Harborview, a defendant in a case we took to trial last year, is back in the news.  During the trial, the ownership and management spoke of the facility in glowing terms – terms that were contradicted by state inspections and other testimony.  The article recounts rodent problems – and even chronicles a resident that bought his own glue traps.

You can read the full article here.

 

 

Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, are a common complaint among families with a mom or dad in long-term care.  UTIs can be dangerous.  First, UTIs can become a serious infection if untreated.  However, UTIs also lead to falls, because UTIs cause people to feel as if they have to go to the bathroom constantly – a problem when someone with dementia forgets to ask for help to go to the bathroom.  This problem is made worse by the fact that UTIs can also cause people who have no cognitive problems to exhibit signs of dementia, like having hallucinations.

Aggravating the diagnoses of a UTI is the fact that a recent study has linked UTIs in New Jersey nursing homes to a failure to administer medications and poor supervision.  A recent study written about in McKnight’s, a long-term care publication, reported the findings published in Geriatrics. You can read the full article here.

The study, conducted by the University of Colorado College of Nursing, confirms what many of us practicing in this field know – that UTIs may be evidence of poor care and neglect.  UTIs are many times caused by improper cleaning after toileting and being left in a diaper for too long.

If a loved one is experiencing recurrent UTIs, demand a care planning meeting.  Find out why the UTIs are happening and what is being done to prevent them. If you or a loved one are dealing with issues due to poor care, contact Stark & Stark today for your free consultation.

As an advocate in New Jersey  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 the ground is that an alarmingly high number of long term care facilities CHOOSE to short staff their facilities to increase profit levels.  By falsifying staffing numbers, they can often evade scrutiny on this extremely important issue.  That is, nursing homes rarely have their payroll records cross referenced against their reported staffing numbers – leaving them free to fudge the math.  In our cases, we have uncovered such records, but I am fearful that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Indeed, this fear is supported by the confounded families who see barely a foot on the ground, a complete lack of care for their loved ones – yet no citations from the State for failing to meeting staffing requirements.

Recognizing this problem, the White House just announced additional funding to assist authorities in preventing this type of dangerous conduct.  In the end, residents will benefit – as will overworked staff who need a helping hand to protect these vulnerable folks. If you or a loved one has been impacted by an understaffed nursing home, contact the New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Stark & Stark today.

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. Those workers include, at a minimum, certified nursing assistants (CNA) and licensed practical nurses (LPN): They are, undoubtedly, the most important resource that a nursing-home facility can provide to ensure that elderly residents receive quality care.

But recently, more than fifty front-line workers picketed outside the Castle Hill nursing home in Union City and the Harborview nursing-home in Jersey City, because, among other things, they are upset that those facilities have failed to provide enough personnel to deliver quality care to the residents: In other words, the workers believe that those facilities—which are owned and operated by Alaris Health—have been operating in a way that endangers the residents’ well-being.

Facilities, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that fail to provide enough nursing personnel for delivering quality care, knowingly place residents at risk for neglect and abuse. For example, understaffing can impair a facility’s ability to deliver critical and labor intensive nursing care such as frequent and regular turning and repositioning residents to prevent debilitating pressure ulcers from developing.

And indeed, recently, a front-line worker of the Castle Hill nursing-home in Jersey City stated that “caring for 13 people at one time is just too much.” Furthermore, the Castle Hill and Union City nursing-homes front-line workers believe that Alaris Health is waging “an aggressive campaign against workers” during a time when “the current staffing levels are below state and national average.

No one ever expects a family member or friend to endure neglect or abuse in a nursing home. However, despite federal and state regulations, nursing-home residents often suffer the negative effects stemming from nursing-home facilities that violate those regulations.

When someone you care about has endured nursing-home negligence or abuse, the problems can seem overwhelming. Stark & Stark’s Nursing Home Litigation Group will advise you of your loved one’s legal rights, and will aggressively prosecute a claim whenever our investigation reveals any instances of negligence or abuse.

Though we’ve always known that poor staffing leads to falls and pressure ulcers, new research shows that Norovirus is also causally linked to poorly staffed nursing homes.  The Journal for the American Medical Association recently published these findings and they are summarized in an article by Dr. Jeffry Levine. 

One of the most common mental conditions we see with nursing home residents is Alzheimer’s disease.  It can be very difficult for a family to watch a family member slowly slipping away mentally.  This condition can also increase someone’s risk for falls and other injuries.

The government today announced that a new plan is being launched with “the goal of finding effective ways to prevent and treat the devastating effects of dementia by 2025.”  New studies are being conducted to learn to treat and prevent the illness, as well as optimizing care quality and expand support to families.

You can read the entire article online here.
 

Families for Better Care – a citizen’s advocacy organization – showed in a recent study that the largest publicly traded nursing home chains remained very profitable despite Medicare payment cuts last year.  The director of Families for Better Care, Brian Lee, believes that the profits are driven by lower nursing hours and less care based on a study conducted last fall.

‘“The reason care declines in nursing homes is that executives unnecessarily target labor costs to offset any reimbursement adjustments,” Lee said. “While this obviously maintains a robust bottom line for investors and cushy CEO salaries, the decline in frontline staff puts residents in jeopardy for harm while simultaneously creating dangerous working conditions for employees.”’
 

A new study conducted by Center For Medicare Advocacy (CMA) concludes that while “some for-profit nursing facilities give excellent care and some not-for-profit nursing facilities give poor care – the general rule is documented in study after study: not-for-profit nursing facilities generally provide better care to their residents.”

While each nursing home is truly different, knowing the facts before choosing a facility is key.
You can read the full study results online here