A visitor of a nursing home posted a photo on Facebook of an elderly woman alleging that she had been sitting in her own vomit for hours. The person who posted the photo stated that when he arrived to visit his uncle around 7:30 p.m., he noticed the woman sitting in her wheelchair in the hallway, asking for help. Around 9:30 p.m., the man alleges that the elderly woman was in the exact same place, still sitting in her own vomit. The man also stated he asked if someone would assist her and was told by nursing home employees they would do so "when they have time." Following the exchange with nursing home staff, he took a photo of the elderly woman and posted it to Facebook.
Human Rights Watch published a study finding that approximately 179,000 nursing home residents are medicated with antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses.
A Georgia-based non-profit and associated companies have agreed to pay $1.25M for claims that they provided effectively worthless services to residents in a Mississippi nursing home. The lawsuit was filed against nursing care conglomerate owners, Julie and Douglas Mittleider, and their companies for rendering prison-like conditions to elderly residents. A string of former complaints, and even a state-wide ban in Massachusetts, precedes the Mittleiders' reputation for providing substandard care that has left residents severely injured and dead.
Continuity of care is essential to providing quality health care for patients. Unfortunately for many loved ones in Texas, our state is ranked near the bottom in ensuring stability of health services in nursing homes. According to the AARP, the national median for nursing home staff turnover is 38.1 percent; by contrast, Texas has a dismal annual average of 72 percent. Particularly, low turnover rates are important for nursing home residents who, more than most, need a staff that builds relationships with its patients. In doing so, patients and professionals develop more fulfilling bonds that lead to better overall quality of care, giving patients the feeling of community, and the warmth of home versus constant change and the thought of being alone.
Unfortunately, our community experiences more than its share of elderly abuse. While our law firm has long focused on elderly abuse in nursing homes, assisted living centers, rehabilitation units and hospital, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has just launched a new countywide, bilingual elder abuse prevention campaign in honor of Elder Abuse Prevention Month. The campaign is designed to educate the community about the signs of abuse against senior citizens.
According to a report released by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, roughly one-third of nursing home patients released from hospitals were harmed by their caregivers. National Public Radio further reports that most of the harms result from neglect and errors in judgment.
Recently in St. Louis, Missouri the daughters of a man who died after wandering away from a nursing home filed a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging negligence.