Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

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According to a new exposé by ProPublica, an unknown number of senior citizens who die in nursing homes around the country may have died due to nursing home abuse.However, their families may never know because investigations into such a wrongful death are rare. Nursing home abuse attorneys are well aware of the serious nature of the problem. When investigating these matters, we often find that the nursing home has been active in trying to cover up the abuse, rather than conducting an honest investigation which uncovers the issue and provides useful information to improving the care they provide.

As part of the exposé, the team at ProPublicainvestigated coroner and medical examiner’s office records, and looked at the number of sudden and unusual fatalities at several nursing homes.They found in their investigations that in cases involving seniors who die suddenly, or under any kind of suspicious circumstances, there is no guarantee of any investigation into the death.ProPublicahas reached several conclusions that point to systemic flaws.

For instance, when a senior death is reported as natural, coroners and medical examiners very rarely investigate it.However, the fact is that very often, doctors make errors in judging whether a death is natural or not.In one study conducted in 2008, approximately 50% of doctors were not able to correctly identify the cause of death for an elderly patient who had died after a brain injury that occurred as a result of a fall accident.What this means is that an unknown number of deaths in nursing homes are probably being classified as natural deaths, when they are anything but.

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Seniors in Atlanta are at a high risk of suffering serious injuries in a slip and fall accident because of their age, gait, vision problems and a number of other factors.A new study conducted in the UK focuses on how a senior’s direction of gaze and walking style affects his risk of a fall accident.

The research is being funded by the Age UK, and is probing the link between vision and a slip and fall accident.Researchers are specifically looking at the theory that a person’s risk of a fall accident increases when he is looking straight ahead, and not down at obstacles that are in front of him.According to the research, older adults who look directly ahead at obstacles in the distance may be at a higher risk of a fall accident than those who look at obstacles in front of them.

Age UK is planning more studies into the prevention of fall accidents involving the elderly.Soon, the group will initiate a new study involving people over the age of 65.Researchers are currently looking for subjects who will participate in this new research.The research will involve a four-hour experiment during which the subjects must walk over a 7 m walkway.The participants will be required to take precise steps on a target marked on the road, as well as over a series of marked obstacles.While they walk, a number of variables will measured, including the participants’ eye and body movements.Saliva samples will be tested.Participants will also be surveyed about their experiences while walking.Through this study, the researchers hope to determine safer ways of walking for senior adults.

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Elderly pedestrians account for just 13% of the American population, but comprise 22% of all pedestrian accident deaths here.It doesn’t take an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyerto understand that these pedestrians are simply at a higher risk of being fatally injured in accidents.However, the situation could get worse.As the nation’s baby boomers step into their mid-60s, transportation safety advocates expect these pedestrian safety problems to explode.

Not only are seniors living much longer, but they are also living healthier lives.A 65-year-old American today probably lives independently, and walks a lot for leisure for health.Unfortunately, these persons are likely walking on streets that have not been designed with their safest interests in mind.

Many of the streets were designed decades ago, when there were fewer numbers of pedestrians on the street, let alone elderly pedestrians.In those days, streets were designed for automobiles only.An elderly person is slower than most people for who our crosswalks were designed.That’s a fact of life, and street planning has not taken this into consideration.

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This week, elder safety groups and Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.The Georgia Department of Human Services is asking all people to wear purple on Wednesday to raise awareness about elder abuse.

This week, family health agencies and elder safety groups in Georgia are asking all citizens to look out for signs of elder abuse.

Signs of physical abuse of elders are easy to detect.

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As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we know that older motorists face specific driving challenges that may increase their chances of being involved in a serious auto accident and suffering serious injuries.However, a new study shows that the older the driver, the higher the risk of making a critical driving error that could end in an accident. The study is something that older drivers and their families in Atlanta and throughout Georgia should consider as they make decisions together about when to stop driving.

The study conducted by researchers at Australian National University, studied 266 volunteers aged between 70 and 88.The volunteers were required to take a driving test, with a driving instructor and an occupational therapist in the vehicle.

17% of the drivers in the study made critical driving mistakes, like veering or failing to check in their blind spots.The risk of making critical driving errors increased with age.For instance, drivers between the age of 70 and 74 made an average of one driving error.Drivers between the age of 85 and 89 however made an average of four critical driving errors.Additionally, those drivers who had been involved in an accident over the past five years were also much more likely to make driving errors.

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The MARTA driver, who was operating the bus involved in a dragging accident that left a 62-year-old woman seriously injured, has been involved in bus accidents earlier.The woman, Belinda McMillian has been fired since the accident, but records suggest that she had a history of bad behavior on the job. As an Atlanta personal injury attorney, I have too often seen companies fail to rid themselves of problem drivers.

According to her personnel file which runs into 420 pages, she once crashed her bus into a parked car, causing the car to hit another vehicle.In another incident, her bus clipped the mirror of another parked vehicle.Her personnel report also shows plenty of complaints from passengers about her abusive nature.

However last Sunday, McMillian outdid herself.The 62-year-old passenger, who uses a walker, had just gotten off the bus and turned around when she realized that she had left her purse on the bus.Her arm got caught in the closing doors of the bus.What happened next was a nightmare for the woman.McMillian continued to operate the bus, driving on, while dragging the elderly woman alongside the bus.The woman was dragged more than 60 feet, before witnesses got McMillian to stop the bus.When the bus stopped, McMillian opened the door at which point the lady fell on the road.Not bothering to check on the lady, McMillian simply drove off from the scene.

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A report by the Department of Health and Human Services finds that a shocking 80% of elderly nursing home residents in the country have been administered antipsychotic medications, for off-label purposes.Because these medications have a high risk of deaths, it is statistically likely that some of the patients died as a result of the use of these medications. The off-label use of these medications raises the likelihood of claims for nursing home abuse, medical malpractice and product liability. Atlanta injury attorneys will need to closely monitor the developments in this area and will likely get calls from families of patients who were treated with these medications.

According to the report, out of 300,000 nursing home residents studied in 2007, approximately 90% received powerful anti-psychotic medications that are typically used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.There are studies to prove that elderly persons who receive antipsychotic medications can be at a high risk of death.In spite of this, these vulnerable persons were overmedicated, and there is no reason to believe that things have changed dramatically between 2007 and now.

Moreover, it seems highly likely that the pharmaceutical industry has been behind this overmedication of nursing home residents.One of the ways in which pharmaceutical companies increase their profits is by promoting off-label uses of their drugs.An off-label use of a drug is one which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.Doctors can prescribe a drug for off-label uses, but a company is not allowed to market the drug for these purposes.

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Atlanta Workers’ Compensation lawyers are likely to see a spike in the number of claims being filed by older American workers.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning in a new study that the number of senior workers being injured in workplace accidents, has increased substantially. As the CDC noted, the increase in work accidents for seniors is likely due to the fact that we have more senior in the workplace than in the past due to the recession. Therefore, more and more seniors will have workers comp claims to assert. Unfortunately, some insurance companies are likely to take advantage of the fact these seniors have more limited life expectancies to reduce the level of their settlement offers in worker comp cases beyond what is reasonable for that issue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of injured older workers in the workforce increased from 12 % in 2003 to 17% in the latest estimates.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that much of the reason for this increase has been the fact that there are more older workers in the workforce now than ever before.During these troubled economic times, many seniors who had been looking forward to retirement, have been forced to re-enter the workforce instead.In many cases, these older workers are entering a work environment that has simply not taken their specific safety issues into consideration.

For instance, older workers may be at a high risk of certain types of accidents, like slip and fall accidents.They may also be at a high risk of fall accidents from elevated surfaces, or from ladders and stairways.These falls can leave an older worker with serious injuries, like fractures, hip fractures, broken ribs and other injuries.A hip fracture, for instance, can mean the end of an older worker’s ability to earn a livelihood.In fact, studies show that older persons who suffer a hip fracture, have a much higher risk of dying within a year after suffering the injury, than those who have not suffered a hip injury.

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More than 100 residents of a nursing home in Gwinnett County, Georgia were moved to another facility last week, after the roof of their nursing home collapsed.Fortunately, the 109 residents did not suffer injuries during the collapse. As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I have seen a number of roof collapses that did not turn out nearly as well. When it comes to nursing homes, we are generally more focused on nursing home abuse issues.

According to news reports, the collapse occurred around 10 AM on Thursday at the Golden Living Center at 213 Scenic Highway in Lawrenceville.According to facility staff, workers were in the process of replacing the entire roof of the building when the collapse occurred.Apparently, the workers were engaged in removing and replacing roofing materials at the time of the collapse.The collapse occurred in the dining area of the facility.

Fortunately, none of the residents were in the dining area during the collapse.However, there could have been serious injuries if the collapse had occurred later in the day.Just a short while after the collapse, the residents were scheduled to spend some time in the dining area.The residents have now been shifted to other living facilities.

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As Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys, we often come across cases involving pedestrians seriously injured in accidents caused by senior motorists.A new study conducted by Israeli researchers suggests that elder drivers may suffer from an inability to see things in their peripheral vision that prevents them from seeing pedestrians on the curb or sidewalk. This increases the likelihood of a pedestrian accident. Of course, auto accidents involving pedestrians often involve the most serious injuries.

The study came out of a spike in pedestrian accidents involving senior motorists in Israel.The researchers were looking at the specific challenges an elderly motorist faces as far as pedestrian safety is concerned.The researchers placed older motorists in a simulator, and measured their responses to vital safety signals.

They found that drivers above the age of 65 were half as likely to spot a pedestrian as younger drivers.Not only that, they also found that senior motorists were just half as likely to tap the brakes when they spotted a pedestrian on the curb or sidewalk, as younger drivers.This signifies one of two things-either these motorists don’t spot a pedestrian in time to react, or they don’t consider pedestrians a serious accident hazard.Either of these theories spells danger for any pedestrian in the path of an elderly motorist.

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