Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spy Pills, Toothbrush Saliva & Gov't Data

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.      Like a shotgun blast to my middle

2.      Boomers struggling to recover

3.      Digital media – pros and cons

4.      Spy pills, toothbrush saliva &
government databases



Democrats and

Friday, October 19, 2012



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10 Ways to Fly Under the Radar, DIY Water Filters

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       10 Ways to fly ‘under-the-radar’

2.      Using Food Shed Maps

3.      DIY water filter & purifier plans

4.      Track Me if You Can+More on an Over
Criminalized America


A man's admiration for

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tips for Removing Credit Judgements, Halloween Deals

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Citizen Ownership Rights

2.      Best deals in October, for Halloween

3.      Tips for removing credit judgements

4.      Free software programs


The greater the power,  the more dangerous the abuse

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My favorite political lies, Over Criminalizing, Arrest Proof Yourself

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.      Non-stop criminalization of Americans

2.      My favorite political lies

3.      Free mini-NLP Course, Arrest-proof

4.      The latest on full body scans



“The truth
will set you free,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Who Will Save America? Debt-Free Tips, SpareOne Cell Phone

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Becoming debt-free

2.      SpareOne cell phone uses a single AA

3.      Disable Facebook’s facial recognition

4.      Best holiday layaway plans for 2012

5.      Traitors Among

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Worm Composting, Shotgun Survival, 77 Items to Stock Up

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       New, Free Downloads: 77 Items to Stock up on+Shotgun

2.      Pros of Worm Composting

3.      7 For Real At-Home Job Resources

4.      Saving on Pet Food

5.      Is it more than just a

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oddball Zombie Services, 10 things to Stop Buying, Bankrupt USA

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Oddball stuff for the Zombie Apocalypse

2.      Little Hope, Little Change-Why I don’t
drink the Kool-aid

3.      Half the workforce to be temps?

4.      Bankrupting the nation, one federal
agency at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why You Should Avoid Smart Phones

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

 Causes of the
Middle Class Stagnation

Extra Cash for the holidays

Why you should avoid Smart Phones

Why have there been no arrests in the Wall Street

Good decisions

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Giving up Freedom for Security-It's Costing us Billions

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

Dysfunctional Politicians-Giving up Freedom

The growth of tent cities in America

Fall Harvest Lookup site

How to Bypass the phone menu in large corporations


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scavenging, Squatting & Scrounging, Do I Really Need to Prepare?



Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Scavenging, Squatting & Scrounging

2.      Do I really need to prepare?

3.      Free online gunsmithing video course

4.      Why Bureaucrats are more dangerous

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why Americans are Easily Fooled, Shipping Container Homes

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.      Mid-wage jobs vanishing, what to do

2.      Shipping container homes

3.      Why Americans are so easily fooled


The whole aim of
practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Who Needs Terrorists? We have Bureaucrats to Destroy the US

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

 Who Needs Terrorists?  We have bureaucrats to destroy the country

Help for those
experiencing hard times

Free Training &
medical care for Veterans

Bigger isn’t
always better


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tips for using the 2nd oldest profession, Preparing for hunting season







Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Tips for better bartering

2.      Tips on getting ready for hunting

3.      Easy camp bread recipe, Apprenticeship

4.      Wikileaks guide to

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preparing for Civil Unrest, Easy, DIY Beer, Reinventing Community

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

 Re-inventing a city

Rep. Roscoe-Get prepared now for civil unrest

Collapsible electric car introduced, Easy DIY Beer

The Right to Free Speech becoming endangered



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Taking back America from Dysfunctional Politicians-If you have the cajones


Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

1.       Taking America back from dysfunctional politicians

2.      Start your winter garden-Free

3.      FreeStuff Hunter

4.      FEMA Camps-Disturbing video from Jesse


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy is he who owes nothing-Financial Stranglehold Solutions

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

This Issue:

Long term
survival for your community

Financially-How to Cut Expenses

New TV

Compact hydro
plant-grow 10,000 vegetables

Felix qui nihil debet." ("

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Surviving in a Black Market Economy-Guns n Ammo, Breast Milk, Body Parts

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.  Will the American Dream Continue?

2.  Can you Survive in a Black Market Economy?

3.  DIY Bicycle Generator Plans

4.  Garden Refrigerator Pickles

Men, it
has been well said, think in

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Four Step Plan for Weathering the Financial Storm-Survive Tough Times

Surviving Tough Times

Becoming Independent during challenging times

©2012-2013 Bruce David

A Four Step Plan for
Weathering Financial Storms


I want to see
a show of hands.  Which one of you is
responsible for the recession?

For the past
35 years Congressional policies have bankrupted our country.  I don’t recall signing any of the

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Be a Compliant Citizen: Domestic Spying Increases

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Fight back against unfair debt collectors

2.      Interrogation
resistance techniques, more civil liberty resources

3.      Bucky
Box-help for organic farmers

4.      Domestic
spying on citizens

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Police Abuse of Civil Liberties Increases-How to Protect Yourself

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       Police abuse-protecting your civil liberties

2.      Keeping your
home safe during vacations

3.      Become a
civil liberties activist-brother, we need them!

4.      Asset
Forfeiture abuse by

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Americans Gave Away Their Freedom & Became Poor

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.      How Americans gave away their freedom
& became poor

Free Consumer
Resource Guides, Cut Commute Costs

Self Watering
Containers, Save a Life Simulator


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Family alleges relative was victim of abuse at St. Louis nursing home

The family of a resident at a St. Louis County nursing home says their 68-year-old relative had to be taken to the hospital after suffering horrific injuries from alleged nursing home neglect. The news comes within days after a criminal elderly abuse investigation was launched against St. John’s Place.
While the Missouri Department of Health is not officially talking about the allegations, police have confirmed they were told of the incidents.
Gail Drmacich, the family member of a now former resident, saw a News 4 story and said she wanted to paint a troubling picture of what’s really going on inside the St. John’s Place facility.
“This is more neglect, I would say more neglect,” said Drmacich, who cleaned out her mother-in-law’s room out Tuesday. “She’s got bruises on her, could be from a fall I can’t tell you.”Another family alleges relative was victim of abuse at St. Louis County nursing home | St. Louis:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

National Quality Forum: Serious Reportable Events; Formerly "Never Events"

NQF: Serious Reportable Events: Preventing adverse events in healthcare is central to NQF's patient safety efforts. To ensure that all patients are protected from injury while receiving care, NQF has developed and endorsed a set of Serious Reportable Events (SREs). This set is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events, designed to help the healthcare field assess, measure, and report performance in providing safe care

Elderly woman claims she was sexually abused at nursing home

An elderly nursing home patient is staying in a New Albany nursing home after family transferred her for her own safety. The elderly woman claims she was sexually assaulted at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in Corydon, Ind. .

"Where this goes is unclear. I will say our victim is reported to have early onset dementia which makes things a little more challenging from the law enforcement side," Otto Schalk, Harrison County Prosecutor, said.
Serious allegations of elder sexual abuse were made by an 84-year-old woman. Schalk says despite her illness it's not something detectives take lightly. Corydon's Police Chief, James Kendall, and Indiana State troopers have Kindred Transitional Care in Corydon under a microscope.
The elderly woman said she was sexually abused in the nursing care facility at 150 Beechmont Drive, Monday of last week.

Elderly woman claims she was sexually abused at Corydon nursing home | Louisville:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nursing Supervisor Found Guilty Of Attempted Neglect

An Ohio nursing supervisor accused of failing to provide help for an injured resident of the Monroe County Care Center was found guilty on one count of attempted patient neglect Tuesday.
Kathy Schwaben pleaded no contest to the charge. A judge sentenced her to a suspended 10-day jail sentence and imposed fines and court costs. She will remain on required probation for one year.
Agents with the attorney general's health care fraud section began investigating Schwaben in August 2011.
Investigators said an 81-year-old patient was thrown from her wheelchair and sustained several fractures while riding in an MCCC van when its driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer.
The victim did not receive immediate medical treatment because Schwaben failed to perform a physical assessment of the woman after the crash, investigators said.
The investigation also showed that the woman was not properly secured in the seat of her wheelchair with a lap or shoulder restraint. Instead, an employee of the nursing facility used a bungee cord as a restraint by placing it across the front of her wheelchair’s arm rests.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On May 31, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an initiative to reduce the rampant misuse and overuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home facilities. The Center for Medicare Advocacy has been working to educate policy makers, advocates, and the public about the misuse of antipsychotic drugs for many years, and is part of an ad hoc coalition of advocates working with CMS and Congress to address the problem that both harms nursing home residents and costs the Medicare program billions of dollars.
CMS's press release announcing the "Partnership to Improve Dementia Care" describes several steps that CMS is taking:
  • Enhanced training: CMS has developed "Hand in Hand," a training series for nursing homes that emphasizes person-centered care, prevention of nursing home abuse, and high-quality care for residents. CMS is also providing training focused on behavioral health to state and federal surveyors;
  • Increased transparency: CMS is making data on each nursing home's antipsychotic drug use available on Nursing Home Compare starting in July of this year, and will update the data;
  • Alternatives to antipsychotic medication: CMS is emphasizing non-pharmacological alternatives for nursing home residents, including potential approaches such as consistent staff assignments, increased exercise or time outdoors, monitoring and managing acute and chronic pain, and planning individualized activities.
At the May 31, 2012 press briefing announcing the initiative, Shari M. Ling, M.D., CMS's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, identified additional CMS strategies – raising public awareness, strengthening regulatory oversight, and research. Dr. Ling said that residents' advocates working on the issue of antipsychotic drugs for many years had brought the issue to the forefront of public attention. She said, "We would not be here today without them."
Antipsychotic Drug Deficiencies Are Cited, But Enforcement Is Timid
Speaking earlier this month at a symposium on dementia care without drugs, sponsored by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), Jonathan Evans, M.D., a geriatrician and president-elect of the American Medical Directors Association, described the CMS plan as reasonable but primarily “‘an effort to try to educate people rather than to regulate.’” CANHR attorney Tony Chicotel agreed with the need for increased enforcement. The Center for Medicare Advocacy agrees with their concerns.
Since the Nursing Home Reform Law (enacted in 1987) was implemented in October 1990, federal law and its implementing regulations and guidance have contained strong restrictions on the use of antipsychotic drugs.  Two survey and enforcement issues, however, undercut the law's effectiveness.
1. "Level of Harm" Coding Assigns a Value to Deficiencies that is Too Low Either to Provide a Meaningful Sanction for Poor Care or to Lead to Better Facility Practices.
Although some drug deficiencies are cited each year, their significance is understated and undercoded. The federal enforcement system assigns a scope and severity level to each deficiency that is cited, using a federal scope and severity grid. The grid was published in 1994 as part of the final enforcement regulations.  There are four levels of severity. Two levels indicate no harm (substantial compliance and no harm) and two indicate harm (harm and immediate jeopardy). Generally, when states cite deficiencies at a no-harm level, no financial penalty is imposed.
State survey agencies typically cite antipsychotic drug deficiencies at the no-harm level. In fiscal year 2012, 1,213 unnecessary drug deficiencies, 42 C.F.R. §483.25(l), (F329), were cited nationwide. (F329 is the tag where antipsychotic drugs are cited.) However,
  • 1185 (98%) nationwide were cited at a no-harm level;
  • Only 13 deficiencies nationwide (0.01%) were cited at a harm level; and
  • Only 12 deficiencies nationwide (0.01%) were cited at the highest level of harm, immediate jeopardy.
As a consequence of the no-harm, no-penalty practice, FY2012 data show that most facilities cited with unnecessary drug deficiencies are unlikely to have had any financial penalty imposed.
2. The Financial Remedies that Have Been Imposed Are Trivial, In Light of the Seriousness of the Harm that Residents Suffered.
Recognizing Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Working Together to Curb Misuse of Powerful Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes || CMA

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Project to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing homes loses federal funding

"Massachusetts nursing homes, which recently pledged to lower their rate of antipsychotic use by 15 percent this year, found out Friday that they will not be receiving a coveted federal grant that would have helped fund the initiative to drive down inappropriate use of the powerful sedatives."
Project to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing homes loses bid for federal grant - Boston Medical News - White Coat Notes -

Friday, June 15, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2012 | The White House

Every American deserves the chance to live out the full measure of their days in health and security. Yet, every year, millions of older Americans are denied that most basic opportunity due to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we call attention to this global public health issue, and we rededicate ourselves to providing our elders the care and protection they deserve.
Victims of elder abuse are parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends. Elder abuse cuts across race, gender, culture, and circumstance, and whether physical, emotional, or financial, it takes an unacceptable toll on individuals and families across our Nation. Seniors who experience abuse or neglect face a heightened risk of health complications and premature death, while financial exploitation can rob men and women of the security they have built over a lifetime. Tragically, many older Americans suffer in silence, burdened by fear, shame, or impairments that prevent them from speaking out about abuse.

We owe it to our seniors to expose elder abuse wherever we find it and take action to bring it to an end. Two years ago, I was proud to sign the Elder Justice Act, which was included in the Affordable Care Act, and marked a major step forward in the fight against elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. With the Department of Health and Human Services, we are partnering with State and local authorities to ensure seniors can live their lives with dignity and independence. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are working to empower older Americans with tools and information to navigate safely through financial challenges. And with the Department of Justice, we are protecting older Americans by prosecuting those who would target and exploit them.

Every day, State and local agencies, protective services professionals, law enforcement officers, private and non profit organizations, and leaders throughout our communities help protect older Americans from abuse and provide care to those who have already been affected. Together, all of us can play a role in addressing this public health crisis that puts millions at risk. Today, let us keep faith with a generation of Americans by speaking out against elder abuse, advancing justice for victims, and building a Nation that preserves and protects the well being of all who call it home.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 15, 2012, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day by learning the signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and by raising awareness about this public health issue.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
Presidential Proclamation -- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2012 | The White House

Celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, individuals and organizations from across the world are urged to raise awareness of the various types of abuse to which older individuals are subjected. This year, take a stand in the fight against elder abuse and take a stand for dignity and respect of our elders.
To support the ongoing work that you’re doing to protect the rights of older people, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has made available a virtual ‘toolkit’ that includes creative ways your state and local communities can get involved in raising awareness of this issue, as well as support materials such as factsheets that can be handed out during your World Day activity. These materials are available at:
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care :: Celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Texas nurse aide bites Alzheimer's patient's

Then, in a moment of pointed retaliation, the witness “unequivocally testified” that the nurse aide bent over and bit the resident on the forehead, court documents say.
A medical assessment of the resident determined that she had a bite mark with two open skin wounds on her forehead.
The nurse aide said she didn’t bite the woman and that she fainted from the pain of being bitten. She argued that it was possible her teeth hit the resident as she raised her head and tried to stand up.

Read more here:
Arm to the teeth: Texas nurse aide bit on arm chomps Alzheimer's patient's head - Watchdog Bytes

Friday, June 1, 2012

Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for denial of care of patients

Health officials cited three Massachusetts hospitals in the past six months for wrongly sending away patients from their emergency rooms, in one case resulting in the death of a patient while en route to another facility.
In that episode, caregivers at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River failed to provide needed medical treatment before transferring the patient, who was unstable and in respiratory distress, state investigators concluded.
In a case at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, an on-call surgeon refused to come in late at night to perform an emergency operation on a patient with flesh-eating bacteria, investigators found. The patient was transferred to another hospital, and the surgeon no longer operates on patients at St. Vincent, hospital officials said.
Hospitals that break federal rules ensuring public access to emergency services can face especially tough sanctions. Flagrant or repeat violators risk losing their right to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, which can cost a hospital millions of dollars.
Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for inappropriate care of patients in emergency rooms

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursing Home Nightmare

"Kill me or let me die," were Alan's dying words, one month after the trauma of his forced eviction from a nursing home that didn't want him anymore. Those words still haunt my sister and I, knowing in our hearts the nursing home trauma killed him prematurely.
Alan (not his real name) was going to die anyway, terminally ill with Alzheimer's and Lewey Body dementias.
But dying in terror wasn't part of the plan. We never expected as prophetic, his WWII-generated fears as an orphan being "taken away by police."
We believe the living nightmare of his being"Baker-Acted" was the result of having to go on Medicaid.
Medicaid reimbursement to health care facilities is less than Medicare or private insurance. Nevertheless, we'd been assured a Medicaid-paid room would be available, as a current resident of the nursing home, once his Long Term Care insurance ran out.
We were wrong to believe them.
My sister and I shared a grim bond that Christmas day. Her husband Alan just died the day before. My husband died exactly ten years before, the day after.
We spent the day in stunned awareness of the painful irony.
This article isn't about us, however.
It's about advocacy.
My sister spent almost every day in the nursing home with Alan for two years. Caregivers relied upon her for help. I was there when she couldn't be. We did that and more. Still, this happened.
After the shock of Alan's death, anger set in.
The cruel acts perpetrated on him would not go unanswered. Many, fearing retribution if challenging caregivers, don't speak up and nothing changes.
Nursing Home Nightmare: Alan's Story Part II - Life in the Slow Lane

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attorney Hamill files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home

Hamill Law Office recently filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit in the Berkshire County, Massachusetts superior court on behalf of the Estate of John B. Satiro against Sweet Brook nursing home. Satiro was fatally injured by a fall at the Williamstown facility. Plaintiff Satiro was a resident of Sweet Brook transitional care and living center located at 1561 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Sweet Brook Transitional Care and Living Center is owned by Des Senior Care Holdings, LLC, of Fort Lee, NJ.
According to the complaint (Berkshire county docket # 2012-1248) filed by attorney Hamill, Satiro was injured when staff members dropped him from a hoyer lift while attempting to transport him.
Elder Advocate Attorney files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bridgewater nursing home sued by family of ill woman killed

The family of a Bound Brook woman killed trying to cross Route 22 in 2010 is suing the nursing care facility where she was living at the time.Anastasia Zavitsanos was a 74-year-old resident of Brandywine Assisted Living at Middlebrook Crossing when she “eloped” through a side door of the facility about 1:15 a.m. May 12, 2010, according to the lawsuit filed late last month in Superior Court in Somerville.
The lawsuit claims Zavitsanos, who was admitted to the facility in 2004, was known by the staff to suffer from schizophrenia, psychosis, short-term and long-term memory loss and to be “an elopement risk” who “wanders with exit-seeking behaviors.”
The lawsuit accuses the facility and its officers of negligence, deviation of standard care and gross neglect, improper management, resident rights violations and consumer fraud and seeks unspecified damages for Zavitsanos’ death.
Bridgewater nursing home sued by family of ill woman killed crossing Route 22 | |

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No procedure for flu detection at Nursing Home

A report into the nursing home where seven residents died following a flu outbreak has found there was no procedure for an early detection of influenza.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published a report into the Nazareth House nursing home, Fahan after nine elderly residents died between March 22 and April 8. Seven of the deaths have been classified as possibly caused by an influenza related illness.
Two inspections by HIQA found deficits in the standard of nursing home cleanliness and hygiene and the maintenance arrangements for equipment. A number of shower chairs and commodes were not in a satisfactorily clean condition and were rusty. The report was also critical of communication procedures at the home, which can accommodate 48 residents. It found that senior management was not communicated with in a timely manner and there was a lack of clarity and accountability about how information on the outbreak had been reported.
No procedure for early flu detection at Nazareth House - HIQA - Local - Donegal Democrat

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Holding VT. nursing home owners accountable

Glori Law and Susan Petrie's father was living in a nursing home just 10 days when they learned he was being attacked by another resident who was mentally unstable.
"My dad had bruises on his face when he was in the funeral home," Law said. They later discovered it wasn't a first time offense. "This person was quite violent and had been doing this. There were a lot of people that had been attacked," Petrie said. A medical examiner ruled the attacks were the cause of their father's death.
But on Tuesday there was change in the nursing home law. "Today is closure," Petrie said. "I felt very guilty because I was the one who made the decision for him to go into the nursing home."
Holding nursing home owners accountable - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nursing Home Owner Cheats Government, Neglects Residents

Not enough food for nursing home residents. Little air conditioning or heat. Roofs leaking to the point that barrels and plastic sheets were used to catch rain water. Trash that piled up in dumpsters. Flies and rodents everywhere, along with rampant mold and mildew.
These were just some of the abusive conditions that elderly residents of three Georgia nursing homes lived under for several years.
The primary culprit: the owner of these nursing homes who, despite having received more than $32.9 million in payments from Medicare and Medicaid for residents’ care, elected to pocket much of the money instead.
FBI — Nursing Home Abuse: Owner Cheats Government, Neglects Residents

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Camera Catches Abuse in Nursing Home

A woman used a high-resolution video surveillance camera to record a nurse beating her mother in a nursing care home. She placed the camera in her mother's room after she noticed she had bruises on her arms and hands only six weeks after moving into the home.
The camera disguised as a table clock, caught Jonathan Aquino, 30, hitting the old woman six times on the face, arms and abdomen. Another footage showed the old woman, who had severe arthritis, being man-handled by caregivers. The Daily Mail reports Aquino was jailed for 18 months for assault, and four other staff at the care home were sacked after Jane Worroll showed the nursing home manager footage of nursing staff abusing her 81-year-old mother, Mary Worroll, at the care home.
Read more:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nursing home residents with dementia improperly given antipsychotics

From April 29th Boston Globe: an article about excessive medication of our nursing home elders who should not be on anti-pyschotic med:
"Ledgewood Nursing home is one of many nursing homes that have commonly used antipsychotic drugs to control agitation and combative behavior in residents who should not be receiving the powerful sedatives. Nineteen percent of such Ledgewood residents - those without a diagnosis for which the drugs are recommended - received the medications, anyway, exposing them to the risk of dangerous side effects.
“There is a lot of guilt about putting your mom in a nursing home, and I felt I made a competent choice,’’ Weingartner said. “I wish that what I know now, I would have known then.’’
The situation she encountered at Ledgewood is alarmingly common in Massachusetts and across the nation, a Globe investigation has found. Federal data show that roughly 185,000 nursing home residents in the United States received antipsychotics in 2010 contrary to federal nursing home regulators’ recommendations - often elderly people like Murphy who have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
The drugs, which are intended to treat severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, can leave people in a stupor. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued black-box warnings - the agency’s most serious medication alert - about potentially fatal side effects when antipsychotics are taken by patients with dementia.
Nursing home regulators have for years collected data about individual homes’ use of antipsychotics but have not publicly released facility-specific information, citing patient privacy concerns. The government finally provided the data to the Globe, 19 months after the newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
The data show that in more than one in five nursing homes in the United States, antipsychotics are administered to a significant percentage of residents despite the fact that they do not have a psychosis or related condition that nursing home regulators say warrants their use. The proportion of homes using antipsychotic drugs in this fashion is even higher in Massachusetts

Nursing home residents with dementia often given antipsychotics despite health warnings - The Boston Globe

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nursing home violence

Two years into the state's fight to close a troubled South Side nursing home, the facility remains open and even has successfully booted out two state-appointed monitors who were installed to ensure patient safety.
Police reports and state health department inspections allege a pattern of patient-on-patient violence at the Rainbow Beach Care Center, a 200-bed facility that houses and treats indigent adults with mental illness.
In the most serious episode in July, two male residents were accused of pinning down a 45-year-old female patient and raping her. When police arrived at Rainbow Beach to investigate that allegation, they learned that the two men had allegedly attempted to sexually assault a second seriously disabled female resident just weeks before.
The state, which had moved to revoke the facility's license in April 2010, placed monitors at Rainbow Beach in the wake of those attacks. But earlier this year, an attorney for the facility persuaded a Cook County judge to issue a temporary restraining order barring them from the premises.
State authorities say the push-back from Rainbow Beach underscores how vigorously some nursing home operators are using the courts to contest enforcement efforts, even as the industry presses for legislation that patient advocates say could water down nascent state reforms.
Nursing home violence: Troubled Chicago facility expelled two state monitors -

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Consumer Group Bashes SNF Industry for Inferior Care Despite “Astonishing” Profits

Nursing homes remained “highly profitable” despite Medicare reimbursement cuts, but they’re still providing inferior elder care, says citizen advocacy organization Families for Better Care—a claim that the American Health Care Association (AHCA) was quick to counter.
Despite “astonishing” recent nursing home earnings reports for publicly traded nursing homes, resident care remains “mediocre at best” with too many residents troubled by untreated pressure sores, falls, abuse, or other negligent medical practices, contends Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care.
“The industry’s analysts framed the Medicare adjustment as an eventual doomsday for the nation’s nursing home market. But the industry’s own reports show quite the opposite, revealing surging revenues, strong profits, and expansion through acquisitions,” said Lee in a statement. “The industry is wallowing in strong profits while failing to consistently provide quality care.”
Even after the average 11.1% Medicare cuts to skilled nursing facility payments that went into effect last October, the industry remained a “thriving enterprise” with many companies reporting better than expected operating results, according to Lee. The resident advocacy organization cited one company’s annual revenues spiking nearly 200%, while another called 2011 an “exceptional year.”
“The reason care declines in nursing homes is that executives unnecessarily target labor costs to offset any reimbursement adjustments,” Lee said. “While this obviously maintains a robust bottom line for investors and cushy CEO salaries, the decline in frontline staff puts residents in jeopardy for harm while simultaneously creating dangerous working conditions for employees.”
A study released last November shows a steady decline in nursing hours for Medicare-licensed facilities and what Families for Better Care calls an unacceptably high level of deficiencies.
Consumer Group Bashes SNF Industry for Inferior Care Despite “Astonishing” Profits : Senior Housing News

Sunday, May 6, 2012

“If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it.” Part 1 | Pat

Incomplete documentation can dramatically affect a malpractice case. In the ideal world all pertinent observations and interventions are recorded. But is “If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it” true? For a variety of reasons, medical records may be incomplete. Emergency situations, such as cardiac arrests, often result in gaps in documentation as patient needs take priority. Ideally the nurse tries to record detailed notes after the emergency is over, but this does not always happen because the nurse must direct attention to the other patients who took a back seat to the crisis. Sketchy documentation complicates the defense of a case and provides the plaintiff’s attorney with an opportunity to advance theories of liability.
Plaintiff’s attorneys may use the phrase, “If you didn’t chart it, you didn’t do it to convince the jury that essential care was not given. Defense attorneys sometimes attempt to preempt the anticipated attack on the nurse’s credibility or documentation. This is brought up on direct examination of the nurse during trial by having the nurse testify about the impossibility of recording every detail or observation of the patient. Another defense technique is to have the nurse testify about the nurse’s usual practice which may or may not be recorded in the medical record.
Missing documentation coupled with a poor outcome complicates the defense of cases no matter what strategy is employed, and it provides the plaintiff with an opportunity to successfully argue that care was not rendered. In the case below, the nurses could not prove they contacted the physician, if they did.
The plaintiff, age sixty-three, suffered a back injury and could not to return to work as a nurse. She decided to have an anterior approach lumbar fusion of the spine. This was to include surgery to the spine from the front of the body and then a day or two later, surgery from the back. For the anterior approach the plaintiff’s abdomen was opened and her internal organs were moved in order to get to the spine. After surgery the plaintiff had fluctuating blood pressure and no pulse in the left leg. The nurses noted the lack of pulse in the leg but did nothing about it.
The next morning, when Dr. Brown arrived to perform the second part of the surgery, he discovered her problems and had her rushed for a CT scan which showed internal bleeding in her abdomen and a blockage of the artery which supplies blood to the left leg. The plaintiff was transferred to another hospital by helicopter, but the surgeons there were unsuccessful in salvaging the leg and an above-knee amputation was performed. The plaintiff had been unaware of the problem with the leg overnight due to being heavily medicated. The plaintiff’s abdomen took four years to heal because the surgical incision wouldn’t fully close due to the swelling of her organs and the internal bleeding. The plaintiff also had infections and required repeated surgeries to repair the damage to her abdomen. The matter settled for $5.25 million. (1)
Good documentation is consistent, concise, chronological, continuing, and reasonably complete. (2)
“If you didn’t chart it you didn’t do it.” Part 1 | Pat

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long-term care facilities seniors at higher risk for assaults

It's always a tough decision to put a loved one in a nursing home. For Sandra Croteau it was made even more difficult by the fact that her mother had recently died and her 58-year old developmentally disabled brother, Keith, had taken a turn for the worst.
"Him and my mom were very close and he just went downhill (after she died). He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't wash, his life skills were gone" she said.
After much thought, Sandra placed her brother in a long-term care facility in Sudbury, Ont. She found a room at Extendicare York, a home normally reserved for the frail and elderly, but she didn't have any other options.
"We didn't know what else to do" she said.
On January 24, 2007 Keith was brutally assaulted and killed by his roommate, Bryan Belliveau. Croteau discovered too late that her brother's roommate was a 55-year old man diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia, psychopathic personality disorder, who had a history of not complying with his medication. Years after the murder, Sandra Croteau also learned that Belliveau was on a suicide watch.
"He's on suicide watch and they were arguing and nobody comes? Who was watching him?" she said.
Sandra believes the long-term care system needs an overhaul so that this type of tragedy doesn't happen again: "The system failed my brother and also failed Bryan. He should not have been there either. " she said.
W5 asked Extendicare what changes have been made to make their homes safer since Croteau's murder. Rebecca Scott, Director, Communications and Government Relations at Extendicare Inc. responded by email.  "We are all deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at Extendicare York in 2007," said Scott.
W5 asked Extendicare if they had increased staffing in their homes to prevent future tragedies. They wouldn't comment directly on staffing numbers but said they have taken steps to increase safety in the home.  "Since 2007, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to assist in preventing something like this from happening again," wrote Scott.
Common problem
Resident-to-resident abuse in long-term care is far more common than you might think. Through access to information, W5 obtained the number of resident-to-resident assaults in Ontario nursing homes. There were 1,788 incidents in 2010.
The statistics include everything from shoving and pushing to, choking, punching and even sexual assaults. With the help of a statistician, W5 analyzed the data and discovered that the rate of assault in long-term care is four times higher than in the population at large.

Pat Masters has first-hand knowledge of those statistics. Her father was assaulted by a fellow resident at The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre in Ottawa.
The person who attacked Pat's father wasn't a typical frail and elderly nursing home resident. Pat describes him as a man in his 70s who was diagnosed with aggressive dementia.
"He was a very physically fit individual. He had no weakness in how he walked. (He was) a very vigorous man," she said.
Experts argue that residents with aggressive behaviours should not be placed in care facilities alongside the frail elderly. However, with the closure of psychiatric hospitals and group homes, there really is nowhere else for these patients to go.
The CEO of the Perly and Rideau Veteran's Health Centre, Greg Fougere, acknowledges that resident-to-resident altercations can occur but, in an interview with W5, insisted that they are not a common event at his facility. However he does admit that nursing homes in general need more staff to deal with these new and challenging patients.   "We don't have enough staff to provide as much care as we would like to. And really our seniors deserve it," said Fougere.
In order to ensure her father's safety at the Veteran's Health Centre Pat is now paying an extra $63,000 a year for a personal support worker to take care of him. She's one of the lucky few that can afford it.
"I'm happy and able to do it. What about those people who aren't able to do it? What do they do?"
Top Stories

Monday, April 30, 2012

Nursing home whistleblowers fired

More than a month ago two nurse assistants at Bandera Road's Princeton Place nursing home started noticing problems. Sandra Lujan, a four-year veteran of the facility, claimed she saw elderly patients with abnormal and excessive bruising, including bruises in the shapes of fingers and torn skin on faces. Sonia Roman, a nurse assistant at Princeton Place for two years, also saw similar bruising. She also questioned whether there was enough staff to care for all 134 patients, saying many were routinely left unattended. She even confronted one nurse she saw verbally abusing and threatening an elderly patient.Last month both brought reports of abuse and neglect to the nursing home's administration. Within hours both were suspended for insubordination and eventually fired.
Firing employees who come forward with abuse or neglect allegations is not new. It is a pattern I have seen in Nursing Home litigation. Although the term "whistleblower" may not apply to all employees who complain about adequacy of care, the reaction by some nursing homes is the same. In litigation against a Kindred facility involving complaints of abuse by a CNA (certified nurse aide), the complaining persons eventually left because they felt ostracized by their co workers after reporting deficiencies. Some feel threatened. Nursing homes sometimes in-service the reporting individuyal rather than the alleged offender! This is a clear sign of a culture that does not put the care of residents first.

The QueQue: Nursing home whistleblowers fired, Lamar Smith's 'Holiday on ICE', TCEQ tracking emissions in the Eagle Ford - News and Politics - San Antonio Current

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Things Hospitalists Should Know about Infectious Diseases

Never swab a decubitus ulcer unless that ulcer is clearly infected.

Dr. Allen says it’s important to know that it doesn’t make sense to culture a pressure ulcer that doesn’t have any signs of infection, such as pus or redness—although he sees it happen routinely.
“Just because a patient has a bedsore doesn’t mean it’s infected,” Dr. Allen says. “Usually, they’re not infected. But they’re going to have a dozen different germs growing in them.”
Culturing and treatment without signs of infection, he says, often leads to “inappropriate antibiotic use and probably increased length of stay."10 Things Hospitalists Should Know about Infectious Diseases :: Article - The Hospitalist

Friday, April 27, 2012

Victim critical in nursing home assault

A 42-year-old man has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding after police say he attacked an elderly resident at a nursing home Thursday evening.
Debbie George with the City of Suffolk said William K. Ruffin, a resident at Oakwood Assisted Living Facility on East Washington Street, attacked a 92-year-old woman sometime before 6:30 p.m. She sustained severe facial injuries and was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by Nightingale.
 Friday morning, George said the victim was in critical condition at the hospital.
 Police arrested Ruffin and have charged him with aggravated malicious wounding of a nursing home resident. He is being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond at this time.
Victim critical in nursing home assault | | Suffolk

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wrongful death claim cannot be arbitrated

I waas quoted in this weeks Lawyers Weekly article on Arbitrations in the nursing home context. In an article by Eric T. Berkman, an attorney and freelance writer for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Publishdd Wed, April 25, 2012

A mandatory arbitration agreement that a man signed on his mother’s behalf when she was admitted to a nursing home did not bar his wrongful death suit against the facility, a Superior Court judge has ruled. Judge Troy's ruling essentially voided an arbitration agreement that had been signed by a health care proxy. The judge found that a health care proxy exceeded his permissable authority by signing away the residents right to a jury trial.
The defendant nursing home had argued that the plaintiff was authorized to sign the arbitration agreement under a health care proxy executed by his mother before she was transferred to the facility and thus the agreement was enforceable.

“Under [Chapter 201D, the Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Act], an agent has authority to make ‘any and all health care decisions on the principal’s behalf that the principal could make,’” Troy said in denying the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. “However, in the view of this court, a waiver of the principal’s legal right to seek redress in court for improper medical treatment does not fall within the statutory definition of a health care decision.”

The 17-page decision is Licata v. GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC, Lawyers Weekly No. 12-066-12. The full text of the ruling can be ordered by clicking here.

Bernard Hamill, an attorney in Quincy who represents plaintiffs in nursing home negligence and abuse cases, welcomed Troy’s ruling.
“Think of it in terms of common sense,” said Hamill, who was not involved in the case. “A health care proxy could never bring a lawsuit [on behalf of a nursing home resident], so why on earth would one be deemed valid enough to waive the ability to bring a lawsuit? That would make no sense.”
Hamill was also gratified that the judge seemed to recognize the reality facing people in the plaintiff’s situation.
“You have a nervous family member sitting down in an admissions office with a huge stack of documents, trying to get their loved one admitted for their own safety. And frequently it’s the only nursing home to accept the candidate,” he said. “Someone in that situation is not going to be reading every document, questioning them and refusing to sign things.”
If nursing homes do not want arbitration agreements challenged, they should not make them part of the admissions process, Hamill added.
“Why not make it truly separate and send it out several days later when the [person acting on the patient’s behalf] isn’t in an emotional state, trying to get their loved one admitted?” he said.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

South Florida Abuse

Southwest Florida can be a retiree’s paradise — but that also makes it an ideal place to prey on the elderly.
At a public forum Tuesday, the Lee Elder Abuse Prevention Partnership shared stories of elder abuse and discussed ways to prevent it.
“Our own parents and grandparents are being taken advantage of,” said co-chairwoman Dotty St. Amand. Part of the problem is Florida does not require private home caregivers to be licensed, according to John Morano, CEO of JT Private Duty Home Care. The state oversees companies such as Morano’s, which require their employees go through background checks. Independent caregivers can be licensed as Certified Nursing Assistants by the Florida Department of Health. But it’s not required.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Social media policy considerations for long term care providers

A single photo of a resident’s decubitus ulcer on Facebook and/or YouTube is perhaps one of a long term care facility’s worst nightmares.Social media policy considerations for long term care providers – a sword or a shield? - Lexology

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Verdict against Rosewood Care Center upheld

The Fifth District Appellate Court has upheld a Madison County plaintiff's verdict in a case that was tried twice against Rosewood Care Center nursing home of Edwardsville.
Jurors awarded $149,115.13 to Paul Graves, administrator of his father's estate in April 2009. Paul Graves contended that Rosewood was negligent in caring for his father, Alfred Graves, during a January 2003 stay at the facility. On the first day of his stay, Alfred Graves fell and broke his hip. Paul Graves claimed that the nursing home violated its own procedures and did not give his father adequate care.
On appeal, Rosewood raised five issues: (1) whether the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence, (2) whether the court erred in its issuance of an instruction on the definition of neglect, (3) whether the trial court erred in its issuance of instructions on regulations promulgated pursuant to the Act, (4) whether the trial court abused its discretion by giving an instruction based on IPI 5.01 (Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, Civil, No. 5.01 (2000)), and (5) whether the trial court erred by admitting into evidence a bill from another nursing home.
Verdict against Rosewood Care Center upheld at Fifth District | Madison/St. Clair Record

Friday, April 20, 2012

Suit alleges woman's hip fractured at Baptist Hospital

A woman has filed suit against Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital, alleging she sustained a hip fracture while staying in the intensive care unit.
Sheila Antoine claims an ambulance transported her to Baptist Hospital on Feb. 10, 2010, after she began complaining of severe shortness of breath, cough and fever.
Medical personnel decided to take an X-ray of Antoine's chest. While the hospital staff was positioning Antoine on the table, she began to feel discomfort in her legs, according to the complaint filed March 15 in Jefferson County District Court.
Antoine's pain continued for the next few days and was so severe that she could not rotate her hip, the suit states. When medical staff was eventually able to take an X-ray of Antoine's left leg and hip on Feb. 17, 2010, they discovered that she had suffered from a fractured left hip, the complaint says.
"No indication is made in the plaintiff's records of how or when she sustained this fracture from the time she arrived at the facility and through her admission," the suit states.
In addition to the fracture, Antoine claims she suffered from decubitus ulcers while hospitalized.
Suit alleges woman's hip fractured at Baptist Hospital | Southeast Texas Record

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Senior Living: How to watch for and avoid pressure sores

Pressure sores are easier to prevent than to treat. Pay attention to senshtive areas of the skin. Reposition to remove pressure. Keep skin clean and moisturized. Note that too much moisture however, can contribute to bed sores. Skin areas can be kept dry with body powder. Good nutrition and adequate hydration are key to skin integrity
Senior Living: How to watch for and avoid pressure sores » Redding Record Searchlight

Sunday, April 15, 2012

nursing home worker accused of taking nude picture of resident

A case of elder abuse is surfacing in southwest Iowa. An Atlantic woman is accused of taking a picture of a nude nursing home resident earlier this month. Thirty-five-year-old Amanda Sedina, who works at the Salem Lutheran Nursing Home in Elk Horn, faces a serious misdemeanor charge of invasion of privacy-nudity.
Shelby County Chief Deputy Sheriff Rod McMurphy says Sedina allegedly took an inappropriate picture of the bathing 78-year-old female resident. McMurphy says another employee of the nursing home received a text message from Sedina with a picture of the woman attached to it.
The employee notified Salem administrators, who called the sheriff’s office. McMurphy could not comment on Sedina’s motive for allegedly taking the picture. He says the case is extremely unusual for Shelby County.
Elk Horn nursing home worker accused of taking nude picture of resident

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nursing Home Layoffs Can affect Care

Boston Massachusetts nursing home abuse attorney Bernard J. Hamill says families need know that there is a correlation between staffing levels and the adequacy of elder care in nursing homes. It is common sense and it is backed by state and federal regulations. The challenge is in interpreting data provided by nursing homes to the government regarding staffing adequacy to insure nursing home residents receive the high quality of care mandated by federal and state regulations. Federal regulations state that staffing must be sufficient to provide the “highest” level of care. 42 CFR Sec.483.30 states: “The facility must have sufficient nursing staff to provide nursing and related services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident, as
determined by resident assessments and individual plans of care.”
Each nursing home reports its staffing hours to its state survey agency. These staffing hours are from a two-week period just before the state inspection. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gets nursing home staffing data from the states. Staffing hours per resident per day is the average amount of hours worked divided by the total number of residents. It doesn't necessarily show the number of nursing staff present at any given time, or reflect the amount of care given to any one resident. Attorney Hamill notes an important warning about staffing levels given by Medicare: “These staffing numbers are based on information reported by the nursing home. Currently there is no system to fully verify the accuracy of the staffing data that nursing homes report. Because of this limitation and because staffing levels may have changes since the last inspection, you should be cautious when interpreting the data.”
Attorney Hamill says that to determine staffing sufficiency, you should always look at the state inspection results, particularly any quality of life or quality of care deficiencies. The best way to interpret the staffing levels is use a results driven analysis. Go see for yourself what the quality of care is. No matter what the staffing statistics say, if a loved one is sitting in unclean clothing or poorly hydrated or neglected, then the care is inadequate. If the care is inadequate, then according to federal definitions the cause could easily be understaffing of sufficient well trained aides.
New Study Shows Nursing Homes Increasing Layoffs

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Article From CJ&D

According to the Center for Justice in Democracy Factsheet on Arbitration, "Mandatory binding arbitration is a process by which parties “agree” (although consumers rarely know they have “agreed”) to have a third party arbitrator (single arbitrator or a panel), instead of a jury or judge, resolve a dispute. Arbitrators are not required to have any legal training and they need not follow the law. Court rules of evidence and procedure, which tend to neutralize imbalances between the parties in court, do not apply. There is limited discovery, making it is much more difficult for individuals to have access to important documents that may help their claim. Arbitration proceedings are secretive. There is no right to public access. Arbitrators do not write or publish detailed written opinions, so no legal precedent or rules for future conduct can be established. Their decisions are still enforceable with the full weight of the law even though they may be legally incorrect. This is especially disturbing since these decisions are binding so victims have virtually no right to appeal an arbitrator’s ruling."
Fact Sheet: Mandatory Binding Arbitration -- A Corporate End Run Around the Civil Justice System

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drug Deaths Rising in Nursing Homes

In a nursing home on the southern end of California's Central Valley, three elderly dementia patients died during 2007. Normally, that would not make the headlines. But these patients died after being given powerful antipsychotic drugs to control elders behavior--despite warnings the drugs increase the risk of death in elders with dementia.
Mae Brinkley, 91, Joseph Shepter, 76, and Alexander Zaiko, 85, died at the Kern Valley Hospital, a 74-bed skilled nursing facility in rural Lake Isabella, about 30 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Their cases came to light after a long-term care ombudsman reported to the state Department of Public Health that a patient had been held down and forcibly injected with an antipsychotic medication.
Investigators later found the nursing facility had given 22 patients, some with Alzheimer's disease--the most common form of dementia--high doses of antipsychotic medications to control them for the convenience of staff, according to court papers and the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Now facing criminal charges are Hoshan Pormir, MD, the patients’ physician, Gwen Hughes, director of nursing, and Debbi C. Hayes, a pharmacist. The charges include three counts of elder abuse resulting in death, five counts of nonfatal elder abuse and two counts of assault with deadly weapons--the psychotropic medications Zyprexa and Risperdal, according to the state's criminal complaint.

Abuse of Mind-Altering Drugs Rising in Eldercare Facilities - New America Media

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nurse at Southern Cross home did not call doctor and Joyce Wordingham died, court hears

SYSTEMATIC failures at a Tyneside nursing home saw a pensioner in desperate need of medical attention left to die. Dementia sufferer Joyce Wordingham had become so ill it should have been obvious to staff at her nursing home that she needed to see a doctor. However, Daphne Joseph was the only nurse looking after 29 residents at St Michael’s View, in South Shields, and she had not been trained properly amid a “culture of neglect”. So, instead of calling an ambulance, Joseph simply sponged Mrs Wordingham and made a note she looked frail and ill. The next morning, just two weeks after moving into the home, she was found dead in her bed after Joseph handed over to the day shift. Joseph pleaded guilty to neglecting a person who lacked mental capacity but a judge suspended her prison sentence after being told of the conditions she was working in at the Southern Cross-owned home. Mr Justice Coulson, at Newcastle Crown Court, said: “Your neglect was part of an endemic culture of neglect. You had not been trained properly and that failure, which was not your responsibility, was directly relevant to the tragedy that happened.” The judge said the failings included management and leadership

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pennsylvania's nursing homes are in crisis

Pennsylvania's nursing homes can no longer sustain themselves with the latest cuts to Medicaid, according to a health advocate for the elderly. Families who are likely to pick up the slack also are seeing their support threatened.

"Two-thirds of Pennsylvania's nursing home residents are on Medicaid, and for each one of them, a nursing home loses an average of $19.23 a day," said Dr. Stuart H. Shapiro, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. "These shortfalls are unsustainable."
The proposed $102 million statewide cut in Medicaid funding would be felt at local nursing homes. The PHCA estimates the cuts will amount to more than $700,000 for nursing homes in Franklin County, $2 million in Cumberland, $800,000 in Adams, $100,000 in Fulton and $2.8 million in York.
Few nursing home administrators want to talk about it.
They have little room to cut expenditures, according to PHCA:
-- Staffing a nursing home around the clock makes up 70 percent of nursing home expenditures. At the same time, nursing homes are highly regulated and must meet minimum staffing requirements.
-- Nursing homes, whether nonprofit or for-profit, operate on the lowest margins of all health care sectors - less than 1 percent versus 5 percent for hospitals and home-health and managed-care companies.
"All health care providers lose money caring for those on Medicaid, but nursing homes suffer the most because they serve a much higher percentage of individuals on Medicaid," Shapiro said.
Nursing homes already have cut staff, reduced benefits, canceled renovations and delayed purchases, he said. Many are turning away people on Medicaid because the homes cannot afford to care for them.
Families will feel the emotional, physical and financial stress.

Pennsylvania's nursing homes are in crisis - Chambersburg Public Opinion

Thursday, April 5, 2012

nursing home blamed for resident’s death

A Cy-Fair nursing home is being sued over claims its nursing home neglect caused the death of one of its residents.
Susan Evangelista, individually and on behalf of the deceased Joanne Gilmore, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on March 2 in Harris County District Court against Grace Care Center of Cypress.
Evangelista says on May 10, 2011, Joanne, a Grace Care Center resident, died as a result of continued and ongoing neglect. Grace Care subjected Gilmore to serious physical and mental injuries, according to the brief.Cy-Fair nursing home blamed for resident’s death Ultimate Cy-Fair:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nursing home failed to protect patient from resident with ‘violent criminal record’ — Oak Park & River Forest news, photos and events —

The family of an Alzheimer’s patient who died after a physical altercation with another patient at Oak Park Healthcare is suing the west suburban nursing home for wrongful death, according to a press release issued Thursday by the family’s lawyers.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday alleges the facility violated federal and state nursing home regulations in failing to protect patient from physical abuse and failing to provide appropriate supervision, according to the press release.
Anibal Calderon, an 80-year-old resident of the Oak Park Healthcare Center, “was assaulted by a 66-year-old resident with a violent criminal record and felony background,” according to the press release.
Calderon died Feb. 14 after head injuries suffered during the fight at the nursing home two days earlier.
A receptionist at Oak Park Healthcare who declined to give her name said the facility had no comment Thursday.
His death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Police have not charged anyone with a crime and have not released the name of the suspect. Oak Park police also have not released any information on the suspect’s record.
The lawsuit also alleges Oak Park Healthcare failed to promptly report and investigate all suspected physical assault and abuse at the facility, according to the release
Lawsuit: Nursing home failed to protect patient from resident with ‘violent criminal record’ — Oak Park & River Forest news, photos and events —

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oak Park nursing home Sued after 80-year-old fatally beaten

The family of an elderly nursing home resident who was beaten to death by a fellow resident of Oak Park nursing home last month has filed a lawsuit claiming the nursing facility failed to protect the 80-year-old from abuse and neglect.

The wrongful death lawsuit against Oak Park Healthcare Center, 625 N. Harlem Ave., was filed in Cook County on behalf of the family of Anibal Calderon.
On Feb. 12, Calderon, who suffered from dementia, was assaulted by a 66-year-old resident with a violent criminal background, the suit claims. A nurse found Calderon unconscious in the Alzheimer’s/dementia ward, Oak Park police said.
Paramedics took Calderon from the extended care facility to Rush Oak Park Hospital, police said. He was later transferred to Rush University Medical Center, where he died two days later.
Family sues Oak Park nursing home after 80-year-old fatally beaten - Chicago Sun-Times

Friday, March 30, 2012

I-Team: Nursing Home Report

The Massachusetts state Health Department issues its final inspection report detailing serious findings of poor elder care at nursing home: the Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center.
Some of the Health Department reports' findings included not answering nurses' call lights for 15 minutes, leaving residents in urine- and feces-soaked clothing, failing to provide an on-going program that meets the interests and well being for residents, and under medicating and overmedicating residents, sometimes with narcotics, because of nursing home staff mistakes.

I-Team: Nursing Home Report | Turn to 10
See also

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ohio facility may lose license after meth lab fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The state of Ohio is taking steps to revoke the license of a nursing home that had a fatal methamphetamine lab fire and was later found to be violating federal regulations, the Ohio Department of Health said Tuesday.
The March 4 fire broke out in a resident's room at Park Haven Home in Ashtabula. Shaun Warrens, 31, who police said was not a resident of the home or an employee, was killed. Four other people were hospitalized, and two were treated at the scene.
A review of the home last week cited seven nursing home violations, including failure to have a written plan to evacuate residents in an emergency, according to a report on the violations. The home was also cited for not correctly closing and latching doors and not providing proper beds for two residents.
Park Haven was notified Monday that its state license may be revoked, health department spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said. If the home is closed, representatives of several agencies would be available to help residents find other places to live, she said.

Read more here: facility may lose license after meth lab fire - Wire National News - The Sacramento Bee

Monday, March 26, 2012

Low nursing homes ratings

Most of the 14 nursing homes in the Iowa City area are making the grade under federal quality ratings, but two facilities with higher-than-average health inspection deficiencies have consistently received failing scores over the past three years, an analysis of government ratings shows.
Windmill Manor, a troubled Coralville nursing home that has faced numerous federal and state penalties in recent years, currently is rated as a one-star facility, the lowest grade on the government’s five-star scale. And Iowa City Rehab and Health Care is currently rated as a two-star nursing home after sub-par health inspection scores, though its management says a recent renovation and good staffing will only improve the nursing home’s quality.
The ratings are issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which introduced the star system in late 2008 to give consumers a better way to compare nursing homes through an online database. Administrators say the grades — which take into account health inspections, staffing ratios and self-reported quality measures — are a useful tool for families who are scouting potential facilities. But many say the system fails to paint a complete picture, and they welcome changes that are set to be implemented this year.
Officials: More to nursing homes than the ratings show | Iowa City Press Citizen |

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Canada promise tough sentences for crimes against seniors

The Canadian federal government is introducing legislation that calls for tougher sentences for those convicted of elder abuse.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong announced plans to amend the Criminal Code so that taking advantage of a senior will be considered "an aggravating factor" in a crime. That "aggravating factor" would then be taken into consideration during sentencing.
"We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, including older Canadians," Nicholson told reporters during the announcement at a seniors centre in Toronto on Thursday.
Nicholson explained the legislation does not call for specific penalties in cases involving the abuse of seniors, but calls on judges to use their discretion in each case.
"It's up to the judge within the offences that the individual has been charged with, to make that determination after they've been found guilty. And that's our job as legislators: to make these provisions, and that's exactly what we've done: make this an aggravating factor that the courts will have to look at," Nicholson told reporters.
Feds promise tough sentences for crimes against seniors | CTV Ottawa | CTV News

Friday, March 23, 2012

nursing home worker sexually assaulted resident

An employee of a St. Paul nursing home is accused of exposing himself and sexually assaulting a nursing home resident, according the Minnesota Department of Health report.
The state agency said the alleged nursing home assault incidents took place at the Highland Chateau Health Care Center, according to a report made public Tuesday, March 20. The nursing home, located at 2319 W. Seventh St. in the Highland neighborhood, self-reported the case.
According to the health department report, a resident told a state inspector that an employee had approached her several times while providing care and tried to touch her breasts, exposed his penis and had her provide oral sex.
The worker was not named and he denied the allegations.
"The (worker) provided inconsistent information during the course of the interview," the report states. Even though a health department investigator had found information about a similar situation in his past, the worker "denied that he had similar concerns about being sexually inappropriate with a resident," the report stated.
The worker had been the focus of two neglect allegations and one physical abuse allegation at other facilities, according to the report. Another employee at the nursing home described the resident as "alert and oriented," the report stated, and did not have a history of making false accusations.
St. Paul nursing home worker sexually assaulted resident, state says -

Roscommon West Roxbury on National Watch List -

According to the website:
"Based on the annual and complaint survey data reported by CMS as of 02/26/12 , this home is listed because in at least one area they caused actual harm to a patient and/or subjected the patients to immediate jeopardy. More recent reports/corrections may be available. Check with the nursing home administrator. Actual harm is indicated by a score of G, H, I, while J, K, L indicate immediate jeopardy. The color coding scheme is explained in the site.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Study: Mass. medical board ranks poorly on MD discipline

Study: Mass. medical board ranks poorly on MA Doctor discipline
Public Citizen, a consumer group with a focus on health care, issued its annual listing comparing medical boards based on how regularly they discipline doctors. Not only does Massachusetts rank poorly, at No. 47, but it is among a handful of states that have dropped significantly in recent years. Seven years ago, the state was ranked solidly in the middle of the pack at No. 23.
The report ranks states based on the per capita number of serious disciplinary actions, or those that lead to a doctor license revocation, suspension or probation, over three years. For every 1,000 doctors in Massachusetts, there were 1.83 serious actions.
Study: Mass. medical board ranks poorly on MD discipline - White Coat Notes -

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2 El Dorado County nursing home workers charged with felony elder abuse of patient

2 nursing home workers charged with felony elder abuse of patient:
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — Prosecutors charged two nursing home workers with felony elder abuse after a 77-year-old woman was neglected at a Placerville facility shortly before she died in 2008.

The attorney general's office filed the charges after the death of Johnnie Esco, an Alzheimer's patient who spent two weeks at the El Dorado Care Center to recover from pneumonia, the Sacramento Bee reported ( ) Friday.
During Esco's stay, nurses were supposed to closely monitor her because medications left her with chronic constipation. She later died at a hospital on March 7, 2008, after suffering severe fecal impaction, and doctors also found unexplained bruising on her body.
The center's former director of nursing, Donna Palmer, 58, was arrested Tuesday and released on $75,000 bail. A warrant was issued for nurse Rebecca Smith, 38, but El Dorado County jail records did not show that she had been arrested as of Friday
2 El Dorado County nursing home workers charged with felony elder abuse of patient | The Republic

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nursing home failed to protect patient from resident with criminal record

The family of an Alzheimer’s patient who died after a physical altercation with another patient at Oak Park Healthcare is suing the west suburban nursing home for wrongful death, according to a press release issued Thursday by the family’s lawyers.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday alleges the facility violated federal and state nursing home regulations in failing to protect patient from physical abuse and failing to provide appropriate supervision, according to the press release.
Anibal Calderon, an 80-year-old resident of the Oak Park Healthcare Center, “was assaulted by a 66-year-old resident with a violent criminal record and felony background,” according to the press release.
Calderon died Feb. 14 after head injuries suffered during the fight at the facility two days earlier.
Lawsuit: Nursing home failed to protect patient from resident with ‘violent criminal record’ — Oak Park & River Forest news, photos and events —

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nurses face felony charges in nursing home death

An 81-year-old Cameron Park man who served during three wars won the fight of his life this week when California's attorney general charged two nurses with felony elder abuse in connection with the 2008 death of his beloved wife.

The nurse arrest in Modesto of one nurse and the pursuit of the second, who reportedly has left the state, marks a bittersweet victory in the four-year quest of Don Esco to find justice for his late wife.
Johnnie Esco, 77, died on March 7, 2008, after a two-week stay at the El Dorado Care Center in Placerville, a skilled nursing home facility owned at the time by Horizon West Healthcare Inc. of Rocklin. The company sold its 27 nursing homes last year to Plum Healthcare Group, a San Marcos-based chain.
Read more here:Nurses face felony charges in death of Cameron Park man's wife - Health and medicine - The Sacramento Bee