As a New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney, I have recently posted on many topics involving nursing home abuse, especially in the areas of the prevention of pressure ulcers and bedsores. In our last post, we provided you with Tip #1 for avoiding bedsores.
It is our hope that these nursing home abuse and bedsore prevention tips will help nursing home patients and their families prevent pressure ulcers and bedsores from developing in a nursing home setting.
A second tip from nursing home abuse lawyers to assist in the prevention of bedsores or pressure ulcers is to make up your own bed sore or pressure risk assessment daily chart and place it in the nursing home patient’s room. This risk assessment chart can be little more than a 8 x 11 calendar page printed from the internet which includes the following:
As nursing home abuse lawyers, we think this simple chart will help prevent bedsore or pressure ulcers from ever developing (enlarge it by clicking on the next miniature):
Because, by law, a nursing home is not required to perform a daily pressure ulcer or bedsore skin assessment. The law only requires a pressure ulcer or bedsore skin assessment upon admission and at regular intervals, or with a change in condition. This law is the bare minimum standard of care required of a nursing home to prevent bedsores and pressure ulcers.
However, as New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers, we encourage nursing home patients and their family members to insist that nursing homes provide the best bed sore or pressure ulcer preventive care – not just minimal care. So, although it may seem odd to have your own home made bed sore or pressure ulcer risk assessment chart in your room, this is the best way to ensure that the nursing home staff is properly assessing you or your family member for bedsores or pressure ulcers.
Bedsores and pressure ulcers cause the deaths of many residents in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Bedsores are very susceptible to infection, and for those whose immune systems are already weak, those infections can become impossible to fight off. Bedsore prevention is certainly key to a high quality of life for a nursing home resident.
If you or a loved one have suffered nursing home abuse, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215)567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the team at the Mininno Law Office earn you the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.
As a New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse firm, we represent people and families who have had loved-ones suffer from horrible pressure ulcers and bedsores caused by nursing home neglect. Many times, our nursing home abuse clients tell us that the bedsore at issue has been classified as a Stage I, Stage II, Stage III or Stage IV bedsore. Although our nursing home abuse clients have this information, they often ask us what the difference is between a Stage I and a Stage IV bed sore or pressure ulcer. This nursing home abuse blog post, as well as the three that follow, will help nursing home abuse victims understand how bedsores and pressure ulcers are classified.
Bedsores are classifieds by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). As a nursing home abuse lawfirm that represents patients with bedsores and pressure ulcers, we frequently use the NPUAP as an authoritative resource when handling bedsore and pressure ulcer cases arising from nursing home abuse. The NPUAP serves as an “authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research.” Since 1987, they have been a major part of bedsore and pressure ulcer prevention in the health care field.
A Stage I bedsore or pressure ulcer is the least extensive bedsore a patient can have. However, as a bedsore lawyer, we believe that a Stage 1 bedsore or pressure ulcer, in many ways, is the most important stage for nursing home staff and families to understand. The NPAUAP defines a Stage 1 bedsore as as
“intact skin with non blanchable redness of the localized area usually over a boney prominence. Darkly pigmented skin may not have visible blanching; its color may differ from the surrounding area.”
In addition, a Stage I bedsore or pressure ulcer is further described as an area that can be painful, firm, soft warmer or cooler as compared to the surrounding and adjacent tissues.
As nursing home abuse lawyers, we typically will not be called in to investigate a nursing home abuse case involving a patient with Stage I ulcer as these bedsores, if treated promptly and correctly, rarely cause a nursing home patient to needlessly suffer. However, a Stage I pressure ulcer or bedsore is medically significant. Nursing home staff and medical personnel must be trained to carefully assess and identify any nursing home patient who has a potential Stage I bedsore or pressure ulcer. Although prevention is the best medicine for a bedsore or pressure ulcer, if a nursing home fails to prevent a bedsore or pressure ulcer, the next best step is early detection.
There are numerous federal regulations and state regulations which require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to carefully assess all of their patients on a regular and routine basis to ensure that they are not developing a Stage I pressure ulcer. Family members should also perform their own regular assessment to ensure that the nursing home staff is doing what the law requires. All nursing home patients should be checked daily for Stage 1 bedsores. This skin check should include visually inspecting all areas of the skin that come into contact with a patient’s bed, wheel chair, seat, or even sheets. The areas include the toes, the heels, the buttocks, lower back, elbows, back and even the patient’s head if he or she is immobile or heavily sedated. Any redness or usual signs in these areas should be pointed out to nursing home medical personnel so that a thorough medical exam can be performed to ensure that a Stage 1 bedsore has not developed.
As will be seen in later posts, a Stage I pressure ulcer can very quickly develop into a much more serious and catastrophic problem. If you or a loved one developed a Stage 1 bedsore while at a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the team at the Mininno Law Office fight for your right to compensation!
You have recently discovered that your loved has been victimized by nursing home abuse. You feel angry, shocked, confused, deceived. You entrusted an expensive facility to care for your family member because you no longer could, and now they are worse off than before. What should you do?
You must contact a nursing home abuse attorney. An attorney is going to review the facts of your case and tell you if there is enough there to file suit. If so, there are more steps you will have to take in order to present a valid case.
After calling an attorney, the next step is often to obtain the medical records. It is often best for the family to initially request the medical records without the help of an attorney. This ensures less of a chance the nursing home would remove documents from the chart, or even re-write them. In order to request a resident’s medical records, you need to have authority to do so. What gives you that authority?
Nursing homes have the right to require a HIPAA authorization in exchange for producing the medical records. This authorization can be signed by the individual. However, often times in a nursing home setting, the resident is unable to make these decisions, and has arranged for one or more family members to act as power of attorney. When properly written, a power of attorney would give members of the resident’s family the right to sign the HIPAA authorization and request the records for themselves.
In the event that the resident were to die, the power of attorney would now have no legal force or effect. What should you do now?
In New Jersey, once an individual dies, the family must make an application for a “short certificate” to continue to represent the estate. The short certificate is a document that is created and provided by each county’s Surrogate’s office. Luckily, the employees at the Surrogate’s office are some of the most helpful State employees you will ever come across. Usually in one or two days, the family can obtain the short certificate. Just as a power of attorney gives the family the authority to execute the HIPAA authorization and to obtain the client’s records when they are alive, the short certificate gives them that ability when their loved one is deceased. Below is a link to the contact information for all 21 New Jersey county Surrogates.
Although this is a general road map as to how you would obtain records and to begin to investigate whether there is a claim for injuries against the nursing home, in the event that you feel you may have a viable lawsuit for injuries suffered by your family member, please do not hesitate to contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation.
You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the team at the Mininno Law Office earn you the compensation you deserve.
When our loved ones are no longer able to take care of themselves and we have tried but we do not have the right medical care or the time to give them the assistance they need, nursing homes are where we turn. We depend on nursing homes to take care of our loved ones in the best way possible. We expect our loved ones to be treated well, with compassion and to be given the proper medical care as well. Due to the national recession and health reform cuts of $16 billion in Medicare plans, there are many nursing homes struggling to stay open. The nursing homes that are able to avoid bankruptcy and other problems have to make cuts on staff and proper training which leads to nursing home abuse, bed sores, and other types of neglect. We need a place for our elderly loved ones to feel safe and cared for without having to worry about their health and proper medical care. Even states that have been given extra funding for nursing home care are soon going to run out. It is important that we recognize that there is still a need for nursing homes and that we do something to save them and provide better medical care and services in them as well. Our loved ones and their lives may depend on it the way they depend on us.
If you would like to do something to save the nursing homes, you can write a letter to your congressman or attend a local town meeting and tell people how you feel and the importance of nursing homes.
For more information on nursing homes that are struggling, you may visit this web.
If you feel that your loved ones are a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away. They will help you get the rights and care for your loved one that they deserve to have.
According to a report from Connecticut, many nursing homes and their staff and services are in serious danger of being cut and even closed completely due to Medicare rate adjustments and other cuts as part of the health care reform. The president of the American Health Care Association even sees many nursing homes closing because of these cost cuts. The U.S. Census Bureau shows that 1.85 million people are now being taken care of in the nation’s 16,000 nursing homes and this is up from 1.79 million in 2007. This is clearly not the time to be cutting nursing home funding and closing nursing homes. Despite these figures though, many nursing homes, including twenty-four in Connecticut are being cut and closed due to rising costs and the challenge to keep big nursing homes running. Many people that are getting older, are disabled, and need the nursing home care are now turned away because of heavy debts and other problems. Many businesses are struggling due to the recession, but it may not be the best idea to include these types of cuts in health care reform especially since more people than ever need the care. We need to still remember people first and money second. If we do not help this long term care crisis, there will more injuries, problems, and improper health care not only now but every day all over the U.S. long into the future.
For more information on this nursing home crisis, you may visit this page.
If you feel that your loved ones have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact a medical malpractice attorney right away. They will help you advocate for the rights and care of your loved ones and help you get them what they need.
When a family member or loved one needs care but it has become too hard for you or your family to give it yourself, you want to find the best care possible for your loved ones. Too many times we hear stories about people that go to this nursing home or to that one and end up with injuries, are abused, suffer from malnutrition, have bed sores or other problems. Unfortunately, these are not just stories. These things happen to millions of elderly people every single day. If you want to make sure you are taking your loved one to a “sage” or high quality care facility, there are couple things you can do. You can talk with friends and neighbors about places they have tried and get a general idea of what to look for and then you can go online to www.medicare.gov
On this website you can search for nursing homes by state, city and more and then it will bring up a list of nursing homes and how they are rated based on their overall rating, health inspections, nursing staff, and quality measures. This website also lists what insurance programs they participate in and whether or not the nursing home is non-profit. Once you have this list, you can begin calling places and asking to see the facility or even to spend a day with a resident who lives there. It is important to see what actually goes on at a long term care facility, so that you know you are sending your loved ones to a place where they will be treated well for any injuries or sores they may get and where measures are taken to prevent nursing home abuse and other problems. This way you can feel better about the care of your loved one now and in the future.
For more information on nursing home ratings in New Jersey, you may visit: www.medicare.gov.
If you feel that your loved ones have been a victim of nursing home abuse, please contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
He will help you advocate for the rights of you and your loved ones, to get the quality care they deserve.
Did you know that nursing home abuse can be lucrative? Insurance companies do! The economy is struggling. You and I, our families and friends, even big companies are struggling to stay alive in a toxic economic climate. The difference is, these insurance companies have corporate shareholders to keep at bay. Their answer? Cash in on nursing home residents’ insurance policies of course!
Remember when Ebenezer Scrooge died and his house cleaner sold his stuff to cash in? Well, insurance companies and nursing homes are now scheming to do the same to residents. It involves encouraging patients in long term care and assisted institutions to sell their policies for a discounted cash amount. The patients get a pittance of a return – which they can spend at the home for “care.” In exchange, the nursing homes and the insurance carriers get the insurance policies from the patients. These policies are then packaged and sold to Wall Street as future bonds. When the patient dies, Wall Street or the care facilities gets the payout. Talk about a conflict of interest! The longer the patient lives, the greater the cost to the nursing home and the smaller the profit on the policy. Conversly, if the patient dies just after the purchase, the care center reaps the profits.
We believe that these institutions should be in the business of caring for our elderly loved ones, not stealing from them. They should not be in the business of leveraging a patient’s health and life as a commodity to be traded on the market. Such practices are depraved. But, this nursing home business IS big business, and as is often the case, “profits over people” is business as usual. Every day, we read about how nursing home abuse and negligence take the place of adequate and compassionate care, only to make an easier and quicker profit. People and their medical care should come first. We understand this and are ready to help you.
If you feel that your rights are being violated or that a loved one has not received proper care or may be a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The nursing home abuse lawyers at the Mininno Law Office will make sure that your loved ones’ voices are heard and their rights protected. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Make sure that care is put before profits and advocate for these rights. Let the Mininno Law Office team earn you the compensation you deserve.