I saw this article about a nursing home resident with dementia who killed his roommate and thought "how could this happen?" but then I read an article where a murder suspect was moved to a nursing home.  The suspect was charged in connection with a quadruple homicide. See story here

With the graying of the population and the incarceration of so many citizens on Medicaid, nursing homes will need to adapt at receiving dangerous criminals into facilities. This may lead to violence and tragedy in many nursing homes.

On a related note, there have also been issues with registered sex offenders becoming residents of nursing homes.  More often than not, neither family members nor residents are aware that this is occurring.  We found a website recently that family members and residents can use to search by facility, city or state to see which nursing homes sex offenders are currently living in, and I thought that was a great thing to have – for more information, click here.

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A new report shows that Medicaid programs are failing to deliver adequate medical services to the low-income populations they were designed to serve including nursing home residents.  The non-profit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen issued a report ranking Medicaid programs by how they met and surpassed federal mandates in four categories: eligibility, scope of services, quality of care and provider reimbursement.

Fifty-five million, mostly low-income Americans get their health care coverage through their state Medicaid program. The worst Medicaid programs in the country, according to Public Citizen, are those in Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.

Public Citizen ranked states by the optional health care services that states provide beyond legally mandated services.
"Medicaid desperately needs nationwide uniform standards of quality of care and an effective means of monitoring and upholding those standards," said Ms. Ramirez de Arellano.

See story here

Georgetown police could not find any physical evidence to corroborate one of the recent complaints filed against Georgetown Healthcare and Rehab in Maryville. In March, police were called to the facility after a resident said he was choked by a nurse.

The incident happened in December but he waited to report it because he was “in fear of possible retribution.”  The nurse denied the charges but was placed on suspension during the investigation. 

The resident was shown pictures of 12 women who work at that facility and was asked to show the investigators the one who choked him. The photo selected was not the nurse he accused of the abuse. There was a inconsistency in part of his allegations.

“Based on this investigation, there is no physical evidence or witnesses to support this allegation,” Investigator Johnell Sparkman wrote in his report. “At this time this case is unfounded.”

Helluva an investigation.

No polygraph examination of the accused? Prior complaints? Interview other residents?

See story here

The nursing home industry and insurance lobbyists have fought (and continue to fight) to limit the duties of nursing homes in conducting background checks on employees.  It is ridiculous. Background checks are cheap and quick in the computer age even with the high turnover rate of employees.  Look at this story where a nursing home aide raped 90-year-old resident.. It could have been prevented if they did a background check.

William Morrison, a former aide at the Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Health Care Facility,  was convicted last month of raping and sexually assaulting a 90-year-old resident of the nursing home.

Morrison was an employee at Rome Memorial Hospital for several months before being transferred to the hospital’s affiliated 80-bed nursing home. Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Health Care Facility intended to perform a criminal background check when Morrison was hired, but it was not completed before he raped the elderly resident.

The background check would have revealed that Morrison was previously convicted for one felony and several misdemeanors in the 1990s. His last conviction was for a misdemeanor drug offense in 1999

See story here

This is an incredible story.  A nursing home employee was jailed for allegedly using a cigarette lighter to set fire to an elderly patient’s bed over the weekend.

Tina Louise Spencer was booked into the county jail on charges of first-degree arson and attempted murder. Spencer is accused of setting fire to the bed of Ann Hudson, 88, at Carlton Cove nursing home.  The resident sustained first- and second-degree burns on her scalp and forehead.

Investigators said Hudson wasn’t a regular patient of Spencer’s but that Spencer checked on her from time to time. Firefighters were called to Carlton Cove shortly after 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters determined the fire wasn’t accidental, which led to a probe by investigators with the police’s Arson Task Force and the fire marshal’s office.

SEIU Sold Out Nursing Home Workers and Patients

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights made public today internal
memos and agreements between Andy Stern’s Service Employees International
Union (SEIU) and nursing home operators that show just how Stern sold
nursing home workers out. The nursing home workers lost their rights to
strike, complain publicly about quality of care problems and improve their
pay and benefits under the secret Stern-backed agreements with nursing home
owners.
Nursing home operators got the unions’ lobbying clout for more Medicaid
dollars, for tort reform measures and against safe staffing requirements in
nursing homes. SEIU got the right to represent workers, if shoddily, and to
receive dues.
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Rat dies in mouth of California nursing home patient

Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit alleges that Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.

"The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein," the lawsuit alleges.

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Seniors in Ont. nursing homes overprescribed antipsychotic drugs: study

In the nursing homes with the highest antipsychotic prescribing rates, 16.6 per cent of patients with neither psychosis nor dementia were given the drugs, according to a recent study. 

Ontario nursing homes are too quick to give vulnerable seniors antipsychotic drugs to keep them calm, suggests a disturbing new study examining prescribing rates for the drugs at 485 facilities.

The study of 47,322 residents in provincially regulated nursing homes indicates the average rate of antipsychotic prescribing by home ranged from 21 per cent in the groups with the lowest average rate to 44 per cent in the highest category.

Residents in nursing homes with high prescribing rates were three times more likely to be given antipsychotic drugs – whether they need them – than others in facilities with lower antipsychotic prescribing rates, indicates the research by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

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Hidden Cameras Uncover Patient Neglect At Queens Nursing Home
November 22, 2006

Nine employees of a Queens nursing home were arrested after hidden cameras uncovered a case of alleged patient neglect.

Secret cameras were installed at the Hollis Park Manor nursing home as part of an investigation by the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says one camera inside a 67-year-old woman’s room revealed weeks of neglect. Spitzer says it also showed employees changing the woman’s records to make it look like she received the proper care.

Now the medical director, two nurses, and six nurses aides are in police custody.

The medical director of the home is denying the charges.

Article published Mar 22, 2006

Ex-nursing chief sues White Oak Manor
RACHEL E. LEONARD, Staff Writer

A former nursing director at a Spartanburg long-term care facility is seeking court relief on claims she was fired for refusing to help cover up a medication error that sent a resident into a brain-damaging insulin shock.

Management at White Oak Manor–Spartanburg warned Carol Hodge not to disclose the outcome of her investigation into the medication mistake to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control or to the resident’s family, according to Hodge’s lawsuit, filed this month in Spartanburg County Court of Common Pleas. Hodge’s lawyer, Donald Coggins of Spartanburg, said Hodge’s superiors began finding problems with her work when she ignored those directives.

"She was told by her superiors because it was a medication error, it didn’t have to be reported and they would rather she didn’t," he said.

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