Lori Sadler on behalf of her mother, Linda S. Floyd, has filed a claim against the operators of Integrity Hc nursing home, claiming the staff allowed pressure sores to develop that in turn led to a fatal infection and other problems. Sadler maintains the facility failed to assist Floyd and prevent her physical and mental decline. Floyd was only 65 when she died.

Integrity Hc is accused in the legal action of failing to administer treatments as ordered by Floyd’s doctor, failing to assess changes in her condition and failing to prevent and treat pressure sores. The suit contends Floyd suffered pressure ulcers, dehydration, infection, decreased consciousness, osteomyelitis and infection that “were foreseeable and caused or contributed to her death.”

“On or about Aug. 2, 2017, she was admitted to St. Anthony’s Health Center where, upon admission, she was diagnosed with a 5-centimeter by 7-centimeter deep sacral pressure ulcer … and with hypertension, dehydration, osteomyletis and sepsis,” according to the lawsuit.

 

 

Four years after the death of Mary Opal Moore, her family is finally finding peace. A jury found Superior Care Nursing Homes Inc. at fault for gross negligence and failure to provide proper care.  The Moore family was compensated $2.2-million against Superior Care.  $1,650,000 is for punitive damages, $570,834 is for pain and suffering, and $17,196 is for medical expenses.

The lawsuit states Mary lived at the Paducah nursing home from December 2014 to March 2015.  The family chose Superior Care because they had a memory care unit. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, the nursing home called John and said he needed to pick up his mom because she was being forced out of the facility.

It happened at same time as the family was trying to switch Mary over to Medicaid, which meant less revenue for Superior Care. Now we know that was the reason. Three weeks after leaving the facility, Mary died.  The family had to relive those final weeks in the courtroom during a five-day trial.

“The decision to put someone in a nursing home is not an easy decision for any family,” Jennifer says. “But when you do that and you are told by the nursing home that your grandmother is a perfect fit and they can take care of her, you trust that nursing home to do just that.”

A recent New Jersey case really made me think about criminal intent in nursing home caregivers.  Monique Beaucejour, a nursing home aide was charged with reckless manslaughter for failing to seek emergency care for a patient who later died after suffering a head injury, said acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II.

Beaucejour found the 85-year-old resident on the floor of her room at the Waterview Center nursing home but placed her back in bed instead of seeking help. Investigators determined, however, that Beaucejour had placed Fannie McClain in bed and “returned to the room later and acted as if she just discovered her injured,” Stephens’ announcement said.

McClain’s 62-year-old daughter, Fangela McClain, said she had previously raised concerns about her mother’s care and said the nursing home did not have enough staff to adequately care for all of the patients. She said her mother, who had dementia, had fallen previously and another time she sprained her ankle.

In addition to reckless manslaughter, the prosecutor charged Beaucejour with hindering, obstruction and neglect of the elderly, Stephens said.

WoodTV had an interesting article about Illuminate HC which took over management of SKLD and 10 other Michigan nursing homes a year ago. Of SKLD’s 11 homes, four have one-star ratings (much below average), four have two-star ratings (below average), two have three-star ratings (average), and one has a four-star rating (above average).

Brandee Davis has been complaining about the care and treatment of her mother for months. Davis, whose mother lives at SKLD nursing home in Wyoming, has filed formal complaints with the state twice since May.

“It’s really hard to watch someone you love with all your heart suffer… beg for help, beg to leave,” Davis said in an interview.

SKLD has a one-star rating on the federal website medicare.gov, a score that’s described as “much below average.” Of the 25 licensed nursing homes in Kent County, SKLD is one of just three with a one-star rating.

Davis is going to court in September to try to get guardianship over her mom, Michele, so she can move her.

“I shouldn’t have to keep calling and reporting,” Davis said. “My mom shouldn’t have to call me, begging me to call the home because her call light has been on for two hours and nobody’s coming to her room.”

Among Davis’ complaints to the state is that SKLD workers failed to answer her mom’s call light or change her diaper for hours; ran out of appropriately-sized briefs, thus forcing her to wear too-small briefs which ripped her skin; left her in the same clothes for five days and placed an aggressive dementia patient into her room despite her inability to protect herself.

“They decided to place a known violent dementia patient… in a room with an incapacitated adult who can’t do anything for herself,” Davis said.

State investigators who inspect nursing homes on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services substantiated several of Davis’ complaints, including the one about her mom’s new roommate, who was moved to another room after she “went through (Davis’ mom’s) things … smacked her legs” and attacked staff, bruising a nurse, according to a state report.

“Review of documentation and interviews, revealed (Davis’ mom) was vulnerable and unable to defend herself from (the dementia patient) who wanders, has physical behaviors and a history of blocking the doorway to the residents’ room so staff could not get into the room. Which placed (Davis’ mom) at higher risk of harm,” a state inspector wrote.

Inspectors issued statements of deficiencies and ordered the home to create plans of correction after their visits in late May and mid-July. Among the deficiencies cited were out-of-reach and unplugged call lights, residents left for hours in urine-soaked briefs and dirty rooms with “dried food and liquids stuck to the residents’ room floors, dirt and dust accumulating under the residents beds, tissues and papers accumulating on the floors.” One room had dust clumps “larger than golf balls” under the bed.

Davis said SKLD injured a helpless elderly person.

“It’s mind-blowing and traumatizing,” she said. “And when I was in there two days ago, they’re still using one person to change my mom and she can’t use her arms to stop, to protect herself. So if they roll her and she rolls to the other side, that’s going to be catastrophic.”

Davis’ biggest fear is that her mom will choke and be unable to call for help.

“She can’t really eat or swallow very well, so I always get worried she’s going to choke and she’s going to push her call light and no one’s going to get there in time,” she said.

 

Eight years ago, Steven Piskor saw his beloved mother physically assaulted by nursing home caregivers. Seeing his frail mother’s body flung into bed. Her face poked with a disrespecting finger.

“It was devastating,” he said. “Even to this day, my family can’t look at the video.”

Piskor placed a hidden camera in his mother’s room inside a nursing home run by MetroHealth Medical Center. He placed them there on a hunch. The unexplained bruises. Her quiet moods.

“I began seeing changes in my mom,” he recalled. “By then, I knew something was happening…When I put the camera on, I found abuse in the first two days. But I didn’t know how it was going to be handled.”

The video sent shockwaves through the community.  But then, nothing. His mother, Esther “Mitzi” Piskor, died last year at the age of 85. Her son is intent on ensuring her legacy lives on, and that the trauma she endured is not forgotten, or allowed to be repeated.

“Yes, I definitely think it’s time to pass the law.”

He’s talking about “Esther’s Law,” a proposal in the process of being crafted into a bill. While no formal bill has yet been crafted, the heart of the proposal would allow families to place a camera in a loved one’s nursing home room.

Only ten states now have laws dealing with cameras. The proposal would require that cameras not be hidden. A sign would be posted outside the room alerting everyone that a camera is in use. A consent form would allow for the cameras to be turned off for various reasons, such as bathing or visits from doctors or clergy. There are also provisions on roommates and their privacy.

 

 

 

 

Joseph Somera and Lolita Somera, a married couple who operate a Chandler home-based assisted living facility, are charged with vulnerable adult abuse in the death of a 69-year-old man who spent two days without air conditioning last summer.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced that the couple were indicted in the resident’s death.

The office said the air conditioning failed Aug. 16, 2018 and that Lolita Somera waited two days later to call 911 and report that the man was non-responsive.

According to the office, the temperature in the man’s room was 100 degrees (37.8 Celsius) and medical examiners determined that environmental heat exposure contributed to the man’s death from end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia.

 

James Spann, a CNA at Walnut Acres nursing home was arrested after being accused of attacking a 73-year-old resident earlier this year.  Spann is charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery to a senior citizen. Spann put the resident in a chokehold and a headlock, according to police.

The incident happened on April 6th, but wasn’t reported to police until April 16th. The nursing home reported it to the state and an inspector came out to investigate. The inspector conducted an investigation, and then turned it over to police.

 

An investigation at Sapphire Tucson Nursing and Rehabilitation nursing home began after a 63 year old resident reported she was sexually assaulted by an employee.

“Obviously, you can’t trust anybody,” said Selina Poss, the resident’s daughter.

Poss said her mother told her she was sexually assaulted by a nurse tech. The man put his genitals in her hand and then started inappropriately touching her. Poss claimed her mother told other employees what happened before their phone call, but nothing was done.

“He told her, ‘This is our secret,'” Poss said.

Poss said she is frustrated over the lack of help by the facility.

“They just give us every runaround. Nobody really talks, nobody says anything,” Poss said. “Everything I’ve found out, I basically had to call, to make the report for my mom.”
“It’s hard to watch her. It’s hard to see what it’s done to her,” Poss said. “She’s already had a traumatic life. She’s already had to go through stuff, I’m supposed to be her protector. I’m the one who is supposed to take care of her and I just feel like I failed.”

Poss is working with her mother’s insurance provider to get her moved into her home for care.

Poss said she won’t stop fighting for an answer. Not just for her mother, but for other residents at the facility.

“I’m going to do everything in my power … to make sure this man is not going to do it again,” Poss said.

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) removed the 2016 ban on the use of binding arbitration agreements by LTC facilities on July 16. Prior to 2016, the LTC industry widely utilized binding arbitration as the preferred means of resolving resident disputes, offering an informal and cost-effective process for resolving disputes without litigation. In 2016, the federal government banned binding arbitration for LTC facilities that participated in Medicare and Medicaid, despite strong objections from the LTC community. The industry later challenged the CMS ban in federal court and won. CMS then instructed state survey agencies not to enforce the ban pending further evaluation.

In the CMS Final Rule, binding arbitration is back (with some limitations). Some of the restrictions include:

  • The facility cannot condition the resident’s admission on the signing of an arbitration agreement. Indeed, the facility must inform the resident (or legal representative) that he/she does not have to sign. This must be stated clearly in the agreement itself.
  • The agreement must allow the resident to rescind within 30 days of signing. Because the resident can rescind up to 30 days, or not sign at all, it is advisable to document the arbitration agreement separately from other resident agreements.
  • The agreement cannot contain language that prohibits or discourages the resident from communicating grievances to state or federal officials. Some consumer advocates objected that binding arbitration is an inappropriate forum for serious resident injuries or abuse. CMS responded, stating that binding arbitration does not prevent residents from reporting serious injuries or abuse to public authorities, nor does it relieve facilities of their obligation to self-report.
  • The agreement, and any arbitration decision, must be retained by the facility for five years, and available for inspection. This same requirement, however, does not apply to settlement agreements. This may encourage more use of settlement agreements to resolve resident disputes, although any documentation relating to quality of care is likely open to inspection.

In its final rule, CMS acknowledged that it has no authority to annul existing arbitration agreements that are legally valid, and that its restrictions are prospective only. At the same time, CMS will allow facilities to enter into arbitration agreements with existing residents, even if initially banned in 2016. However, the arbitration agreement must meet current CMS requirements, and facilities cannot condition the resident’s continued care upon signing the agreement.

Some in the industry expect further legal challenges to the new CMS rule. Therefore, LTC facilities that believe in the benefits of arbitration should act now to implement CMS-compliant arbitration agreements for new and existing residents. Doing so now may protect these agreements from future legal challenges or changes.