WPRI reported the family of an elderly woman who was assaulted at Coventry Center Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation nursing home has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the home and her alleged assailant.  On Oct. 14, police arrested Francis Kinsey on a charge of first-degree sexual assault after an employee at Coventry Center Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation reported seeing him assaulting an 80-year-old resident.

Now, the alleged victim’s family is suing Kinsey and the owners of the nursing home, Genesis Healthcare.  In the lawsuit, the family claims the suspect should not have been in the nursing home since he was out on bail from a pending child molestation charge.  Police learned Kinsey had been arrested for first-degree child molestation in 2012, and that case was still open at the time of the alleged nursing home assault.

“Genesis Healthcare, LLC knew or should have known that Defendant Francis E. Kinsey, Jr presented a danger to residents he came into contact with for reasons including, but not limited to, his arrest record,” the lawsuit states.  The family claims the nursing home did not take adequate steps to ensure the woman’s safety when Kinsey was moved to or allowed to roam a floor specifically treating mentally frail individuals, such as the victim.

 

Freelance Contribution by Jessica Walter. 

As you may well know, falls are a serious matter in the elderly, and according to the NCOA are the leading cause of fatal injury. Many of these happen at home, where those with accessibility requirements are living in inadequate environments.

Every year, children of the elderly make various alterations and adjustments to their parents’ homes in pursuit of making them safe. Whilst home modifications for seniors are essential and effective, there are some measures you can take to make the home both promote independence and feel intuitive.

Introducing High Quality Rails

It sounds simple, but introducing rails in areas of the home can be incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons. The homeowner doesn’t necessarily need to be expressly disabled, or diagnosed with an ability that affects their mobility. Having rails in areas like the bedroom and bathroom enable anyone to safely navigate their home and prevent falls that can cause long-lasting harm. Essentially, rails are one of the most straightforward ways to ensure senior’s safety at home

There are a huge variety of rails out there, too, to fit with different home styles and setups. This means the homeowner doesn’t need to compromise the efforts they’ve put into getting the home how they like it, benefiting their sense of independence. No more plain white bars as you’ll see in public buildings.

Creating Wheelchair Accessibility

Again, this isn’t even necessarily a measure that is strictly for those who use wheelchairs. Ramps can provide an easier way to get in and out of the house, as well as for transporting heavy goods where stairs are a barrier to getting purchases into the house. The chances of tripping and falling whilst on a ramp are significantly lower and it also means the house is future proofed in case of any changes in future years.

Just like the rails we’ve spoken about above, the homeowner doesn’t need to compromise design for a ramp, either. There is a wide range of ramp styles so the house doesn’t have to have something dropped into it that isn’t appropriate for the overall design of the house.

Internet of Things

The likes of Amazon and Google have released products in recent years with very detailed voice recognition and incredibly intuitive responses to questions. They can also be tuned for a wide variety of circumstances, including those that might affect your parent. They can act as an early warning system, as well as a way to easily contact relatives. Elderly parents can sometimes need to re-learn new technology, but it’s not difficult to learn and could be very useful in maintaining independence whilst assisting.

Home alterations can be frustrating in the way they change the face of the home, but they are necessary. However, home alterations don’t have to be intrusive and there’s many ways to preemptively make a house independent whilst not compromising style.

New York Magazine reported Trump’s latest attempt to remove effective reforms that would reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the health care industry.  Medicare had successfully begun to experiment with lump-sum payments that would reimburse doctors and hospitals on the basis of how well they cared for their patients, not how much treatment they gave them. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation had established experiments with new payment models designed to improve care and reduce costs. The Trump administration is canceling or scaling back the experiments, or putting the medical lobby in charge of designing them.

“The United States spends far more per capita on medical costs than any other country. One reason is that its medical system is built around fee-for-service care, in which doctors, hospitals, drug-makers, and medical device manufacturers all have an economic incentive to make care as expensive as possible. The passage of Medicare helped to accelerate medical inflation by putting the federal government in the position of reimbursing treatments almost regardless of effectiveness or need.”

This will increase waste, fraud, and abuse and the already sky high profits of the pharmaceutical companies and other health care providers.

Fox Carolina reported that the Newberry County Coroner’s Office is asking for help finding the family or next of kin for a woman who passed away at a nursing home.

The coroner said 88-year-old Jospehine Jones died from natural causes at JF Hawkins Nursing Home. She has lived at the location since being transferred from White Oak Manor in Columbia in September 2014.

Anyone with information on relatives of Jones is asked to contact the coroner’s office at 803-405-7790.

Sign a letter to CMS! Send your own letter!

We are hearing that any day now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may be taking action that could undermine and/or delay implementation of the revised federal nursing home regulations. The rules provide important new protections for residents and need to be preserved.

CMS needs to hear from all of us that weakening and delaying the regulations is not acceptable! Advocacy is needed this week. Below are some very simple and fast actions you can take to tell CMS to retain and implement the rules.

  1. Sign on to a Consumer Voice letter urging CMS to retain the requirements and implement them without delay. Sign-ons are due by COB November 15. Due to the urgency, we cannot extend the deadline.
    • To sign on, click here if you represent a group/organization/program. Click hereif you are an individual.
  2. Send in your own letter.  We are providing a sample letter for organizations to submit or use to create their own letter. This sample letter can be easily adapted for use by individuals.  Send your letter by November 17, 2017.
  3. Do BOTH – sign on and send your own letter. 

Your advocacy is important – thank you!

Additional Information:

Read a Consumer Voice issue brief about the efforts to undermine and delay the rules here.

To learn more about the revised federal nursing home regulations, click here.

WNCN reported that Natalia Mikhailovna Roberts has been accused of stealing medication.  Warrants state Roberts worked as a nurse for Lake Emory Post Acute Care in Inman.  Lake Emory is owned and operated by the national for profit chain Fundamental Long Term Care.

Authorities say there were 78 doses of Oxycodone for a patient when there should have been 96 doses. Warrants state Roberts “intentionally…omitted information” required for records keeping.

Records showed another patient was missing 124 doses of Hydrocodone on June 17, another arrest warrant states.

Roberts is charged with theft of a controlled substance and two counts of violating drug distribution laws by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.  A temporary order of suspension has been issued for Roberts by the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

It is unclear if she was using the pills or selling them to make money.  The investigation into why the facility failed to notice the missing opiods is ongoing.

WHEC reported that Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is under investigation after a man reported finding his father dead in bed.  Dave Tuper tells WHEC-TV in Rochester that his 80-year-old father Wayne suffered from dementia and his family decided in September to take him to the Sodus nursing home.

The son went to visit his father at the nursing home and found him dead in his bed. Tuper says he alerted the nursing staff and was told that they already knew he had passed away but hadn’t notified his family.

The son filed a complaint with the state Department of Health, which has launched an investigation.

The father’s death certificate says he died from cardiac arrest.

National Geographic published Maja Daniels’ series “Into Oblivion,” a documentary project that exposed some of the many issues surrounding Alzheimer’s patients while also highlighting society’s generational disconnect from its elders. Shot over the course of a three-year period, “Into Oblivion” was the inaugural winner of the Bob and Diane Fund, a photographic grant that supports visual storytelling about Alzheimer’s and dementia.  The Bob and Diane Fund was started by National Geographic Creative employee Gina Martin in honor of Martin’s mother, Diane, who died from Alzheimer’s in 2011, and her father, Bob. The winning photographer receives a $5,000 grant to support his or her work.

While on a tour of a geriatric hospital in France, photographer Maja Daniels came across a locked door with portholes in it. Behind it, someone was trying to get her attention. When she asked, Daniels learned that the door led to a protective unit for the hospital’s Alzheimer’s patients, meant to keep them safe and to keep  them from wandering off and getting lost.

“I was just struck by the image of that door,” says Daniels.

When Daniels showed the staff her photos, they were shocked by the images of people by the door.

“Sometimes the hardest things to see are the things that are closest to us,” Daniels says.

Shortly after, they covered the door with wallpaper to make it blend in and defer patients away from it.

“Even those smaller changes are really important,” Daniels says.

 

 

On Election Day, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a move opposed by controversial Governor Paul LePage, who has repeatedly vetoed the popular legislation that would cover 70,000 Mainers living at 138 percent of the poverty level.

LePage showed contempt for the will of the people by refusing to implement the Medicaid expansion. “My administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families, raiding the rainy-day fund, or reducing services to our elderly or disabled,” LePage said.

Leaders of the campaign for the initiative immediately said LePage was acting beyond the scope of his power. “The governor cannot ignore the law or the Constitution of Maine,” spokesman David Farmer told the Press Herald. “Simply put, the governor does not have veto power of citizen’s initiatives and he cannot ignore the law.”

What he can do though is drag his feet and muck up the process to prevent the expansion from taking place. The term-limited governor will be out of office in about 14 months.  How many people will not have access to health care because of this idiot?

Meanwhile, ObamaCare becomes more popular.  Across the country, more than twice as many people signed up for individual healthcare plans provided through the government-backed insurance exchanges created by the ACA on the first day of annual enrollment than signed up at the same time last year.  The surge, and a rise in online visitors to the government’s healthcare website, came despite cuts in grants under the Trump administration to outside groups that help people navigate the insurance system and sign up for the ACA.

The St. Louis Dispatch reported the tragic and preventable wrongful death of Donna Chapman who caught fire and suffered fatal burns in May while smoking a cigarette in her wheelchair.   On May 13, a member of the staff wheeled Chapman onto the patio, then left her alone to smoke a cigarette before dinner. Chapman somehow ignited her clothing and was found ablaze by an attendant.

“I am burning alive, I am burning alive,” Chapman kept saying, according to an investigative report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.   She suffered third-degree burns to her scalp, chest, neck and shoulders.

Chapman died May 15, two days after she caught fire while smoking unsupervised on a patio at NHC HealthCare. Her son, Dean Chapman filed the wrongful-death suit Oct. 23.

The suit claims the nursing home improperly left the disabled woman alone while she smoked without a special burn resistant apron that was supposed to protect her from ashes and dropped cigarettes. The suit also says the nursing home failed to adequately assess her ability to smoke unsupervised and detect changes in her mental and physical condition.

Chapman had dementia, and because of her paralysis, limited use of her legs and left arm. She was a longtime smoker. The nursing home performed eight “smoking assessments” for her between 2012 and March 17, 2017, the suit says. All of the assessments determined she could smoke without supervision, despite concern expressed by staff in October 2016 and the discovery of burn marks on her clothing in February, the suit adds.

In March, the nursing home did tell Chapman she had to wear a special smoking apron to protect her from hot ashes and dropped cigarettes. Despite concerns that her dementia was worsening and that burn marks continued to be found on her clothes, she was put on the back porch alone on May 13 without a smoking apron, the suit says.

Peimann, the nursing home administrator, told the Post-Dispatch in May that Chapman’s death was “a bad accident.”

David Terry, an attorney for Dean Chapman, said: “For a nursing home to provide a safe environment for its residents, there must be enough staff members to properly supervise the residents and the staff needs to be sufficiently trained to meet the needs of each resident. We believe in this case the NHC facility failed to do that.”