Monday, January 30, 2012

What Keeps The CNA Going?

Good article on the challenges facing CNA's in Nursing Homes. The writer mentions the "G" (Greed) word as a factor in the compromise of elder care in nurssing facilities.
Some excerpts: "When a resident is a two assist meaning that there needs to be two people to care for them by state law and only three CNA's on a shift all the residents suffer. Lights are ignorned residents fall, and some are left in their own feces or with there pants down because a CNA can't get back to them to help. As someone looking in on this it is sad that in some of these Nursing Homes where one unit like rehah pays for the entire place yet employees are told there is are enough funds to hire more help. The other day I read about the oath doctors take in the medical profession, and after reading it again I certainly question why this abuse continues. For these men, and women who give of themselves they get burnt quickly, and much of the time sugar and coffee are two drinks that keep them going. How good is that for their bodies, and minds? As I wrote before there is no Humanity where this is happening.

A growing number of physicians have come to feel that the Hippocratic Oath is inadequate to address the realities of a medical world that has witnessed huge scientific, economic, political, and social changes, a world of legalized abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and pestilences unheard of in Hippocrates' time.
One is told it will get worse? why? this writer still says greed, and employers trying to squeeze the most out of an employee. During Hippocrates time there where no CEO's of companies no issues with states, and federal government it was about patients~!! As in this verse, I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. Speak to anyone in a nursing home and see how many are being harmed by the lack of care~!!!!

New Year's Resolutions? What Keeps The CNA Going? - Syracuse Job Search

Suspicious Elder Deaths Rarely Investigated

Joseph Shepter died in January 2007 at age 76. On Shepter's death certificate, the nursing home's chief medical officer, explained that the cause was heart failure brought on by clogged arteries.

Shepter's family had no reason to doubt it. The local coroner never looked into the death. Shepter's body was interred in a local cemetery.

A tip from a nursing-home staffer would later prompt state officials to re-examine the case and reach a very different conclusion.

When investigators reviewed Shepter's medical records, they determined that he had actually died of a combination of ailments often related to poor care, including an infected ulcer, pneumonia, dehydration and sepsis.
Investigators also concluded that Shepter's demise was hastened by the inappropriate administration of powerful antipsychotic drugs, which can have potentially lethal side effects for seniors.
Prosecutors in 2009 charged two former colleagues with killing Shepter and two other elderly residents. They've pleaded not guilty. The criminal case is ongoing.

Gone Without a Case: Suspicious Elder Deaths Rarely Investigated - ProPublica

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Soaring numbers of patients die with bedsores and infected wounds

Numbers of nursing home patients dying with bedsores and infected wounds soaring
Seventy five patients are dying in hospitals and care homes every day while suffering from conditions caused by neglect, new figures show.
In 2010, more than 27,000 people died with bedsores or infected wounds - a rise of more than 50 per cent in a decade.
Bedsores are caused when patients are not turned regularly, or are left in poor hygiene. They may become infected if not spotted and treated quickly.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the English Patients Association called the figures "horrifying".

She said: "When people are admitted to hospital, they are weak and vulnerable, and they have to trust in the health service to care for them.
"Instead, tens of thousands of people are dying every year while afflicted with bedsores and infected wounds - this is as shaming as an indictment of the care they received as it is possible to see."
Earlier this month Mr Cameron announced that nurses would have to undertake hourly ward rounds to check whether patients are hungry, in pain, or need help going to the lavatory.
It followed spot checks by NHS regulators, which found that half of 100 hospitals were failing basic standards to treat elderly with dignity, and ensure they were properly fed.
At Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, West Midlands, failings were so fundamental that it was warned last May that it was breaking the law.
Since then, families of more than 20 patients treated there have contacted lawyers alleging major failings and indignities suffered by their loved ones, including patients left in soaking sheets or dying without food or crucial medication.
Soaring numbers of patients die with bedsores and infected wounds - Telegraph:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Attorney General's office reviewing citation against nursing home

A state citation against a central Kentucky nursing home is being reviewed by the Kentucky Attorney General's office. The citation stems from how staff at Charleston Health Care Center in Danville responded to allegations that a male nurse's aide was mistreating patients, according to the Lexington Herald Leader, which obtained the citation through an open records request (
It says abuse allegations weren't immediately reported to administrative staff, weren't thoroughly investigated and weren't reported to all the appropriate state agencies.
Nursing home attorney Lisa Hinkle says the facility is appealing the citation and challenges the factual findings of the Office of Inspector General. She says no allegations of elder abuse have been substantiated and the home has "provided quality nursing-facility care to its residents for a very long time."
The type of citation issued means that a resident's life or safety was put in danger. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services sends all such citations to the Attorney General's office, which decides whether it should be referred to local prosecutors.
According to the citation and other documents, a resident who was admitted in 2010 with a head injury and schizophrenia accused the aide in July of abuse. The citation says the resident told nursing home staff that the aide "placed a pillow over the resident's face in an attempt to suffocate the resident, and then hit the resident four times, twice on each side of the head."
The nursing home's written response to the state says the allegation appeared to be untrue because of the "resident's mental status and frequent statements that did not reflect reality."
An administrator also told investigators that the resident recanted, according to state documents.
However, a certified medical assistant told investigators that the resident had a small facial bruise that wasn't there before the allegations were made, documents said.
She says no allegations of abuse have been substantiated and the home has "provided quality nursing-facility care to its residents for a very long time."
In addition to those allegations, the citation says investigators interviewed six staff members who accused the aide of behaving inappropriately with residents from February through August. The citation says staff witnessed the aide being "physically, mentally, and verbally rough with residents" and saw him kiss them.
One of the witnesses was the home's human resources director, who told investigators that she had counseled the aide and informed the director of nursing, state documents said.
But according to the citation, "there was no evidence these allegations had been investigated and reported by the facility. In addition, there was no evidence the facility protected residents from further potential abuse."
Ky. Attorney General's office reviewing citation against Danville nursing home The Republic

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Minnesota allows elder care jobs to former criminals

During the past six years, Minnesota has granted more than 15,000 waivers to people with criminal records seeking employment in nursing homes and other state-regulated care programs, state records show.
Under state law, people are automatically rejected for those jobs if background checks reveal they have committed any crime on a list of disqualifying offenses. But through a little-publicized appeals process allowed under the law, former criminals who request a second chance usually get their wish.
The most forgiving state agency among the two that grant waivers is the Health Department, which approved 75 percent of 10,000-plus appeals with little public scrutiny, records show.
More than 5,000 waivers went to people who wanted to work in nursing homes or home care agencies. Those applicants were convicted of misdemeanors to felonies, including assault, fraud, false imprisonment, forgery, robbery, theft and making terroristic threats, as well as drug and alcohol offenses, records show.
State regulators said they don't know how many of those ex-criminals actually went to work in nursing homes and other facilities because they don't track that information. They also don't follow how many of those individuals subsequently harmed their vulnerable clients or committed additional crimes
State OKs care jobs for former criminals
see also:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mandatory Arbitrations in Nursing Homes Hurting Elders

Final rule gives providers and beneficiaries access to quality data - McKnight's Long Term Care News

A final rule issued Monday will allow Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries access to information about costs and quality of care information about various providers including nursing homes, regulators say.
As required by the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a proposed rule designed to help beneficiaries make more informed decisions in June. The final rule, effective Jan. 6, 2012, gives qualified organizations and beneficiaries access to reports about providers, such as nursing homes, hospitals and physicians. The reports will be a combination of private sector and Medicare claims data, and patients' identities will be protected.
According to the rule, “qualified entities may receive data for one or more specified geographic areas and must pay a fee equal to the cost of making the data available.”
See Rule: final_data_rule_7685.pdf
Final rule gives providers and beneficiaries access to quality data - McKnight's Long Term Care News

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Neglect common in Michigan nursing homes

Michigan issues thousands of violations against nursing homes each year, but the number of documented cases of outright abuse is much smaller, though exact numbers are hard to come by.
Four of five Michigan nursing homes in a three-year period were cited for some form of nursing home mistreatment. But that label covers everything from an aide striking a resident to more passive lapses, such as failing to conduct a background check on an employee or an aide's failure to report an unexplained injury.
For example, Tendercare in Kalamazoo County was cited in November 2010 after an aide pinched and slapped a 100-year-old woman who used a racial slur while resisting going to bed, an inspector wrote. A co-worker said the aide then walked away like nothing happened.

Neglect common in nursing homes, but state seldom cites outright abuse Detroit Free Press

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Depression and stress prevalent in low-wage earning nursing home workers

This study reveals findinfs that are NO surprise to anyone familiar with American Nursing homes: The prevalence of depression is common among low-wage nursing home workers — who also experience higher levels of stress than other workers — a new Harvard study finds. In one case I handled against Kindred Healthcare, the CNA accused of abusing 4 Elders with Alzheimers had worked an incredible 105 hours in one week.
“The high burden of work-family stress and depression in this group has important public health implications for the nursing home workers and their families as well as for the quality of care delivered to nursing home residents,” said Harvard School of Public Health researcher Cassandra Okechukwu.
Okechukwu and her team surveyed 452 workers, mostly women, to investigate the link between depression and stress at home and work. Participants were asked about stressors such as financial hardships, lack of food and whether they worried about work-related issues during non-work hours. Investigators found that these stressors were double the rate in nursing home workers than other professions.
Okechukwu and her team, which released their findings earlier this week, said they hope to use this information to develop interventions aimed at improving work-family problems among nursing home workers.

Study: Depression and stress prevalent in low-wage earning nursing home workers - McKnight's Long Term Care News

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nursing assistant guilty of rape of a dementia patient

I read yesterday that a former certified nursing assistant was sentenced to up to eight years in prison for raping a 69-year-old woman with dementia. Jerald Sullivan was also ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court. Prosecutors say Sullivan sexually assaulted the elder woman in January 2011 while working at the Hillcrest Commons nursing facility in Pittsfield. The judge called the elder crime "reprehensible." I don't know the facts of this case but from the article ot looks like the Judge 'got it right'. I have seen Judges at criminal sentencing of abusive and assaultive nurse aides take a much more lenient approach leaving the distressed families and victims with no recourse other than the civil justice system a la the O.J. Simpson victims.

A nurse aid at a Kindred nursing facility in Massachusetts escaped any jail time even after admitting to assaulting 4 helpless dementia residents. Two subsequent civil nursing home abuse actions provided some measure of justice for the victims families but only after a protracted and hard fought battle to bring Kindred to Justice.

Federal and State Laws specifically prohibit any type of assault upon elders in nursing homes, but it takes a judge or jury to bring these laws to life.

Nursing assistant pleads guilty to raping a patient with dementia at Pittsfield nursing home | The Republic

Friday, January 6, 2012

More Nursing Home Residents going home

Forty-three states have received federal funding to help transfer Medicaid beneficiaries from nursing homes to their communities, a new analysis finds.
The Money Follows the Person demonstration program, which was started five years ago and was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, had successfully transferred a total of 17,000 nursing home residents back into their communities as of Aug. 11, 2011, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

More Medicaid beneficiaries are undergoing nursing home-to-community transfers, report finds - McKnight's Long Term Care News

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nursing Home Population to Expand

According to an article in,
there are 3.8 million nursing home residents over the age of 65 , and the senior citizen population will increase  to over 72 million by 2030.
This means nursing homes will see over 5 million patients in 2020 and 6.6 million in 2030. With medical advances it is likely  that nursing home populations will be bigger.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Nursing Home Exodus

When Edwin Murphy was 91 he was transferred to a local nursing home for rehab and he developed pressure ulcers on both hips. He wanted to go home . Unlike some nursing home residents, he still had a home.
He didn't feel he could enjoy life being "institutionalized.” Moving disabled people out of nursing homes back into the community has become a focus for Medicaid, which now is shifting its priorities to spending more long-term care dollars on community services and less on institutions such as nursing homes.
To that end, every person admitted to a nursing home now is asked The Question: “Do you want to talk to someone about the possibility of returning to the community?” The Question is posed quarterly thereafter.

The Nursing Home Exodus, Part 2 -