Nursing Home Abuse in Texas
Texas Nursing Home Owner Charged with Felonies in Nursing Home Abuse Case
June 21, 2011
The owner of several small nursing homes operating under the name The Rose Home in Bryan, Texas has been charged with five felonies. The felony charges are for lying under oath and fabricating evidence during a nursing home abuse investigation and for writing hot checks.
A civil case was filed against the nursing home owner by the family of a resident who developed two severe bedsores that were not properly treated. The family also says they were not told about the bed sores and were even lied to.
The nursing home owner is accused of lying under oath about the case and altering data with regards to the abuse victim’s care in an attempt to stay out of trouble. The charges of aggravated perjury and fabricating evidence could mean up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the nursing home owner.
If you believe a loved one is being treated improperly at his or her nursing home you should report your suspicions to the authorities immediately and get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer to help you with your legal needs.
Texas Nursing Home Makes Improvements to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
November 8th, 2010
The Lubbock State Supported Living Center–a Texas nursing home for the mentally challenged with a history of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect–has made recent improvements to prevent such abuse, said state officials. The improvements are being made under the threat of a Department of Justice lawsuit.
Since May, 11 people have been fired and the percentage of filled nursing positions has gone from 57 percent to 78 percent of positions filled, said Libby Allen, the facility’s director. Additionally, all dental and psychiatry positions are now filled.
The state’s report commends the nursing home for a zero-tolerance policy on abuse, as well as correcting staff issues, and adjusting living arrangements for residents with behavioral issues.
“Some remarkable progress has been made here,” said Chris Traylor, commissioner of the state agency that oversees the center. “What is more remarkable is how far we have to go.”
Out of the 13 state-run facilities that house and treat people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, federal investigators found that at least 53 deaths in these facilities from September 2007 to September 2008 were caused by conditions considered preventable or lapses in proper care.
Texas Nursing Home Fails Inspections for Nursing Home Abuse and More
December 29, 2012
The U.S. Department of Justice recently found that a nursing home in El Paso, Texas, has been operating under substandard conditions after failing to comply with close to 80% of the state standards mandated for nursing homes.
According to reports, the El Paso State Supported Living Center underwent monitoring reports after several complaints. The results indicate that the center has failed to meet the most basic requirements of nursing homes, including standard health care and the safety needs of the patients, leading to severe cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. In one instance, a nursing home resident experienced a substantial amount of weight loss in a short period of time. When a relative visited, the resident complained of hunger pains.
In addition, the monitoring results confirmed that several patients were not only going hungry, but were experiencing neglect and abuse. At least 21 cases of neglect and 16 cases of abuse were confirmed.
Meanwhile, state legislators have met with the loved ones of the victims to learn more about the complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect, and to discuss solutions. Should they decide, the relatives of the victims have the legal right to retain a Texas nursing home abuse attorney and sue for personal injury damages.
Texas Nursing Home Faces Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death Lawsuit
January 4, 2013
The loved ones of a victim of Nursing home abuse in Mount Pleasant, Texas have retained a Texas nursing home abuse attorney and filed a lawsuit against a nursing home for the neglect and abuse that ultimately led to the death of one of its residents.
Irma Newman was a resident of the Mount Pleasant Nursing Home in December 2010. During this month, she developed a urinary tract infection that went untreated and spread into her bloodstream. A few weeks later, she was admitted into a hospital where she died from blood complications. The victim’s family claims that the nursing home failed to meet the state-mandated standard care.
According to the lawsuit, the victim’s family has filed suit against Nexian Health at Mount Pleasant Inc. for failing to assess and report the victim’s medical problems, failing to provide the necessary medical care, inappropriate dosage of medications, failing to keep up with proper oxygen saturations, and failing to document the patient’s conditions in her medical records.
Not only is the family seeking wrongful death damages, but also emotional suffering, loss of companionship, medical expenses, burial expenses, physical pain, and court costs.
The lawsuit was filed in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, and the plaintiffs have requested a jury trial.
Texas Nursing Home Abuse: Nursing Home Fire Sends Several to Hospital
February 19, 2013
A Hebbronville, Texas nursing home caught on fire last week resulting in several residents being taken to a local hospital. Although a state marshall is still investigating, it may have stemmed from substandard upkeep of the premises; a nursing home abuse offense in Texas.
According to reports, the fire started in the east wing section of the Hospitality House of Hebbronville. The residents were evacuated and relocated to other facilities in the area. Once the first responders were inside, it was determined that the smoke was coming from just one room on the east end of the nursing home. However, several residents were in the room at the time watching television and suffered from an excessive amount of smoke inhalation.
The victims were taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital for treatment and are expected to survive.
At this time, there have been no charges filed against the nursing home. Yet, if the investigation finds that the facilities have not been properly managed, the victims have the right under Texas law to secure legal representation through a Texas nursing home abuse lawyer and file for civil damages.
According to the city’s fire marshals, restorations are underway. Once the nursing home passes a safety inspection and everything is repaired, the residents are expected to return home. Along with damages to the walls and beds, windows were broken out in an attempt to provide fresh air for the residents until help arrived.
Texas Man Charged with Sexual Nursing Home Abuse Released From Jail
April 6, 2011
An ex-nursing home worker at Castle Pines nursing home in Lufkin, Texas charged with Injury to the Elderly and Attempted Sexual Assault has been released from jail. The Judge allowed his conditional release as he awaits his July 18th trial date.
The man charged with nursing home abuse allegedly exposed himself to an elderly female nursing home resident and asked her to touch him inappropriately as he was helping her use the restroom. When the elderly woman refused him the man allegedly forced her down which caused bruises to her body.
The man was released from jail under the conditions that he cannot enter any type of health care facility and he is not allowed to contact his accuser or her family.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes, while very disturbing, is not a rare occurrence in our country. If you or a loved one has been abused in any way at a nursing home you should contact the authorities immediately, and get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer to help you receive justice for your abuse.
Texas Family Catches Nursing Home Abuse on Video
August 29, 2012
A Texas family has captured what they say is video evidence that their elderly mother with dementia was being abused at Heritage Oaks Nursing Home in Arlington.
The family says the video shows staff at the nursing home treating the 83-year-old woman roughly and pulling her hair and pinching her leg.
No charges have been filed at this time but police are investigating the allegations.
After bruises were discovered on the elderly woman and she began pulling away from her family’s hugs, the children started to think their mother might be a victim of nursing home abuse. The family decided to install a hidden camera in their mother’s room and their worst suspicions were confirmed.
“My heart started racing and I was horrified. And I was more mad than anything just to know this was going on with my mother,” said the daughter of the alleged victim.
The family says the video was shown to the nursing home administrator who does not agree with some of the treatment found on the video, but they say he has tried to downplay the problem. However, the administrator has reported the potential abuse to the state and has launched an internal investigation.
Nursing home abuse can take many forms–from the subtle indications of neglect, such as bed sores, to the more obvious signs like cuts and bruises, which can indicate physical abuse. We encourage anyone suspicious of abuse to first notify the police; then contact qualified nursing home abuse lawyers to discuss your potential case.
Texas Employee Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse
February 5, 2013
A Bellaire, Texas nursing home employee that was arrested and charged last month for theft is scheduled to make her first court appearance this morning.
According to police reports, 34-year-old Dorcas Gbenda was working at the Gardens of Bellaire Nursing Home when relatives of one of the resident’s noticed that items were missing from the victim’s room. According to Chief Michael Leal of the Bellaire Police Department, the relatives installed a camera in the room shortly after their suspicions:
“The family members had suspected something was going on. They chose to place a camera in there. They involved us when they had a little bit of evidence. I think the camera did capture an employee going through the resident’s belongings.”
The video footage captured the nursing home abuse and showed Gbenda rummaging through the victim’s purse and taking cash, which according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, was $60. The incident happened last month on January 25. A few days later, police arrested Gbenda while she was working at the nursing home. She was removed from the facilities in handcuffed and charged her with theft from the elderly.
Gbenda was released on a $2,000 bond, but is expected to appear this morning for her first court appearance. Although criminal charges have been filed, the family of the victim still have the option of obtaining legal representation from a Texas nursing home abuse attorney and filing civil charges.
The administrators of the nursing home declined to comment on the situation, but there is no indication as of yet of Gbenda’s employment status at Gardens of Bellaire.
Gardens of Bellaire is a skilled and assisted living nursing home close to the Houston area that was rated by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the best nursing homes in the nation.
Texas CNA Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse
September 10th, 2010
A Texas woman was arrested Wednesday for alleged nursing home abuse at Grace Care Center Nursing Home. Police were notified by the nursing home administrator immediately following the Aug. 21 incident.
According to an arrest affidavit Sherree Denise James, a certified nurse aid, was heard by two other certificated nurse aids to be slapping an 83-year-old woman in the shower room as the elderly woman cried and told James to stop hitting her. When the two aids went to see what was going on the elderly woman’s face was “extremely red” and James was pulling her hair very hard causing pain and twisting the woman’s ear. The victim also had a bump on her head.
James, according to the report, told the two co-workers, “the way you control this resident is to bend her thumb back to her wrist if she gets out of control.”
The victim is now doing fine, said Pam Humphrey, administrator at Grace Care Center Nursing Home.
“We followed all of our policies and procedures,” said Humphrey. “(James) was let go after the incident happened, and she has not been back in this building since. It’s our duty to protect our residents.”
An internal investigation at the nursing home has been completed according to Humphrey.
Texas Among States with Most Nursing Home Abuse
December 19, 2012
In a recent report performed by the investigative journalism group, ProPublica, evidence suggests that Texas has more citations, warnings, and nursing home abuse incidents than most other states in the nation. Additionally, a 2011 report conducted by Medicaid issues the same concerns.
According to the Medicaid report, several nursing home workers in Texas have been found administering additional medication to nursing home residents in an attempt to ignore their needs. In addition, several incidents of abuse went unreported, resulting in heavy fines for one particular nursing home: Keeneland Nursing and Rehab, in Weatherford, Texas.
ProPublica uncovered even more nursing home abuse and neglect during their nationwide investigation of nursing homes. In fact, Texas has seen more serious citations for nursing home violations than any other state in the nation. It also ranks at an alarming 11th place in nursing home deficiencies, with California landing in the top spot.
Although it hasn’t been determined why Texas has so many nursing home violations, it’s been speculate that the sheer size of the state plays a huge factor. Nevertheless, several nursing homes have had to pay serious fines. Yet, in addition to state-mandated fines, some nursing homes could be facing additional fines if the victims’ loved ones retain a Texas nursing home abuse attorney and file for civil charges.
Wife of Nursing Home Abuse Victims Files Lawsuit in Texas
January 24th, 2013
The wife a former resident of a nursing home in Beaumont, Texas filed a medical malpractice lawsuit last week on behalf of her husband who suffered a fatal illness from sepsis.
Louise Holt, the spouse of John Holt, filed a medical malpractice suit in the Jefferson County District Court in Beaumont, against both Beaumont Healthcare Center in Lindbergh, and Pinnacle Healthcare Facilities of Texas.
John was a resident and a patient at the Beaumont Healthcare Center in Lindbergh from November of 2009 to November 2010. During this time period, the defendants allegedly failed to provide him with the standard, necessary, and proper medical care when they failed to recognize his dire health condition in a timely manner. As a result, John was never referred to a medical specialist that deals with the sepsis disease, which according the lawsuit, ultimately resulted in his untimely death.
“During the course of said treatment, John Edward Holt suffered the following injuries: death, attributable to: cardiopulmonary arrest due to sepsis,” Holt’s Texas nursing home abuse attorney stated in the lawsuit.
Louis Holt is suing for medical damages, the loss of a relationship with her husband, and mental and emotional suffering. There was no indication of the amount of damages in which Holt is seeking in the lawsuit. However, the state of Texas allows plaintiffs to file for up to $250,000 for an individual doctor, and up to $250,00 for a hospital, with a total cap of $500,000.
Although medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits vary according to state, Texas follows the medical negligence law, which states that a doctor and/or professional healthcare providers must adhere to the standard “duty of care.” If healthcare professionals violate the standard care procedures, it constitutes for a valid reason for victims to file for damages.
The Problem of Nursing Home Abuse Tort Reform in Texas
June 24, 2012
A recent article on a Texas news website discussed the negative impact tort reform is having on nursing home care. Due to tort reform that now caps the damages you can receive in a nursing home lawsuit, many lawyers are reluctant to take on nursing home cases and abuse and neglect is left unchecked.
A Texas nursing home abuse attorney is quoted in the article saying that the lack of Texas nursing home abuse lawsuits has led to a lot of injured people being left without adequate legal help.
The attorney is now representing two ex-nursing home workers who spoke out on the nursing home abuse they witnessed and were allegedly wrongfully terminated. She says the ex-employees witnessed physical and verbal abuse and neglect of patients at Princeton Place Rehabilitation and Healthcare.
The article encourages anyone looking for a good nursing home to check out the nursing home quality ratings online, talk to current residents about their care, and make frequent visits and unannounced visits to check on the care your loved one is receiving.
Texas Sexual Nursing Home Abuse
July 14, 2012
A former worker at the Homestead of Denison nursing home in Denison, Texas has been jailed after a resident accused the man of sexual assault.
The man is also wanted in Illinois for sexually assaulting a minor. He is being held on $80,000 bail.
There were not many details released in this nursing home abuse case but the 53-year-old man has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.
When most people think of nursing home abuse, images of neglected patients or nursing home workers physically assaulting patients may come to mind. However, sexual nursing home abuse is not at all uncommon and is one of the more disturbing forms of abuse found in care facilities.
If you were sexually assaulted in a nursing home, or if a loved one suffered this abuse, you have the right to pursue legal action and make sure the abuser as well as the nursing home is brought to justice for any negligence on their part.
The nursing home abuse lawyers of the McIver Brown Law Firm are specialists in nursing home abuse and neglect and we invite you to give them a call or fill out their contact form to discuss your legal options following abuse in a nursing home.
Nursing Home Abuse in Texas Leads to Suspensions
October 25, 2012
Earlier this week, four employees were suspended for allegedly abusing nursing home patients in a local Arlington nursing home.
According to a 400-page reports created by state investigators, an administrator, staff member, and two nursing aides at the Heritage Oaks Nursing Center, were found to be in violation of of the state’s mandated nursing home laws. Per the investigation, one of the employees, 43-year-old Maria Acosta, pulled the hair of a resident, Mynez Carter. The investigators stated that although Carter was refusing care by pushing and kicking, that in no way excuses any sort of physical abuse by the nursing home staff.
The report stems back to earlier this year in August, when hidden cameras revealed that Acosta was treating Carter roughly and negligently. Additionally, another worker was caught pinching Carter’s leg. After Carter’s family filed a report, investigators were at the scene shortly after. Acosta was arrested in her home after investigators reviewed the footage. She was charged with assault against an elderly person.
In addition to all four employees being suspended indefinitely, the nursing home was cited for neglect.
The nursing home has been taking the proper measures since the abuse occurred, and have met the required guidelines by educating its staff members on the proper rules for nursing home abuse and neglect.
Carter remains in the nursing home because of the required medical care, but family members have been monitoring her closely. Her daughter, Ruth Carter, stated that since the abuse has been caught, her mother has been in much better spirits. However, the family intends to keep a close eye on their mother indefinitely. The family has not yet stated whether they’ll be retaining a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Is Texas Enabling Nursing Home Abuse?
November 13, 2011
A major Texas newspaper is reporting that many violations at nursing homes across the state are going uncited and unpunished.
The Dallas Morning News is reporting that nursing home inspectors say they are discouraged by their supervisors from citing nursing home abuse and neglect. The newspaper also blames legislative changes and budget cuts for the proliferation of abuse throughout the state.
The newspaper’s analysis also showed that the state has nearly stopped issuing tough penalties like revoking licenses and government contracts from nursing homes found in violation of rules and regulations.
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services has denied the newspaper’s findings and says that inspectors are to do whatever it takes to protect nursing home residents.
NursingHomeAbuseCenter.org can report that many of our Texas visitors have contacted us looking for assistance with their nursing home abuse issues, including finding a good nursing home abuse lawyer, and it does appear that Texas needs to make adjustments to better prevent nursing home abuse and neglect in their state, as well as properly punish nursing homes and individuals when abuse is found.
Former Texas Caregiver Speaks from Jail About Nursing Home Abuse
June 20, 2013
A former Kaufman County, Texas caregiver who was arrested for nursing home abuse earlier this month, spoke to a local news station directly from jail.
According to documents, former nursing aide assistant, James Seaton, faces felony charges of nursing home abuse after an 88-year-old resident, Sammie Berry, was found with severe gashes on his head. Authorities arrested Seaton and charged him for the incident. The abuse reportedly occurred at the Kaufman Healthcare Center earlier this month. Seaton was helping Berry get dressed, when reportedly, he hit her, causing extensive marks and bruises.
While speaking through a glass wall in the Kaufman County Jail, Seaton attempted to explain to local news reporters what happened:
“I was turning her and my back kind of went out and I lost control of her, that’s when she bumped her head on the oxygen tank, which was close to the bed,” Seaton said.
In addition, Seaton claimed that he tried to tell the nurses what happened, but according to family members, no one was notified of the incident, and it was a hospice worker that found Berry lying unconscious with her faced bruised all over one side.
Seaton is now worried about taking care of his son, who he raises alone. He has been unable to come up with the $25,000 bond that would release him from jail while he awaits his court date.
Meanwhile, Steaton pleads with the family of the victim to understand it was an accident.
If you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, it’s imperative to have an experienced nursing home abuse attorney by your side. At McIver Brown law firm, we will fight to ensure that you get the justice that you deserve. For more information, give us a call for a free consultation.
DNA Lands Texas Man in Jail for Nursing Home Abuse Case
March 20, 2013
A former Brownwood, Texas aide has been accused of sexual nursing home abuse after his DNA matched up with a sample from the alleged victim.
According to police reports, Christopher Lynn Cantrell, 45, worked at West Texas nursing home in Brownwood when in July 2012, he reportedly sexually attacked a resident, a 68-year-old women. The victim is a disabled woman with mobility issues. She uses a wheelchair to move around and needs help with dressing and bathing. The attacks, according to the victim, occurred several times. She was able to save a sample of Cantrell’s DNA in a napkin, which she turned over to local authorities.
Last Friday, he was arrested and booked at the Brownwood County jail for nursing home abuse and sexual assault on the elderly. He remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. As of last week, Cantrell had not retained a defense attorney.
Cantrell denies the accusations, stating he has never touched any nursing home residents in any way that would be considered inappropriate. Additionally, he previously gave authorities a sample of his DNA without incident. However, when he was informed via an affidavit last week that his DNA matched the samples given to police by the victim, he claimed the elderly woman initiated sexual contact with him.
Along with criminal charges, Cantrell may also face civil charges should the victim seek assistance from a Texas nursing home abuse lawyer and file for civil damages.
Since the incident, Cantrell has been suspended from his nursing home aide job.
Close to Two People Suffer Nursing Home Abuse in Wilco, Texas Everyday
June 13, 2013
According to a recent report, over 700 cases of nursing home abuse were filed last year in Williamson County, Texas. A total of 500 residents associated with these cases were confirmed as victims.
Per the Texas Department of Family and Children Services, between 2011 and 2012, 514 victims were found to have suffered from nursing home abuse, and in nearby Travis County, another 1,694 victims were determined to have been abused. As a result, state authorities will be holding a candlelight vigil tonight in Georgetown, in an attempt to shine light on the increasing amounts of abuse and neglect occurring in Texas nursing homes. This Saturday also marks the United Nations International Elder Abuse Day.
Beth Engelking, the assistant commissioner for the Texas Adult Protective Services (APS), suggest that everyone should be involved and should also understand the warning signs of abuse:
“Everyone needs to know how to recognize the signs of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and to report them when you see them,” said Engelking.
Per APS, over 59,000 confirmed cases of nursing home abuse occurred last year, in Texas alone. In Texas, there is an estimated population of 2.4 million people ages 65 and older. Many of these citizens reside in area nursing homes.
The candlelight vigil will be held tonight at the St. John’s United Methodist Church off of East Avenue.
If your loved one has been victim to nursing home, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can assist you. Our leading Texas nursing home abuse lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to help you with your case. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Alleged Violation in Standards of Care at Texas Nursing Home Involving Broken Bones
A Texas nursing home is being sued after a resident suffered broken bones stemming from an alleged breach in the standard of medical care. According to the lawsuit, the Dallas resident has filed a lawsuit against LTC Gulf Healthcare DBA Gulf Health Care Center-Port Arthur, as well as LTC-Park Manor, Inc.
The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff, a woman who was unable to walk, became a resident of Gulf Healthcare Center in 2009. In December 2013, her daughter noticed a deformity on her right foot, which was later identified as fractured fibula and tibia. The fractures were diagnosed as injuries requiring substantial force, which raised concern since the woman was unable to walk on her own. The woman was treated by an orthopedist, which included a cast.
Broken Bones under Investigation
The circumstances surrounding the broken bones and subsequent medical care is currently under investigation. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home staff remained unaware of the injuries until the woman’s daughter pointed them out. Further, the suit alleges that the nursing home staff failed to provide proper supervision and care to prevent such an injury, and failed to document the events that led to the injury.
The woman claims that the nursing home and staff were willful in their actions. She is pursuing damages for medical expenses, physical pain and impairment, disfigurement, and mental anguish. The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 in damages, plus court costs.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home staff members and caregivers are tasked with providing quality care, supervision, and medical attention if needed. When these standards of care are breached, the consequences for the resident can be dire. Fortunately, nursing home residents have rights, and should not be afraid to fight for them.
If you or a loved one has suffered a broken bone while in a nursing home, and believe that proper standards of care were not upheld, contact a nursing home abuse attorney right away. It is important to be diligent in exploring your legal rights and determining if you have a case.
$2,224,108 Awarded in Nursing Home Case
October 11, 2012
Edna Anderson, a 95-year-old female, fell at Parkwood Retirement Community this past July. She had been lying on the floor for approximately 24 hours until one of the facility’s employees found her. Anderson claimed that there was no response to her emergency call device, and that employees discarded the device before it could be tested. As a result of her extended immobility, Anderson argued that she developed rhabdomyolsis and a urinary tract infection and required several months of physical rehabilitation.
Parkwood Retirement Community claimed that the device was not defective, and that its employees were unaware of any defects. They argued that Anderson attempted to use an older, deactivated call device instead. The jury ultimately found Parkwood negligent and grossly negligent, and Anderson was awarded $2.224,108.62 in damages.
Horrific tales of nursing home abuse throughout our country remind us that we need to be vigilant about reporting any suspicions we have of abuse or neglect to the authorities. If you or a family member was abused we also encourage you to contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
Former Owner Faces Nursing Home Abuse Charges Today in Court
April 11, 2013
A woman charged with nursing home abuse in 2011 is facing her charges this morning in a Corpus Christi, Texas courthouse.
According to reports, Namjeh Griffin was the owner of both Affordable Quality Care Assisted Living and Adult Loving Care in the suburb area of Flour Bluff in Corpus. In 2011, investigators discovered that Griffin was violating several state laws, including neglect and abuse. Residents were victims to several incidents of physical and verbal abuse along with neglect so severe that many were in weak conditions.
The worst abuse surfaced when investigators determined that several of the residents were forced to wear plastic bags around their necks that were filled with their own feces and urine. Soiled diapers were placed in the bags before they were put around their necks and left there for days.
In April 2011, the state forced both nursing homes to shut down. Only 16 residents were remaining in the homes at that point, and were allowed to stay there with state staff until other living arrangements could be made.
The Department of Aging and Services said that a total of 55 residents in both nursing homes were being subjected to severe abuse and neglect. In 2012, Griffin settled a civil case with the state for $350,000 and the promise to never operate a car facility again. However, the victims and their family members have the right to retain a Texas nursing home abuse attorney and file for civil damages as well.
If found guilty, Griffin could face an extended prison sentence.
Nursing Home Abuse Tied to High Hospitalization Rates
April 26, 2013
According to JAMA Internal Medicine, a new study reveals that victims of elder and nursing home abuse are linked to overwhelming high hospitalization rates of older adults, and more prone to frequent hospital visits well after the abuse occurred.
The study was comprised of U.S. researchers, led by Dr. XinQi Dong of Rushmore University Medical Center, and Dr. Melissa Simon, of Northwestern University Medical Center, as part of the Chicago Health and Aging Project.
By utilizing social services reports along with reports from the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the studied determined that the hospitalization rate for elders who reported abuse were more than double of those who did not. Reported abuse ranged from physical, psychological, financial, and neglect.
According to Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, psychological abuse and caregiver neglect were the most common forms of abuse that the hospitalized patients endured. Dr. Wolf-Klein also stated that this is a trend that seems to be increasing, despite efforts to raise public awareness:
“Today, approximately 10 percent of older adults are victims of abuse in the United States, and the trend is increasing,” Dr. Wolf-Klein said.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been victim to assisted living abuse, an experienced attorney may be able to assist in recovering damages for pain and suffering, financial loss, medical bills, emotional trauma, and more. Our leading nursing home abuse attorneys in Texas at McIver Brown law firm have decades of experience, and have helped numerous clients go on to win maximum financial compensation. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Nursing Home Residents with Criminal Past Could Lead to Nursing Home Abuse
June 3, 2011
A Texas news station has found that The Lake Worth Nursing Home in Fort Worth, Texas is caring for sex offenders, convicted felons, and prison parolees. The news station discovered that these criminals are not in need of nursing care but could be found out and about in the community, riding bikes, shopping, smoking and drinking.
The nursing home receives taxpayer money which has led to state regulatory authorities and lawmakers questioning if these people qualify for Medicaid funded nursing home care.
Of course a more obvious and dangerous concern is the threat these criminals, some of whom are sex offenders, pose to other nursing home residents and staff, and the community. Those living close to the nursing home have described the neighborhood as feeling like a jail with the criminals in the community.
“These people could potentially pose a problem for the people who work there, for the patients, and the neighborhood. I worry about that,” said Senator Jane Nelson.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse it is very important you contact a good nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to financial compensation and by speaking out against abuse in nursing homes you can help prevent further abuse.
Pain Killer Addicted Nurse Convicted of Nursing Home Abuse
September 1st, 2010
A former nurse was found guilty of stealing and using medication she stole from her nursing home patients and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Olivia Moore, 56, worked at Corpus Christi Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Texas and was found guilty on three counts possessing and using prescription drugs.
The prosecution also argued that nursing home abuse involving Moore pulling on patient tubes caused injury and eventually the death of one elderly resident two days after the incident. Moore, however, was not convicted of that charge.
Moore admitted that while working at several nursing homes and hospitals in Corpus Christi, Kingsville, and Falfurrias she routinely stole and used drugs.
“I have been addicted to pain medication since about 1977, two years after I graduated from nursing school,” Moore told a Sheriff’s Deputy in 2001. “I have used pain medication such as Tylenol 3, Percocet and Leritine but progressed to Demerol. I have always obtained the pain medication from my various nursing jobs. It has always been detected and I have always been terminated, except for charter hospital in Corpus Christi.”
Moore told officers she would inject herself with medications and then return to work high. She also explained she would replace what she stole with other medications.
“I also took several Hydrocodone tablets from packages and would take two at a time as needed during my shifts,” said Moore. “I replaced the Hydrocodone with Robaxit. I had to cut some of the Robaxit down to make them fit back in the package.”
Moore has worked over a dozen nursing jobs in the Coastal Bend area.
Will Texas Ever Fix Its Nursing Home Problem?
More than once in the past five years, Texas has been ranked as one of the worst states in the U.S. for nursing home care. One such rating should be bad enough, but a continuing trend of poor ratings begs the question, Will Texas ever fix its nursing home problem? Read on to learn more about the problems with Texas nursing homes, as well as what you can do to protect the rights of your elderly loved ones.
Texas Nursing Home Problems
Every year, states are ranked in terms of nursing home quality. The information gathered on a statewide basis is then compared to the national average, painting a picture of how nursing homes perform across the U.S. Primarily, this information is used to assess nursing homes that are certified by Medicaid or Medicare programs.
Three out of the past five years, Texas has been ranked one of the worst states for nursing home quality. In May 2015, data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found the following:
- 8 out of 10 Texas nursing homes failed to meet or surpass an “above average” health inspection rating
- Texas nursing homes did not receive any “above average” grades in any category reviewed, and completely failed in 6 of the 8.
- 95 percent of Texas nursing homes have been cited for violations of state and/or federal law violations.
- Only 12 percent of Texas nursing homes earned a 5-star rating
- 28 percent of Texas nursing homes earned a 1-star rating
- Specifically related to staffing, 35 percent of Texas nursing homes earned a 1-star rating, meaning that a large portion of nursing homes do not have adequate nursing staff or Registered Nurse (RN) hours to meet the needs of residents.
Medicaid and Medicare Considerations
Medicaid benefits pay for 60 percent of nursing home residents. Further, the vast majority of nursing home residents receive Medicare benefits, making these two programs extremely important to the elderly community. What current research is showing is that many nursing homes across the nation (one-third) are failing to meet the requirements set by the federal government in order for them to participate and be certified to accept Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
Not only does low-star quality ratings indicate violations of state and federal requirements, it is also a sign that nursing home residents may not be getting the care and attention that they deserve and have a legal right to.
What Texas Nursing Home Problems Mean for Your Family
If you have an elderly loved one who needs care beyond what you can provide or requires temporary rehabilitation, a nursing home may be the best option for your family. Unfortunately, you may find it difficult to find a facility that meets your expectations. Further, you may find yourself constantly concerned about your loved one and unsure of how to recognize warning signs or get help if you suspect they are not receiving proper care.
To help, we have compiled a list of common warning signs that you can watch out for that may indicate inadequate care, abuse, or neglect. Consider the following:
Resident Warning Signs
- Unexplained bruising, bleeding, wounds, or burns
- Sudden changes in weight, eating habits, or dehydration
- Poor hygiene, such as soiled clothing, unsanitary room conditions, or body odor
- Infections or bedsores
- Signs of depression, withdrawal, or fearfulness
- Unexplained changes in financial situation or disappearance of personal property
Facility Warning Signs
- Odor of urine or feces in public or resident areas
- Dirty or poorly maintained buildings and grounds
- Torn carpeting, bad lighting, or other mobility hazards
- Staff unavailable by telephone, or not visible/available during visits
- Staff refusing to answer questions or leave resident’s room during visits
- Nursing staff unavailable to answer questions or address concerns
- Overcrowding of resident rooms or common areas
- Poor health and safety ratings or grades
Just because one or more of these warning signs is present does not necessarily mean that your loved one is being abused. It may, however, be enough reason for you to consider your options and learn more about your loved one’s legal right to a safe, quality nursing home environment and level of care.
Getting Help with Nursing Home Concerns
We cannot change the ratings and problems with Texas nursing homes. What we can do is continue to be devoted to the rights of elderly Texans and their families. Whether you are concerned about substandard care, or have proof that your loved one has been abused or neglected, our team can help you understand state and federal laws and take action to defend the rights of you and your loved ones.
We manage nursing home abuse and neglect cases, including cases involving:
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Elopement or wandering
- Medication errors
- Wrongful death
Our team has successfully litigated numerous cases involving these, and many other, areas of nursing home abuse or neglect. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients by taking an aggressive approach in holding accountable those who harm our clients and their families.
Contact Texas Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If you are concerned about the health and safety of your loved one, contact us today. Our team has the skills and resources you need to determine if your loved one is being abused or neglected, explore legal options, and get the results that you need to protect your family. Do not let your situation overwhelm you when you do not have to face it alone. We are here to help!
Workers Allege They Were Fired for Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
April 4, 2012
Workers at a San Antonio, Texas nursing home are suing the facility saying they were fired for reporting nursing home abuse.
Two former workers at Princeton Place Rehab and Health Care Center say they were fired after reporting that workers at the facility were verbally and physically abusing residents.
The nursing home has declined to comment on the situation at this point.
A lawyer for the two former workers said Princeton Place Rehab and Health Care Center has a history of hiring abusive workers. She warns that if you have a loved one at the nursing home you should visit them often and check for signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.
It is always helpful when staff at a nursing home speak out on abuse or neglect; but sadly, this usually is not the case, and it is up to loved ones of nursing home residents to look for signs of abuse and report any suspicions to the authorities immediately.
Additionally, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family fight for justice if a family member has been abused or neglected in a nursing home.
Family Fights to Have Court Allow Their Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
August 8, 2012
An Illinois man’s lawsuit against a La Salle County nursing home has been brought to an appeals court to determine if the nursing home can be sued even though it is government run. The man is suing on behalf of a female family member who sexually abused by a fellow nursing home resident with a history of sexual abuse.
The family is seeking at least $250,000 in damages saying the nursing home was negligent in protecting the woman. A county circuit judge ruled earlier in the year that the nursing home cannot be sued because it is run by the government and has tort immunity.
A nursing home abuse attorney for the family argued that the judge misinterpreted the law saying that nursing homes are not specifically granted protection in these cases. The appeals court is scheduled to rule on the case in the fall.
Three other lawsuits were filed in this case of sexual nursing home abuse and all were settled out of court.