Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

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Nursing homes that have lower rankings by federal agencies have been much more likely to have resident deaths related to Covid-19.

According to the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes ranked low by the agency’s nursing home ranking tool have seen higher numbers of Covid-19 deaths, compared to nursing homes that were ranked higher by the ranking tool.

This information provides valuable input for families who are looking for nursing homes for their loved ones in a post -pandemic world. By now, it’s clear that many nursing homes were ill-equipped to handle the patient care challenges resulting from the pandemic. Understaffing is a chronic problem in nursing homes across the country, and has already been blamed for the explosion of cases in nursing homes.

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Nursing homes that have lower rankings by federal agencies have been much more likely to have resident deaths related to Covid-19.

According to the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes ranked low by the agency’s nursing home ranking tool have seen higher numbers of Covid-19 deaths, compared to nursing homes that were ranked higher by the ranking tool.

This information provides valuable inputs for families who are now looking for nursing homes for their loved ones in a post -pandemic world. By now, it’s clear that many nursing homes were ill-equipped to handle the patient care challenges resulting from the pandemic. Understaffing is a chronic problem in nursing homes across the country, and has already been blamed for the explosion of cases in nursing homes.

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All throughout the country, nursing home residents have been one of the hardest hit groups of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The same deadly results have been seen in Georgia as well.  According to estimates, as many as 50 percent of the fatalities in the state have involved residents of nursing homes.

The Georgia Department of Community Health recently released Covid-19 fatality numbers and the results are frightening. The data suggests that more than 6,000 residents and staff members of nursing homes in Georgia are currently infected with the virus. About 350 facilities in the state are currently grappling with the outbreak. About 20 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Georgia have occurred in nursing homes and 659 deaths have been linked to nursing homes.

The picture is even bleaker in the rural parts of Georgia.  The virus, which was earlier believed to be confined to urban areas, has spread with staggering speed in rural areas.  These counties, with predominantly poor or African American populations have been affected disproportionately by the outbreak, and nursing homes in these regions have seen an alarming spike in death tolls.

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Throughout the nation, the population of those age 65 and older continues to rise.  In fact, as the baby boomer generation continues to age, it is projected that the number of older people in the U.S. population will be greater than children in just a couple of decades.  In Georgia, the population of those 65 and older is projected to constitute over 65% of the state’s population by 2030.

With the rise of the aging population, more and more of these individuals are now living in nursing homes.  However, statistics show that many of these residents suffer from poor and neglectful care, and other abuse.  Residents of for-profit nursing homes are more likely to be subjected to poorer care standards, compared to residents of non-profit facilities. A new report confirms that for-profit nursing home residents have increasing rates of suffering injuries resulting from neglect than those living in other residential arrangements.

The researchers found that seniors over the age of 60 who lived in private community residences were most likely to be well cared for. They found more signs of neglect among residents of for-profit nursing homes.  Some of these cases included serious signs of neglect such as extreme dehydration and stage 3 and stage 4 bedsores. These residents were also more likely to suffer from the effects of mismanagement of their feeding and medication schedules.  The neglect also involved malfunctioning or broken feeding tubes, broken catheters and overall mismanagement of chronic health conditions which are prevalent in the nursing home population.  Numerous lawsuits are filed nationwide against nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for failure to provide adequate care and safety measures.

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Georgia residents are overwhelmingly opposed to a bill that would restrict their access to medical malpractice damages. They’re also strongly in favor of holding nursing homes accountable for the neglect and abuse of residents.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by the Public Policy Polling Institute, which found that residents across seven states are overwhelmingly in opposition to HR 1215. The recently introduced bill seeks to limit noneconomic damages available in cases involving medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. The bill would also cover any damages from lawsuits related to malfunctioning or defective medical devices, as well as pharmaceutical company drug-related lawsuits.

The Public Policy Polling survey specifically focused on residents living in seven states:  Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Utah and Arizona. These are states that are either red (Republican) or purple (have voted Republican or Democrat in the past few years). Typically, voters who live in red or purple states favor restrictions on medical malpractice damages.

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When a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you must step in and ensure that he or she is protected. It is also important to begin the process of filing a claim to recover compensation for the damages that your loved one has suffered.

Holding a nursing home liable for damages is tricky. You must provide evidence that abuse or neglect did occur, and that the facilities conduct resulted in physical or emotional injuries. Basically, when you file a legal claim against a nursing home, you must be able to prove certain key elements, including:

· The nursing home owed a duty of care to your loved one.

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Among the various types of abuse that occur in nursing homes, the most difficult to identify is sexual abuse. Although cases of rape and sexual abuse in nursing homes are rarer than cases of physical abuse, there is no denying the fact that sexual abuse leaves behind long-term psychological and emotional scars that can be even more difficult to heal from than physical injuries.

The elderly are easy victims of sexual abuse, because they often feel ashamed of the abuse and unable to confide in their family about what has transpired. Furthermore, they may feel intimidated or threatened by the perpetrator. All of these things make it difficult for family members to identify abuse.

To determine whether your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, look for signs of changed sexual behavior in your loved one. Don’t ignore any signs of sexual promiscuity, suggestive behaviors, or odd behavior.

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With the proportion of senior motorists across the country and on Atlanta roads expected to balloon over the next couple of decades, it’s not surprising that leading auto safety groups in the country are turning their attention to senior motorist safety. The AAA Foundation recently announced that it is investing in research that focuses on accident risks involving senior motorists.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is investing $12 million in the study into the driving behaviors of senior motorists. Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will specifically investigate factors that affect senior motorist safety while driving. Those factors include prescription drug use that could impair a motorist’s driving abilities and increase the risk of drowsy driving accidents, as well as the impact of deteriorating vision on senior drivers.

As part of the study, drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 will be recruited in several states around the country. Researchers will fit these motorists’ cars with GPS devices to monitor and observe driving patterns. The researchers will use the data that emerges from the study to analyze senior driving patterns and devise solutions to core safety problems.

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Alcohol tends to affect different people in different ways, and younger drivers are typically believed to be at the highest at risk for destructive alcohol- related behaviors, like drunk driving accidents.However, seniors could be just as much at risk of being involved in accidents after they have consumed alcohol.What is even more dangerous about seniors and drinking is that alcohol consumption does not have to be large for it to affect many seniors’ driving abilities.According to research, even small amounts of alcohol can affect an older driver’s driving abilities, increasing his or her risk of being involved in a car accident.

The study was conducted by researchers who analyzed how drinking alcohol affects driving abilities, based on age.Persons in the age group of 25 to 35 were compared with another group which consisted of persons 55 to 70 years old.In both groups, persons consumed alcohol, but not enough for any of them to cross the maximum permissible blood-alcohol level in most states of .08%.In other words, nobody in either of these groups met the criteria for being legally intoxicated.

However, researchers found to their surprise that even when seniors drank just a few alcoholic beverages, it impacted their ability to drive safely.They monitored the driving abilities of seniors by putting them through a driving simulator, and found that even mild amounts of alcohol intoxication in seniors did affect driving abilities.

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According to a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the number of traumatic spinal cord injuries recorded in the United States is on the increase. Another major change that the research showed is that the primary cause of serious spinal cord injuries in the United States is no longer automobile collisions, but slip and fall accidents.

The Johns Hopkins research analyzed a total of 43,137 adults who received treatment in hospital emergency rooms after suffering a spinal cord injury. These adults were treated for their injuries between 2007 and 2009. The researchers found in their analysis that the incidence of spinal cord injury in the 18-64 age group ranged from 52.3 injuries per million in 2007, to 49.9 million in 2009.

While that constituted a drop in the number of traumatic spinal cord injuries that were recorded in this age category, there was an increase in the number of spinal cord injuries recorded among older citizens. In the 65 and above age group, the number of spinal cord injuries actually increased during the study period. These injuries increased from 79.4 injuries per million adults in 2007, to 87.7 injuries per million adults in 2009.

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