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Nursing Home Resident's Bill of Rights Includes the Right to:

Participate in Planning Your Care and Medical Treatment

Choose Your Own Physician

Manage Personal Finances

Privacy, Dignity, and Respect

Personal Possessions

Voice Grievance without Retaliation

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By asking questions and looking for signs at the facility you can better prevent instances of nursing home abuse from occurring:

1. Are the home and the current administrator licensed?

2. Does the home conduct background checks on all staff?

3. Does the home have special services units?

4. Does the home have abuse prevention training?
 

Nursing Home Abuse News

Teens Charged with Nursing Home Abuse
Criminal charges were filed Dec. 2 in Freeborn County, Minnesota against two teenage girls who worked at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea, a small town about 90 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Read More...

Facts That Can Help You Make the Right Choice
When independent living is no longer an option for elderly loved ones, many families will need to find a live-in facility that will be devoted to taking care of their aging family member. The various options available usually fall into one of two categories: either assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Read More...

Nursing Home Violations Found to be Common
A recent report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has found that nearly all nursing homes in the U.S. have received citations for health and safety violations in 2007. Read More...

Nursing Home Worker Accused
A previous nursing home worker in Ohio has been accused of more than 14 felony charges stemming from his time at the facility. Read More...

Nursing Home Resident Beaten to Death in IL
An elderly man who was living in a nursing home on the South Side of Chicago was recently beaten to death and his former residence is now being evaluated. Read More...

Illinois Nursing Home Sued by Resident’s Family
The family of a woman who died at East Peoria Gardens nursing home earlier this year is suing the facility for placing residents in a “dangerous environment.” Read More...

Two Nurses Jailed For Withholding Patient Medication
Two Florida nurses have been jailed on multiple charges of abuse and neglect after failing to administer to nursing home residents their required medication. If convicted, the women could face heavy fines and prison sentences. Read More...

March 2005 "Largest private nursing home fined for failing to report abuse"
Iowa's largest privately owned nursing home, with about 190 residents, has been fined for failing to promptly report allegations that physical and verbal nursing home abuse had occurred with one of its employees. Read More...

November 2004 "Whistleblower nursing home abuse lawsuit settles"
A whistleblower lawsuit was filed in February 2000 against owners and operators of a South Side Chicago nursing home. The former nursing home workers called the facility “a house of filth, terror and death.” Alleging between October 1998 and June 30, 2000 the nursing home residents were “routinely abused, neglected, mistreated, sexually assaulted, medicated as a form of punishment, unsupervised and otherwise untreated for their mental health, physical disability and substance abuse problems,” the case included very serious reports of inhumane conditions. Read More...

August 2004 "Iowa nursing home workers may have abusive or criminal history"
Iowa state officials have said that hundreds of people have been authorized to work in Iowa nursing homes despite accusations of abuse or criminal acts. Due to state confidentiality laws, even the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which regulates nursing homes, cannot get access to information about the nursing home workers. Advocates for the elderly believe Iowa's confidentiality laws regarding the protection of elderly only allow the continuation of nursing home abuse to continue.

If you have any questions regarding nursing home abuse, please contact us.

May 2004 "Numbers show nursing home abuse in the form of neglect is the most common"
Considered one of the most “hidden” societal crimes, elderly abuse is sometimes hard to expose and then to punish. Elderly abuse that can occur in nursing homes or under the care of family can range from financial abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Instances of financial exploitation amongst elderly abuse are on the rise, though most reports of abuse will be because of neglect.

If you have any questions regarding nursing home neglect, please contact us.

April 23, 2004 "Forensic entomologist can determine severity of nursing home neglect"

October 19, 2003 "Nursing Home Abuse Owner Criminal Prosecution Appears to be on the Rise"

Federal official believe inadequate staffing is the biggest cause of nursing home abuse neglect in facilities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that 9 out of 10 nursing homes employ too few workers to provide adequate care, and over 40% of all homes need to increase their nurse aide staff by at least 50%.

Congress is considering legislation that would establish federal criminal penalties for nursing home abuse and neglect. If convicted, it could result in prison terms for individuals, in addition to corporate fines of up to $3 million. The nursing home abuse and neglect bill would also require the homes immediately report any reasonable suspicion of a crime to law enforcement officials.

According to a member of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, criminal prosecution of nursing home abuse owners appears to be increasing.

Recent nursing home abuse cases include:

Florida Nursing Home Abuse:
In September 2003, owners of the Jewish Senior Living home in West Palm Beach were charged with eight counts of nursing home abuse neglect. Just days before that, owners in Riviera Beach were arrested and charged with three counts of neglect.

Georgia Nursing Home Abuse:
In February 2003, an owner of a nursing home pleaded guilty to 15 counts of nursing home abuse and neglect. She was sentenced to 15 years probation and 500 hours of community service. Contact us for more information on Georgia nursing home abuse.

Hawaii Nursing Home Abuse:
In 2002, prosecutors got a manslaughter conviction against a nursing home after a resident died of septic shock because bedsore infections had continued to go untreated.

Louisiana Nursing Home Abuse:
Owners of a nursing home agreed to pay $750,000 and to quit the nursing home business for seven years after federal prosecutors considered criminal charges because an 87-year old woman was strangled by a wheelchair seat belt.

Michigan Nursing Home Abuse:
In April 2003, a Detroit nursing home medical director and nursing director were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the heat-related death of a resident. The prosecutors alleged the nursing home lacked air condition and fans and the windows would not open.

Missouri Nursing Home Abuse:
In February 2003, a nursing home management company president was sentenced to a year in prison for failing to report the beating death of a nursing home resident. In August 2003, another home manager was charged with involuntary manslaughter in a mentally disabled nursing home resident’s death.

New York Nursing Home Abuse:
At the start of October 2003, a New York nursing home chain agreed to pay the state $3 million to settle claims that the homes failed to provide adequate care to nursing home patients. By agreeing to settle the claims of nursing home abuse, the owners were able to avoid criminal charges that had come from a grand jury investigation after reports of testimony of nursing home employees.

In June 2003, the Hallmark Nursing Centre chain pleaded guilty to criminal charges, including inadequate care, falsification of patient files, and deliberately employing too few caregivers to meet resident needs leading the New York nursing home owners to agree to refrain from operating any New York nursing homes.

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

April 11, 2003 "Nursing Home Reform Surprises Many"
The nursing home reform bill that passed took many by surprising because of the Senate resistance to nursing home reform in the past few years. The vote was a dominating 33-0 vote in favor of the nursing home bill that if passing in the House of Representatives will include increasing fines if nursing home violations exist, eliminating the current loopholes allowing nursing home operators to escape fines of serious violations, making nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect concealment a felony, implementing more rigorous background checks for nursing home owners and employees, and allowing nursing homes that have an established record for superior care to undergo fewer inspections.

April 10, 2003 "Alabama nursing home abuse Issues Result in Rallies"
There were over 400 people in attendance at the Alabama State House. The turnout was to rally against bills that would restrict Alabama nursing home abuse lawsuits. Senate committees held a public hearing on nursing home abuse legislation, including a $250,000 cap on damages against nursing homes. Alabama state director of AARP thinks that the nursing home bills will jeopardize the safety and security of nursing home residents. The testimony was mostly from advocacy group members, nurses, and people that have had loved ones under the care of nursing home abuse.

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.


March 25, 2003 "Nursing Home Reform Tackled by Senate"

The issue of nursing home abuse has been one of the largest legal challenges of this time. Over the past three years especially, any nursing home abuse legislation that has seemed to get through the House has gotten held up in the Senate. Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder is hoping that despite the nursing home abuse bill that has been revised 28 times so far and become weakened that it will finally go through.

March 3, 2003 "Tennessee Nursing Home Violations Lessened" A Tennessee nursing home that was categorized in immediate jeopardy and received a 70-page list of health violations had to pay the state nearly $3500 a day from January 31-February 21. The state has found that the nursing home is still breaking health codes at a lesser degree, so the home must pay at least $50 a day to the state. The state will have another investigation in the next few months to see if the nursing home has complied.

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

February 19, 2003 "House Approves Controversial Bill Limiting Jury Awards Against Nursing Home Abuse" The House approved a controversial bill in Arkansas that would limit jury awards against nursing homes. The bill was asked to not be sent immediately to the Senate in order to allow any consideration of further amendments. If passed, the bill would limit punitive damages to $1 million and has a provision that would require lawyers to prove that a specific act was committed against their client. Some House members against the bill felt that it “strikes a blow at the absolute weakest among us” and that it is “fundamentally wrong and unfair.”

February 17, 2003 "Federal Report Finds South Carolina Nursing Home Inspectors Inadequate" A federal report was issued last March and found that the agency that is responsible for inspecting South Carolina nursing homes has failed to respond on time to a third of the most serious complaints. This information is required by federal law to be made within two days in the most serious cases of nursing home abuse. Insiders claim there are not enough people to enforce the state’s nursing home laws and regulations.

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

August 8, 2001 “Nursing Home Abuse Report: Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes” Reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal elderly abuse are "numerous" among the nation's nursing homes, according to a congressional report released today. The study, prepared by the minority (Democratic and Independent) staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, finds that 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States — 5,283 facilities — were cited for almost 9,000 instances of elderly abuse over a recent two-year period, from January 1999 to January 2001. Common elderly abuse problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, the report said. Read the entire story…

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July 30, 2001 “Tracking Abuse In Nursing Homes” Alice Oshatz is an 85 year old woman who can no longer handle living on her own but does not want to burden her children. A nursing home seems to be the only option, an option she never wanted to have. She is not the only one who feels that way. Eighty-three percent of elderly Americans would stay in their homes until the end if they could. Thirty percent say they'd rather die than go into a nursing home. And their fears may be well founded. Nursing home inspection documents show that more than a quarter of American nursing homes were repeatedly cited for serious elderly abuse violations that caused death or injury to patients. In California, a third of the homes have been cited for elderly abuse causing serious harm or death to patients. In 1998, less than 2 percent of California nursing homes had no elderly abuse violations. A CBS News analysis of the federal government's nursing home inspection database finds more than 1,000 homes were cited last year for hiring staff with a history of abuse. Read the entire story…

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July 30, 2001 “Nursing Home Abuse Widespread” Almost one of every three nursing homes in the United States has been cited for elderly abuse or other violations, according to a government report released Monday. The report, prepared at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, found that over a two-year period from January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2001, all violations reported in nursing homes "had at least the potential to harm nursing home residents." Of the more than 17,000 nursing homes nationwide, 5,283 nursing homes had been cited for an elderly abuse violation. Read the entire story…


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April 23, 2001 “One Expert’s Opinion: Nursing Home Crisis Will Grow Worse, Says
Susan Eaton,”
The nation is facing a severe crisis in how it will care for its elderly. In Massachusetts, 56 nursing homes have closed in the last two years. California is facing a severe shortage of qualified caregivers as is Pennsylvania and many other states. Forty out of fifty states have task forces in place to address this pressing issue. The problems will only get worse because the demand for adequate nursing home and home care will increase as baby-boomers age.

Susan Eaton is an assistant professor of public policy and has studied the link between human resource personnel management and the quality of patient care in nursing homes. “The federal government, through the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has commissioned several studies to examine mandating minimum staff ratios. Many quality problems, including safety, arise from under-staffing, either because of too few trained staff or because of poor management practices. If such ratios are mandated, nursing home managers will have to rethink their human resource policies and allocate more money to recruiting, attracting, and retaining nursing staffs. In addition, federal funds are needed to study best practices and to increase enforcement to punish egregious repeat offenders as well as to encourage states to experiment with solutions.” Read the entire story...

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

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“Nursing-Home Neglect Rampant” Marion Heide’s life ended at 88, with Marion bruised and bleeding, curled into a ball in a nursing home bed, so scared of the nurses who were supposed to help her that she cried when they came near. Her decline began with a scraped leg. Without the care she needed, the scrape turned into a sore. The skin around it turned black, and infection sank to the bone. Finally, doctors cut off her leg. Marion died three months later.

Jurors understood that she was near the end of her life, sick with diabetes and a bad heart. That didn't excuse her final 11 months. They slapped the nursing home's owner and its operator - a corporation that runs more than 100 nursing homes across the Southeast - with a negligence verdict and $6.5 million in compensatory damages. When the jurors said they wanted to consider punitive damages, too, the defendants' lawyers settled for an even $10 million and ended the case there.

Despite federal and state laws, hundreds of inspectors across the country and years of newspaper and TV horror stories, elderly abuse and neglect remain cruel realities. One nursing home in four has severe deficiencies that endanger people's health or their lives, according to a recent federal study. Advocates for reform say that figure is low, and they note that the aging of the baby boom generation promises to exacerbate the problem.

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August 3, 1998 “Shining A Light On Abuse” In a written statement provided to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Oliva says her mother Marie Espinoza, who was suffering from a degenerative brain disease, had bruises, bedsores and a broken pelvis within months after her 1995 arrival at the Orangetree Convalescent Hospital. Food was often left at the foot of her bed, out of her reach. She began to lose weight. "She always seemed to be starving or begging for water," says Oliva in her official account. At Extended Care Hospital, Espinoza suffered severe dehydration and bedsores. Last January she entered Palm Terrace Convalescent Center. The nursing home said she died after choking on food, but Oliva plans to tell the committee that this makes no sense: Espinoza was supposed to be fed through a tube. All three nursing homes deny any wrongdoing. Read the entire story…

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

October 27, 1997 “Fatal Neglect” Bessie Seday recounts her experiences in a California nursing home, Creekside Care Convalescent Hospital. Unfortunately Bessie’s account is not a rare thing anymore, as 1 out of 4 nursing homes every year is cited for elderly abuse causing death or serious injury to a resident. She realized the nightmare that had become her home immediately. "I couldn't get anybody's attention, starting on the fourth day," recalls the bed-bound 84-year-old. "You'd have your call light on for hours, but nobody came." What made her waiting more desolate was the near total deprivation of sunlight during her four months at Creekside. "It was a dungeon," she says. "I really would have liked to see the sunshine, but they never put us outside." Things only got worse when the sunset, and the staff ignored calls for help or painkillers. "The screaming is what got to me the worst, the screaming when the lights went out," she says. "I couldn't fall asleep until 1 or 2 in the morning with all that screaming going on." Read the entire story…

For more nursing home abuse information, contact us to speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

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