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Nursing Home Abuse in Indiana

Indiana Newspaper Uncovers Nursing Home Abuse Involving Unjust Patient Evictions

December 29th, 2010

An Indiana newspaper has found one prevalent form of nursing home abuse in the state is that of unjustly evicting nursing home residents. Indiana’s ombudsman for long-term care says nursing homes unfairly kicking residents out is “a major problem” in the state.

An investigation by The Indianapolis Star cites many examples of this problem. Among the cases noted by the invesitgation is a nursing home leaving a man at an emergency room and refusing to take him back. The man had to stay at the hospital for three weeks until another nursing home took him in. Another case involved a nursing home trying to kick out a brain-damaged teenager. The teenager had no safe place to live.

The investigation also uncovered that almost no punishment is being issued by the state for nursing homes that violate the law by unfairly evicting residents.

Arlene Franklin of the state’s Family and Social Services Administration said she thinks the key to ending this abuse is to punish nursing homes that violate patients rights.

“I think if we had a better enforcement system or a more punitive enforcement system, people would [stop unfair evictions],” said Franklin.

If you are a nursing home resident and believe your rights are being violated, or if you believe your loved one is being treated unfairly in a nursing home, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right way.


Indiana May Require Background Checks to Avoid Nursing Home Abuse

October 15th, 2010

Next year, Indiana lawmakers will consider a proposal requiring nursing home workers to receive background checks. The proposal is an effort being made by the state to thwart the various types of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect that have become commonplace all over the country.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he will also propose changes be made to state law that provide whistleblowers with legal protections. Zoeller has also asked an oversight panel that reviews licensing agencies to focus its attention on the Indiana Health Facility Administrator (HFA) Board. The HFA has disciplinary power over nursing home administrators.

“The HFA Board writes the licensing rules for nursing home administrators and the board acts as judge and jury to decide whether or not those rules were violated,” said Zoeller. “We have an opportunity through this evaluation committee to thoroughly examine the rule-enforcing process by the group of experts the Legislature created for that purpose, to determine if it is adequate to hold these licensees accountable for violations within the facility that occur on their watch.”


Employees Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse in Indiana

February 12, 2013

Four former nursing home employees in Indiana were arrested this week after allegations of severe nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to police reports, Tonya Sanders, 33, Blaine Ballard, 33, Casey Hill, 28, and Wendy Sutherlin, 28, were all employees of Jasper’s Providence Home Health Care Center. After investigations by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, it was discovered that all four allegedly have been abusing, neglecting, and intimidating the residents of the local. Although detailed information regarding the exact incidents haven’t been released, the discoveries were enough for police to secure warrants for all four individuals. They were arrested yesterday and charged with misdemeanor intimidation and felony battery and neglect.

Two other employees of the nursing home, Katrina Patterson and Sheryl Rockett, were also arrested after it was determined that they didn’t come forward and report the abuse. In the state of Indiana, if abuse is heard or seen, witnesses are legally obligated to inform authorities within 24 hours. Patterson and Rockett charged with one misdemeanor count each of failing to report the abuse of an endangered adult.

The names of the victims have not been released, but by state law, they have the right to obtain a nursing home abuse attorney and file civil charges.

This incidence marks yet another occurrence of nursing home abuse in Indiana this year. Last month, an elderly woman died outside of the Redbud Hills Independent Senior Living Community from hypothermia. According to reports, she was left unattended for several hours which ultimately resulted in her death. She was found later outside in her nightgown close to the premises.