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Category Archives: Elder Issues

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The True Cost of Anti-Psychotics and Tort “Reform”

Posted in Elder Issues, Legislation, Medication, Nursing Home Information

A recent series of disturbing stories by NPR report finding with objective data what many of us practitioners know already – that in many substandard facilities residents are over medicated with sometimes dangerous medications just to keep them quiet.  This is disturbing because these medications are sometimes powerful, dangerous, and ineffective.  Some even get “black… Continue Reading

Non-Disparagement Clauses: Buying the Silence of Guardians

Posted in Documentation & Reporting, Elder Issues, Legislation, News, Nursing Home Information, Support & Resources

I’ve noticed in my practice a dangerous and burgeoning phenomenon. That is, the emergence of non-disparagement clauses for people who know the dangerous secrets of the worst of the worst long-term care facilities. I am finding that the vast majority of these clauses are found in assisted living facilities. These organizations appear to have very… Continue Reading

Water’s Edge Nursing Home and Liberty Royal Rehabilitation and Health Care Center on the CMS Special Focus Facility List

Posted in Documentation & Reporting, Elder Issues, News, Nursing Home Information

A very convenient tool for concerned families to evaluate nursing homes is the “Medicare Compare” website.  Included within this is a section that designates what are known as “Special Focus Facilities.”  A Special Focus Facility represents the bottom 1% or 2% of all nursing homes in the country which have demonstrated not only under-performance, but… Continue Reading

Front-Line Healthcare Workers: The Most Important Resource in Delivering Quality Care

Posted in Elder Issues, Levels of Care

Nursing homes, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, must maintain enough nursing staff to provide nursing care, and related services, to their residents to maintain the residents’ physical, mental, and social well-being. In facilities across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, front-line workers make-up the primary healthcare personnel responsible for delivering that care and service to the resident…. Continue Reading

Welcome Reform Measures to Correct Questionable Self Reporting Staffing Levels in Nursing Homes

Posted in Elder Issues, Nursing Home Information

As an advocate for nursing home residents, one of my greatest frustrations has been the lack of oversight for self reported staffing levels.  This has lead to an extraordinarily low incidence of short staffing citations – and worse yet, has allowed some understaffed facilities to crow over their lack of such citations. The reality on… Continue Reading

Lack of Nurses in Nursing Homes Exposed

Posted in Elder Issues, Legislation, News, Nursing Home Information, Protecting Your Rights

When I began working in this field, I was astonished to realize that very few nursing homes and no assisted living facilities have a full-time doctor working there.  I found that facilities at times may be staffed almost entirely with nurse aides and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) as opposed to Registered Nurses (RN).  RNs received… Continue Reading

Sleep Shown to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Posted in Elder Issues

In many ways, what we do when we’re younger affects our health in the future. Women must get enough Calcium when young in order to prevent osteoporosis in the future. For men, keeping a healthy weight as a younger man reduces cancer risk and other complications as an elderly person.

Prescription of Megace to Nursing Home Residents Linked to Fraud and Horrific Corporate Irresponsibility

Posted in Elder Issues, Medication, News

In one of the worst examples we have seen involving the abuse of the elderly, a company whose product was only approved to promote weight gain for HIV patients started to aggressively promote Megace to frail and elderly nursing home residents when the HIV population began to dwindle. Knowing the dangerous side effects of this supplement (ie death), this represents a tragic example of profits over people. To read more, click here.

New Study States That Antidepressants Increase the Risk of Falls in Nursing Home Patients with Dementia

Posted in Elder Issues, Injuries, Levels of Care, Nursing Home Information

A new study confirms that a large percentage of nursing home residents are prescribed anti-depressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While in most cases, anti-depressants are beneficial to the well being of the residents, in patients suffering from dementia, they can significantly increase the risk of falls – leading to serious injuries, and even death.

Simple Tools to Prevent Bed Sores Found to be Cost Effective

Posted in Elder Issues, Injuries, Levels of Care, Nursing Home Information

While nursing homes should always look to prevent bed sores – a painful and sometimes deadly condition – a recent study conducted revealed that the prevention of bed sores is also cost effective. Foam mattresses which reduce pressure were found to be cost-effective 82% of the time as opposed to using standard mattresses. This simple change could save on average $115 per resident. Additionally, foam cleansers for incontinence were found to be cost-effective 94% of the time, as opposed to traditional soap and water, which results in an average savings of $179 per resident.

Suspicious Elder Deaths Rarely Investigated

Posted in Elder Issues, Levels of Care, News, Nursing Home Information, Protecting Your Rights

I have had cases where a person suffers from a bed sore that is so large the spinal column is visible, and yet the cause of death listed on the death certificate states, “natural causes”, or “dementia”, or “Alzheimer’s”. While we may still pursue a claim to hold those responsible for the large and painful wound accountable, it is frustrating to the family that the bed sore is not listed on the death certificate.

Certain Bed Rails Dangerous to the Elderly Public Citizen Tells FDA

Posted in Elder Issues, Injuries, News

After an analysis of FDA records, the non-profit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen sent a petition to the FDA requesting that they recall two models of bed rails produced by Bed Handles, Inc. Public Citizen claims that evidence shows that if a weak or frail elderly person – assumingly those whom would purchase the bed rails in the first place – falls in-between the bed rails and the mattress, they can suffocate to death.

Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes: Physical and Financial

Posted in Elder Issues, Injuries, Levels of Care, News

By now, most of us have heard of the tearful testimony of the great Mickey Rooney in Congress, on abuse and victimization of the elderly. Here is yet another story on how abuse of nursing home residents is not only physical, but often financial. In this case, Tanya Fredrick, the business office manager at Golden Living Center, was fired after police revealed that she had been stealing thousands of dollars from the center and residents.

Independent Living Resident Dies After Unanswered Call for Help

Posted in Elder Issues, Injuries, Levels of Care, News

The Milwuakee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported this disturbing story. A woman died after bleeding to death when her emergency pull cord located in her “independent living” apartment went unanswered for four hours. Apparently the nurse aide who was working at the time shut off the sound alarm, disregarded a phone call from another resident who heard the alarm, and went back to watching television while the woman was bleeding to death.