April 4, 2013
Staff members in a Connecticut nursing home have been accused of nursing home abuse and neglect after a resident choked to death last month.
According to reports, the patient, who suffered from dementia and a mental disorder, was a resident at the Paradigm Health Center in Norwalk when the incident happened. In December of last year, the resident wandered through a gate at that had been left opened, and ingested food left out. The resident began choking and was administered CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. After the procedures failed, the resident was taken to a local hospital and placed on life support. A few weeks later, the victim died.
After investigating the death at Paradigm Health Center, James McGaughey of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities began investigating the deaths of nursing home patients with mental disabilities. From 2004-2010 a total of 76 disabled victims have died at nursing homes in Connecticut. On every occasion, the deaths were because of irresponsibility, abuse, and neglect from staff workers. When investigating Paradigm, results show that there have been several instances in which residents have eaten food against their diet.
In February of this year, Paradigm paid a $1,500 fee and submitted a correction plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH). Yet, a separate incident led to another fine when a disabled resident at a Paradigm Healthcare facility in Waterbury suffered a major laceration on the forehead after falling down.
Although Paradigm is required to pay fines to DPH, the victims themselves and/or family members have the right to retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file for civil damages, which may possibly lead to more fines for the center in the future.