A woman in her 70s was the victim of sexual assault at the hands of another resident. The Dr. Vernon Fanning Centre, run by Carewest, said the assault was an isolated incident. An 83 year old male resident was found in the woman’s room, and she indicated that an assault occurred. Ruth Adria of Elder Advocates of Alberta Society says that incidents like these are ‘frighteningly common’. She goes on to say that nursing homes are warehouses where it’s difficult to determine if residents are being abused. She also says that staff members are more often than not the perpetrators of abuse in homes. Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, there have been 60 sexual abuse allegations in the last two years.  See article at CBC.

An elderly female resident was raped at the Autumn Leaves Memory Care Center. Stephen Reed, 61 year old caretaker at the facility, was the main suspect. He was arrested and faces a charge of first degree rape while the woman was mentally incapacitated or of unsound mind and a charge of rape by force or fear. He has a $100,000 bond.  See article here.

The Ledger reported that a lawsuit alleging that neglect and mismanagement led to a woman’s death was filed in July against Lakeland Hills Rehabilitation Center, two past administrators of Lakeland Hills Center and companies involved in its management.  The suit says Barbara J. Seabron, who died last year, was neglected and developed medical problems, including bedsores, urinary tract infections, jaw and eye infections,
dehydration, a fungal tongue infection, wound infection, drug-resistant staph infection (MRSA) and sepsis, a systematic inflammatory response to infection.

Defendants are accused in the lawsuit of failing to monitor significant signs and symptoms of infection in Seabron, failing to prevent her from becoming dehydrated, not adequately responding to the dehydration, not providing her with adequate hygiene, inadequate treatment of the bedsores and other neglect.  The civil suit also describes various corporate structures it argues were connected to conditions affecting Seabron’s health issues.

They increased the severity level of health conditions of people admitted there as residents without increasing staff sufficiently to meet their needs, the suit said, and money paid by or for residents went to a “company claiming not-for-profit status”.  Lakeland Hills is listed on a state government website as not for profit.  Hearthstone operated and oversaw Lakeland Hills Rehabilitation Center, the lawsuit said.  However, it also said Brigid Health Services is the Lakeland center’s management company. Airamid Health Services, at the same address, is identified as Brigid’s parent company.  Airamid and Brigid received a percentage of the nursing home’s revenues as a “management fee”, which caused them to profit from not increasing staffing, the suit contends.  Another company, Senior Health Management, is mentioned in the lawsuit although not listed as a defendant.  The lawsuit alleges Senior Health Management transferred its assets to Airamed “to avoid its creditors,” which included nursing home residents and past owners of Senior Health.

Hip fractures are life changing if not life-limiting events in the lives of older adults. A recently published article in JAMA Internal Medicine adds credence to this, as well as giving us evidence to guide our prognostic estimates when caring for someone who sustains a hip fractures in a nursing home setting.

The study by Neuman and colleagues looked at survival and functional outcomes after hip fracture in 60,111 long-term nursing home residents who were hospitalized with an acute hip fracture between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2009.  The primary outcome was death from any cause within 180 days of hospital admission. They also looked at functional outcomes that were based on self-performance for 7 ADLs as recorded in the last available Minimal Data Set (MDS) assessment within 180 days after the index admission.

The median survival time after fracture was 377 days (the interquartile range was 70-1002 days).
Six months after hip fracture:

1 out of every 3 (36%) nursing home residents died

1 out of every 2 (46%) male nursing home residents died.

  • Half (54%) of those who were not totally dependent in locomotion prior to the hip fracture had either died or developed new total dependence in locomotion

At one year after hip fracture:

  • One out of two (47%) nursing home residents died
  • Of those who were not totally dependent in locomotion at baseline, 60% either died or experienced new total dependence in locomotion

First, a new diagnosis of hip fracture in a nursing home resident carries with it a worse 6-month prognosis than most newly diagnosed metastatic cancers, with 1 out of every 3 nursing home residents dying within 6 months.
Second, even if a resident was completely independent in getting around the nursing home, 6 months after a fracture they still had nearly a 50/50 chance of either being dead or being totally dependent on the nursing staff for getting around. However, a more optimistic way to think about it is that these individuals still had a one in three chance of returning to their baseline independent function after a fracture in a nursing home setting.
Third, while the dependence on locomotion is important, there are limitations to this outcome, including that not everyone who is “totally dependent” one week will be “totally dependent” the next week.

Edgewood Vista senior living facility director Marilyn Moore defended a 30 year old employee who raped an 89 year old woman. Moore called the woman a ‘flirt’ and defended Andrew Scott Merzwiski’s behavior, even though the woman was examined by a nurse practitioner and found to be a victim of rape.

Theresa Flesvig, nurse examiner, said the woman had the ‘biggest tear’ as a result of rape she’d ever seen. After the resident reported the rape, the facility sent her to St. Luke’s Hospital, to the mental health unit.  Merzwski was ‘sentenced to 53 months in prison [and] ordered to register as a sex offender’ for 10 years.  The home was cited for failure to report the rape, but somehow was found not at fault for Merzwski’s assault.

McKnights had an story about modern day racial segregation. The Betsy Ross Nursing and Rehabilitation Center segregated their nursing home so black nurses weren’t allowed in some areas of the home. One resident refused care from black nurses so the facility accommodated him by reassigning black nurses to other areas and putting up signs that read “No Colored Nurses”.

The home, located in New York, reached a settlement with the city after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman enforced the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the Urban League said minorities are constantly facing discrimination in the workplace. In this day and age, it is easy to forget that it was not that long ago when racism took the form of the KKK and other hate groups which targeted African Americans with violence. As we can see from this story, the line between what is acceptable behavior and what is not can be tinged with poor decisions and a reminder that racism still exists even today.

A North Muskegon senior care facility was charged with one count of larceny in a building and abuse of a nursing home patient. Ruth Ellen Everett, employee of the Hillcrest Nursing Center, allegedly diverted medications from patients, specifically morphine. She has been arrested and has a $5000 bond.  See article here.

Ronnie Peters was arrested for sexually assaulting a nursing home resident.   Peters entered the facility claiming that he was visiting a friend but couldn’t remember her name.  According to witness statements, he then picked a nursing home resident with Alzheimer’s as his “friend” and was allowed to visit with her alone.

Peters came back the following day and visited her again. During his second visit, an employee saw him with his hand down her pants. The employee left to alert the nursing director, and upon returning found Peters taking the woman back to the living-room area.  Peters’ affidavit, taken by Colbert Police Chief Jeff Goerke, states that he went to visit an old friend but did not touch her inappropriately. Court records show a prior conviction for Peters of aggravated sexual assault of a child in Carrollton, Texas in 1994.  See article at Durant Democrat.

A former employee from Heather Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care Facility was allegedly stealing pills from patients and supplementing them with other medications. Deborah Cleveland was diverting the medication for personal use. Ahe’s facing 17 charges, including eight of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and eight of petit larceny. She allegedly stole 650 pills and replaced them with allergy, bipolar, and blood pressure medications.  See full article.