one investigation revealed that in a single 8 hour shift, 30 incidents of aggression can take place.

*  Those who abuse the elderly are someone the resident knows 90% of the time.  Staff members, familiar visitors (even those visiting other residents) and residents are to blame in most instances of abuse.

*  Abuse through over-medication. Staff members often give elderly residents antipsychotic drugs in order to keep them calm and combat aggressive behavior or agitation.  Dementia patients are also frequently over-medicated in order to lessen or eliminate outbursts.

*  It is recommended that there is 1 nurse’s aid for every 6 patients, but is often found that 1 aid may be forced to care for as many as 30 residents.  During meal times that recommendation is 1 nurse’s aid for every 3 residents.  Understaffing is one huge reason that many patients do not receive the proper level of care in nursing homes today.

Reading the nursing home abuse statistics can make you reconsider placing your elderly loved one in a nursing home.  The fact is, many individuals receive exceptional care and live happy, healthy lives in a nursing home or elder care facility.  Still, the statistics prove that far too many of our elderly loved ones suffer abuse in the very facilities that are supposed to offer a caring, nurturing environment.

If you have a family member suffering from Buffalo nursing home abuse or Buffalo nursing home neglect, consider contacting Brown Chiari, Buffalo personal injury attorney team.

Erlanger, KY Nursing Home Target of Civil Complaint; Family of Additional Alleged Victim Comes Forward

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Villaspring Health Care and Rehabilitation in Erlanger, KY recently had a civil suit filed against them by the U.S. Attorney’s Office claiming that the facility provided worthless services, and that the death of several residents resulted from this.  Now, another family has come forward claiming that a loved one was neglected at the facility.

The civil complaint alleges that Carespring Health Care Management (parent company of Villaspring) billed Medicaid and Medicare for services provided to residents, but that these services were essentially worthless, and the facility was aware of that fact.

Sherry Miracle and Debbie Cook, Miracle’s sister, were glad to hear about the complaint that was filed against the facility.  Cook said “Finally somebody’s going to do something about this place.”  Miracle had seen Villaspring advertised on television, and was impressed by the beauty of the facility; however, she stated that “Looks can be deceiving from what’s behind.”

The sisters put their mother in Villaspring in 2010 because they thought it looked very nice and because it was one of only two options that offered dialysis.  Feeling pleased with their decision, the sisters were shocked when less than 24 hours later their mother took a fall that would alter her life.

Cook stated that a staff member told her “Your mom’s all settled in, she is in the bed and relaxed, she’s good.”  Just minutes later, Cook and Miracle went inside their mother’s room to find Bernice Davidson in the floor with a gash to her head.  Cook recalled that her mother was laying in a puddle of blood.

According to Miracle, the facility was not truthful when they stated that her mother was in bed; she was left sitting in a chair, which Miracle said that had she known this, she would have been there in seconds.  Cook said that after this incident, their mother went downhill fast.  Bernice Davidson was in the hospital for 60 days before going back to Villaspring where the neglect continued do to under-staffing.

After this it was common for the daughters to find their mother in dirty diapers; she wasn’t being fed properly, given water or taken care of at all according to Cook and Miracle, who said they did not feel they had any options when asked why they did not take their mother out of the facility.  She died of kidney failure in June of 2010.  While Cook and Miracle do not blame the nursing home for their mother’s death, they do feel that neglect contributed.

Brown Chiari is a team of New York nursing home abuse lawyers dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients.  If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or elder care facility, contact us for a free evaluation of your Buffalo Personal Injury case.

Waukesha Nursing Home Employee Charged With Abusing Elderly Dementia Patient

Monday, August 8th, 2011

On July 7th, 52-year-old Frettie L. Powell of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was charged with allegedly abusing an elderly dementia patient at a Waukesha health care facility.  Waukesha Springs Health and Rehabilitation Center on Kensington Drive is where the alleged abuse took place.  Powell is scheduled to appear in court on a felony account of intentional abuse on July 20th.

Another employee of the nursing home, Laura Gatewood, informed the police of the incident on June 13th according to the criminal complaint.  Gatewood stated that the previous day, Gabreila Moersfelder who was a friend of the resident in the next room who had passed away heard screaming in the adjoining room as he was cleaning out his deceased friend’s room.

The 81-year-old victim of the abuse was screaming “no” and “stop” according to Moersfelder, who then opened the door and witnessed Powell striking the resident on the area of her upper left leg.  Moersfelder also told police that Powell was calling the woman names, yelling that the resident had to “clean up her mess”.   The complaint also stated that Powell had allegedly told the dementia patient she was “bleeding like a goose” according to Moersfelder.

Gatewood, the employee who reported the incident to police, examined the patient following the abuse and observed several red marks on the patient’s left thigh that looked as though they were caused by fingernails.  The complaint stated that Powell denied any wrongdoing.

Dementia patients are some of the most abused in our nursing homes and elder care facilities today.  These individuals are typically forgetful, have memory loss and may have a difficult time performing tasks that were once easy.

Because of their symptoms, it is often necessary that these individuals be placed in facilities that can offer the care they need.  It is essential that nursing homes train workers on how to care for dementia patients, as it can be a difficult task.  Exasperation can result when a caregiver does not know how to deal with dementia patients, which can lead to abuse.

Brown Chiari is a team of New York nursing home abuse attorneys dedicated to representing the rights of our clients.  If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or elder care facility, contact us for a free evaluation of your claim.

Atlanta Caregiver Charged With Felony Elder Abuse After Spanking Alzheimer’s Patient

Monday, August 8th, 2011

A 50-year-old Atlanta woman has been charged with one count of felony elder abuse by Cobb police in Mableton, GA after allegedly spanking an elderly woman in a Mableton nursing home who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Sabrina Lynn Benton was arrested on July 5th and released on a $5,000 bond from Cobb County jail.  The nursing home where the alleged spanking occurred is St. Benedict Personal Care Home in Mableton.  According to a criminal warrant, a woman who was visiting another resident at the facility witnessed Benton striking a female resident on the lower back/buttocks area about five times open-handed while attempting to get the woman to sit in a chair located in the kitchen.

According to the warrant, the victim was trying to walk away from Benton and leave the room when the spanking occurred.  Cassandra Freeman, owner and administrator of St. Benedict, stated that Benton is no longer an employee of the nursing home and has not worked there since June of this year.

Freeman also said that this incident was the only one to her knowledge that involved Benton in the short time she worked for the facility, which offers seven beds and currently has four residents.

Those with Alzheimer’s often have periods in which they believe they are in another time and place; they are frequently disoriented and forgetful.  It is a tragedy that an elderly woman in a nursing home environment was subjected to this kind of nursing home abuse.

We expect our loved ones to be nurtured and properly attended to in an elder care or nursing home facility but this is often not the case.  Much goes on in many nursing homes today that family members are not aware of, or that may be suspected but not confirmed.  When you suspect that your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, consult with administrators.  If you still get no relief or staff fails to investigate your concerns, contact a reputable lawyer.

Brown Chiari is a team of competent Buffalo nursing home abuse attorneys dedicated to seeking justice for our clients.  Contact A Buffalo injury law firm today for a free evaluation of your claim.

Rockford IL Nursing Home Fined $12,500 for Violations

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Recently there have been numerous reports regarding nursing home violations in Illinois nursing homes.  The latest involved the Rockford Nursing and Rehab Center, which received a $12,500 fine for several type “A” violations from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The nursing home’s failure to properly prevent nursing home neglect by preventing pressure sores in residents is what prompted the fine.  A report by state investigators reveals that the nursing home did not have a wound management system in place.  Nursing homes and elderly care facilities are required to have a system in place and trained staff members to prevent and control pressure sores and other skin wounds.  A resident of Rockford Nursing and Rehab Center developed painful and damaging pressure sores due to the lack of such a system at the facility.

A certain individual at the facility failed to receive inspections of the skin, resulting in a pressure sore due to the lack of treatment.  When the pressure sore was identified, staff members continued to mismanage treatment.  For 18 hours a vacuum dressing remained on the wound without being connected to a negative pressure vacuum machine.  This resulted in additional pressure ulcers that were allowed to fester due to the bacteria breeding under the dressing.

Pressure or “bed sores” as they are often called are a common problem in nursing homes today.  Residents who are prone to these skin wounds should be properly turned; even then if pressure sores develop staff members should be trained in how to properly treat and manage the sores so that the problem doesn’t become worse.  When bed sores are not tended to properly, serious complications can develop and even result in amputation of an affected limb or death.

If you suspect a loved one is not being cared for properly in a nursing home or elderly care facility, contact the nursing home lawyers in Buffalo NY at Brown Chiari.  Contact one of our experienced Buffalo injury attorneys today for a free evaluation of your case.

Injured in a Buffalo Truck Accident? Why You Need a Lawyer

Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you or a loved one are the victim(s) in a Buffalo truck accident it can be devastating and life-changing.  Every year, over 83,000 people suffer injuries and more than 5,000 die in accidents involving semi trucks, tractor trailer rigs and other large commercial vehicles.  When you have been injured it is essential that you consult with a Buffalo truck accident attorney right away.

While it is impossible to say that the motorist driving a car is never at fault in a Buffalo trucking accident, the majority of the time it is the fault of the driver of the semi or large truck.  Many of these accidents could have been prevented, and there are many reasons that these crashes occur.

Truck drivers are often under pressure to pick up and deliver their loads at an appointed time.  Unfortunately, this often means that a trucker will put safe driving second to making money for himself and his employer.  When a Buffalo truck accident does occur, the driver of the other vehicle along with all passengers of the car at are a higher than normal risk of serious injuries or even fatalities due to the sheer weight of these massive trucks.

Another factor that comes in to play in Buffalo trucking accidents is knowing who is responsible.  A Buffalo truck accident attorney can help to determine whether the shipping company, the trucking company, the driver or even the logistics company may be held liable for your injuries.  Unlike a typical auto accident, you must be aware that you have to act quickly when involved in a crash with a big truck, as many of these companies have a law team they will send to investigate the scene right away.  They may try to convince you that the accident was partially or totally your fault.

A Buffalo truck accident can happen for many reasons.  Truckers often falsify their log books and drive when they have had little sleep in order to meet their deadlines.  They may be fatigued, or even driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that are designed to help keep them awake and alert.  It could be that road or weather conditions are bad and that the driver was driving too fast for conditions.  No matter what the reason, when you or those riding with you are injured it is important that you seek legal counsel with a skilled Buffalo truck accident lawyer at once.

You may be entitled to compensation when you have been injured in a Buffalo truck accident.  When you are seriously injured and cannot work, you may be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses and even pain and suffering in some circumstances.  Wrongful death lawsuits are also common when an individual loses their life in a Buffalo accident caused by a negligent truck driver.

Don’t be a victim; stand up for your rights.  Contact an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer and get the support and results you deserve for what you have been through.