Protecting Your Rights

When families are considering whether to use nursing-home services to care for their loved ones, they must consider various issues in determining whether a nursing home is capable of providing adequate care. Among other issues, a family must determine how well a nursing home staffs its operations.

For example, roughly 450 nursing-home care workers recently announced their intentions to go on strike to address the unfair labor practices occurring across four different facilities owned by the same company. But even before the workers commence their strike, the elderly residents within those facilities, and their families, have already endured the catastrophic effects stemming from underpaid staff, and the accompanying understaffed environment.
Continue Reading Staffing Issues May Affect the Quality of Care Rendered in Nursing Homes

While many people have no formal medical training, having a parent that suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia can give people a crash course in anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medications. Often times, these family members tell me they did not like the fact that their parent or loved one was taking these medications because it turned their parent “into a zombie,” had potential serious side effects, or just didn’t work.
Continue Reading Doctors Getting Inaccurate Rosy Picture Regarding Some Psychiatric Medications

I recently met with Robert Ramsey of Garden State CLE to discuss the possible dangers facing Alzheimer’s patients who reside in assisted living facilities when there is a “locked ward”. Rob and I discuss why this source of abuse commonly happens, how I prepare for a case which includes this sort of abuse, and the genesis of the “Resident’s Rights” statutes that now guides my practice.
Continue Reading Assisted Living & Nursing Home Patients’ 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.
Continue Reading Suspicious Elder Deaths Rarely Investigated

The Federal Government has joined in a Whistleblower suit, which alleges that AseraCare, a national hospice company owned by Golden Living, wrongly took advantage of Medicare’s hospice benefit by pressuring its employees to place people into hospice who weren’t dying. The suit states that AseraCare first recruited patients who are eligible for skilled nursing care for 20 days, for which Medicare pays the entire bill. After 20 days, when Medicare requires patients pick up a part of the tab, AseraCare had the nursing homes send the patients to hospice, according to the lawsuit. In hospice, AseraCare would collect a flat payment from Medicare for each day they are enrolled.
Continue Reading AseraCare, a Hospice Company, Owned by Golden Living is the Subject of a Whistleblower Suit

Good employee hiring practices and proper resident supervision is an important part of running a successful nursing home. When these components are missing, serious terrible things can happen. One piece of advice I give to those with family members in nursing homes is to get to know the staff and make sure there are enough people in the building – especially on nights and weekends.
Continue Reading Royal Health Gate Employee Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Resident

Earlier this month, Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, reported that more than 90% of nursing homes employ one or more people who have been convicted of a crime. In addition, the report states that 5% of all nursing home employees have at least one criminal conviction.
Continue Reading Convicts Working at Nursing Homes: More Common Than You Think

A disturbing recent story was released and ultimately televised involving an over-stressed nursing home employee who was caught on tape assaulting an innocent resident. No matter how difficult the job, harming an innocent senior is vicious and wholly worthy of the prosecution that this employee faces. It is imperative that nursing home owners carefully screen and supervise employees to prevent the needless harms that inevitably will ensue.
Continue Reading Assault on Innocent Nursing Home Resident by Staff Member at Harborage Nursing Home in North Bergen, New Jersey