Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Oppose the Use of Chemical Restraints to Care for Dementia Patients

new jersey , philadelphia, nursing home abuse lawyers, attorneysAThe use of chemical restraints is, unfortunately, nothing new. Nursing home abuse lawyers have long known that medication is often used to sedate and restrain residents. ABC News online recently published an article on the detrimental effects of a certain prescription often given to Dementia patients in nursing homes. Most of the time, these prescriptions are dispersed not only to sedate patients so they become more “manageable,” but also to help the nursing home make money from the Medicaid reimbursements they receive for ordering the medication.

Medication Causes Increased Death Risk in Dementia Patients

study of over 75,000 nursing home residents – 65 and older, who suffer from dementia – has found that those that take the anti-psychotic drug Haldol double their risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. It seems that the risk was highest during the first 40 days of treatment. Krsita Huybrechts, epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, commented on the recent findings:

“The evidence provided in our study reinforces the important risks associated with the use of these drugs and underscores the need to try alternative means of dealing with behavioral problems in older patients with dementia. [The use of Haldol] cannot be justified because of the excess of harm. ”

Conversely, patients taking Seroquel appeared, according to the study, to have a decreased risk of death compared to those taking Risperdal. However, the use of any of the medications seems unneccessary, seeing as their effect on dementia symptoms is quite limited; so much so that the FDA never even approved many of these drugs for use in the treatment of dementia. Nursing homes are being reimbursed by Medicaid for the off-label distribution on anti-psychotics, or chemical restraints.

Dr. Jenny McCleery, consultant psychiatrist with the Oxford Heath NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K., believes that doctors are prescribing these antipsychotic drugs due to a lack of resources for non-drug interventions.

“Clearly, doctors find compelling reasons to prescribe antipsychotics to patients with dementia, reasons that are unlikely to be found in the evidence base alone.”

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Nursing home residents suffering from dementia are indeed a difficult population to care for. That does not, however, condone the use of drugs to sedate patients so they become easier to care for. Nursing homes should provide competent, compassionate, and attentive care to your loved ones living in long term care facilities.

If you believe that the home in charge of your loved one’s care is acting negligently or abusively, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers of Messa & Associates, P.C. Call 1-800-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry. You may also click on the CHAT LIVE icon to the right to speak with a representative immediately.

Elder Abuse Lawyers: Product Increases Safety for Dementia Patients

As elder abuse lawyers, we know having a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia has a long list of day-to-day challenges. For those who have a parent that has tendencies to wander from the home there is also an added element of constant fear. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are nearly 6 million people with Alzheimer’s in this country and studies have shown that 60 percent of those who suffer from the disease will wander off and become lost. Sadly, about half of those who do get lost and are not found within 24 hours might die. Dr. Andrew Carle, director of the senior housing administration at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services said, “They might be living in their home but they’re confused… They go for a walk and they can get lost for days.” The problem with Alzheimer’s suffers wandering off is “they don’t think they’re lost. They may actually hide. Paranoia is a manifestation of the disease. So search and rescue is hard to do,” says Carle.

GPS Shoe Will Alert Family of Wondering Alzheimer’s Sufferers

elder abuse lawyers in NJ and PA Carle has served as an advisor on a project by the GTX Corporation to develop location-tracking shoes with a GPS in the heel. They were developing the shoe for marathon runners and children when Carle “pointed out why this was an ideal technology for people with dementia who wander.” There has been GPS pocket devices, wristbands, and bracelets and pendants with names and contact numbers on the market but these were easily lost or removed. The wearer is much less likely to remove their shoes. The shoe’s technology will allow a family member to set a perimeter such as the house and yard that the wearer can move around freely, “But if he breaks the fence, Google maps pops up on my computer or my phone to show me where he is,” Carle explained. When it comes out on the market, the shoe is going to cost about $300 with a $30 to $40 monthly subscription fee.

Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility, we encourage you to visit frequently and be very observant of any scratches, bruises, or anything that does not look right. If you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate and would like to speak to one of our elder abuse lawyers, 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.

Nursing Home Neglect Leads to Patient ‘Assault’

As nursing home neglect lawyers, we write a lot about abuse and neglect on the part of facilities and caregivers, but sometimes, other residents can pose a danger to your loved ones as well. Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s have to be watched carefully because they can easily wander off or become very agitated. The facility needs to provide enough staff to ensure the safety of all of the patients in the dementia and Alzheimer’s unit from harming themselves or others.

Autopsy Reveals Assault Injuries Caused Death

new jersey philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyers mercedes iverson Maryhaven Nursing Rehabilitation CenterMercedes Iverson, 86, died on Thursday, July 14 at the NorthShore University HealthSystem Evanston Hospital after an “assault” by another nursing home resident. Iverson had been a resident of the Maryhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Glenview, Illinois for fiver years after her daughter, Laurie Iverson, saw that she began showing signs of “advanced Alzheimer’s.” Preliminary reports said Iverson had fallen, but the autopsy revealed that “assault injuries” led to her death. The medical examiner’s office said that her death was caused by craniocerebral injuries from an assault and from heart disease, and ruled the death a homicide. No other details about the incident have been released from the facility or the authorities.

According to Brian Crawford, a spokesman for Resurrection Health Care, which runs Maryhaven:

“Within the past couple of weeks, an unfortunate incident occurred in a private room … Everyone is safe … While this is very sad and tragic, right now the best thing we can do is cooperate with the authorities.”

Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, 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.

Nursing Home Abuse Can Occur Through Chemical Restraint

According to a report recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, 14% of the 2.1 million elderly nursing home patients, during the first 6 months of 2007, were being prescribed at least one atypical anti-psychotic drug. It was found that over half of that 14% were prescribed the drugs for dementia alone. The anti-psychotics, including Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Risperadal, have NOT been approved for use in the treatment of dementia. In fact, the FDA has indicated that not only do these drugs offer no benefits to dementia patients, they actually can cause life threatening side effects. This undoubtedly a form of nursing home abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse via Chemical Restraint Is an Easy Form of Control

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers Chemical RestraintIt seems that the drugs are being used as chemical restraints; a way to sedate patients so that they require less attention. As an added “bonus,” the home can end up making a large profit from this practice. Due to medicaid reimbursements, the home is making money on every patient they wrongfully sedate with anti-psychotic drugs.

Nursing homes get paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones. Most of the time, they drain your loved one of all of their resources, perhaps even some of yours, and then continue to collect insurance payments. These costs should afford our elderly and sick population good, dedicated, and attentive care. The misuse of anti-psychotic drugs to restrain patients is depraved. Safeguards need to be put into place to make sure that such prescription drug abuse is not occurring.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help

If your loved one is being given atypical anti-psychotic drugs to “help with dementia“, you are witnessing nursing home abuse or neglect. You should discuss this issue with the staff at the nursing home and, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the responses you are receiving, 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, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Our lawyers are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of nursing home abuse in long term care facilities throughout the nation.

Nursing Home Abuse Costs Haverford Facility Its License

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers haverford facility licenseTwo weeks ago, we posted a nursing home abuse blog about the Quadrangle nursing facility in Delaware County, PA. The story revolved around the depraved abuse of 78 year-old dementia patient Lois McAllister and the orderlies that mocked and abused her, forcing her to walk around her room naked while they stood and laughed. McAllister’s family caught the abuse on tape, and the staff members involved were arrested and charged.

Today, we are happy to report that, due to this extremely abusive behavior, Sunrise Continued Care, the parent company of Quadrangle, has had their license revoked. Sunrise is no longer licensed to operate Quadrangle, and no longer able to intentionally humiliate it’s residents. Ronald Melusky, acting director of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, said that investigations into Quadrangle discovered gross incompetence, negligence, and misconduct at the Haverford care facility. The McAllister’s attorney commented on the DPW’s decision to revoke the license, saying, “[Quadrangle] violated the most basic tenets of trust and respect for their residents.”

The license revocation was a victory not only for Lois McAllister and her family, but for the current residents and their families as well. Luckily, the McAllisters caught the abuse on tape, but other families may not be so lucky. Hopefully, a relocation will provide the remaining residents with a chance to receive better, more respectful care.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in NJ and PA

If your loved one is currently a resident at a nursing home or similar long term care facility, pay close attention to their condition and the kind of care they receive. Your attentiveness is crucial to their continued safety at a nursing home. If you are worried that the care they are receiving is indeed negligent or abusive, 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.

Attorneys Report on Awful Abuse of Dementia Patient

As New Jersey and Philadelphia attorneys who have become experts on nursing home abuse and neglect cases, we continue to highlight nursing homes in which acts of elder abuse occur. The Delaware County, Pennsylvania nursing home that we will focus on today seems to be an example of horrible abuse by staff at a nursing facility.

Quadrangle Nursing Home Residents Caught on Tape Abusing Dementia Patient

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers report abuse dementia patientThe family of a 78 year old Lois McCallister, a patient at the Quadrangle nursing home in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, placed a “nanny cam” in view of their relative after she complained of being punched, slapped, and otherwise abused by the staff members. McCallister, who suffers from dementia, also showed signs of bruising on her left hand and wrist. The “nanny cam” caught a nursing home employee striking McCallister in the face and head. The hidden camera also caught nursing home employees laughing at and mocking the mental condition of McCallister for over 12 minutes, while she stood naked trying to cover her breasts. This is an especially egregious example of how cruel some staff members at nursing homes treat their residents. As a result of these incidents, several members of the staff at the Quadrangle nursing home have been placed under arrest.

If you suspect similar abuse in any instance, report the activity to authorities and contact an attorney.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident in a nursing home or other long-term care facility and you feel the care they are receiving may be abusive or negligent, 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.
Act as an advocate for the safety of your elderly loved ones.

Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Send Resident to Freezer

On October 28, 2010, 94 year old Molly Fischer was found inside the walk-in freezer of her California nursing home. An organized search within the home found her alive and standing inside the freezer. She was immediately taken to the hospital and has since been returned to her residency at the Silverado Senior Living Center in Calabasas, California.

Nursing Home Negligence at the Silverado Senior Living Center

While Molly was found alive and returned to her home in restored health, can it be determined that she is, in fact, safe? Molly, like many of the other residents at Silverado, suffers from dimentia. It is likely that she wandered off and ended up inside the freezer without knowing where she was going. Where was the staff when Molly wandered off? Will they abe able to prevent this from happening again, to Molly or any other resident?
new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys molly fischer silverado senior living centerIt is this same kind of nursing home abuse and negligence that killed Ruby Larson in Molalla, Orgeon. Ruby, falling out of the sight of a negligent staff, wandered off and was found dead three years later.

Silverado Senior Living Center can cost upwards of $70,000 a year. Molly Fischer’s family paid 70k to a facility that lost her, and were fortunate enough to find her in enough time to save her life. Had they taken any longer, Molly could have died. Silverado remains a bit quiet about Molly’s condition now, but a spokesman for the home, Mark Mostow, released this statement:

We immediately conducted an investigation, and took appropriate corrective action against two employees. It’s an unfortunate incident, and we’re very sorry that it happened, and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure this does not happen again.

NJ and PA Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

If your loved one has been the victim of negligence or nursing home abuse, you must seek the counsel of an elder abuse attorney. Nursing homes and long term care facilities can not continue to get away with their subpar, negligent, and often deadly care.
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 our team earn you the compensation you deserve.

Nursing Home Negligence Ends in Resident Disappearance and Large Verdict

new jersey nursing home negligence abuse attorneys wrongful death ruby larson pheasant point retirement residence
Ruby Larson disappeared in July, 2007 from the Pheasant Point Retirement and Assisted Living Facility in Molalla, Oregon.
The Pheasant Point Retirement and Asisted Living Residence in Molalla, Oregon was home to 75 year old Ruby Larson. Ruby was admitted to the home in May of 2007, suffering from dementia, short-term memory loss, and disorientation. She had no recollection of her own medical needs, and had a history of wandering off.
The staff at Pheasant Point was aware of Ruby’s condition, as well as the inherent risks associated with it. During her stay there, Ruby wandered off 4 seperate times. The fourth time, July 23, 2007, she never returned. Teams from three surrounding counties searched and found nothing. She was declared legally dead by judge’s order in 2008.

Ruby’s son, David Buoy, filed a $2 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the Molalla retirement home, accusing the facility of nursing home negligence and improper care towards his mother.
His attorney, Phil Leubbers, named Pheasant Point and it’s parent company, Spectrum Retirement Communities, in the suit. Among it’s many allegations of nursing home neglect, the suit also alleges that Pheasant Point was slow to act on Ruby’s dissappearance, taking their time before reporting her absence to police.

Three Years Later, Her Body is Found

In May 2010, Ruby Larson’s body was discovered amidst blackberry bushes in a field just a quarter mile away from the facility. Her body was fully clothed and found by a 4 year old child who was searching for his missing cat.

On October 4, 2010, Ruby’s family was awarded $821,000 by a Multnomah County jury. They returned an 11-1 verdict for negligence. Attorneys for Pheasant Point and Spectrum Retirement maintain that “. . . no one did anything wrong here. Ruby Larson lived the life she wanted to live.”

NJ and PA Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death Attorneys

Ruby Larson’s death was brought on by continued negligence and repeated failure on the part of Pheasant Point to protect Ruby from herself. The state she was in required caretakers to pay close attention to her and prevent her from disappearing. They failed 4 times to keep her inside the facility, and the last time was deadly.

If you or a loved one have suffered the effects of nursing negligence or abuse, call an experienced New Jersey or Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse attorney at the Mininno Law Office. We will work hard to get you to compensation you deserve!
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.

Six Steps to Skirt Nursing Home Abuse

New Jersey Attorneys - nursing home abuse
Nursing home abuse is an ugly truth in a necessary industry.
Nursing home abuse can play an extremely daunting role in where, when, and even if we decide to place our loved ones in a long term care facility. Trends of abuse, negligence, theft, and fraud seem to be taking over an industry that should be known for it’s kindness, compassion, benevolence, and dependability.
Choosing a nursing home can be overwhelming and scary, so the best way to go about the task is to be prepared and know exactly what to look for in a good and trustworthy nursing home. Below are six steps you can take to ensure that you are choosing the right facility to trust with the care of your loved one.

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

Step 1: Ask for documentation that will prove that the facility employs regular background checks to ensure that employees of the facility have no record of violent, sexual, or financial crime. Verify that employees are in good standing with the law and that they have the proper credentials to be working in this field. A nursing home in good standing and employing qualified workers will have no problem turning this paperwork over. The National Association on State Units on Aging reported that “An increased risk of abuse is found at nursing homes that have a history of serious noncompliance, particularly if abuse has occurred in the facility in the past.”

New Jersey Lawyers - nursing home abuse
Follow these steps to help keep your loved one from being abused in a nursing home.
Step 2: Request information verifiying the minimum staff to patient ratio, how many hours per week employees work (including max overtime), and leave instructions to notify you should these policies change. Overworked employees are a huge source of abuse and negligence in nursing homes. Make sure the people caring for your loved ones are not responsible for too many patients for too long. The probability of abuse increases as staff to patient ratio decreases.

Step 3: With regard to step 2, verify the number of patients in the home with dementia, and who are physically dependant on nursing home staff. A high number of dementia patients should be accompanied by high number of employees. According to a report done by the National Center of Elder Abuse, nursing home abuse is more common in facilities that are home to a high number of demetia patients, as their required care is far more demanding.

Step 4: Ask about the facilities grievance policy. What is their protocol for reporting complaints? Is it policy to retaliate against staff members who report abuse? What about a patient who reports abuse? Facilities should offer anonymous reporting options to both staff and patients, and investigate all complaints thouroughly.

Step 5: Ask about the facility’s training policy, and whether or not it offers ongoing abuse prevention courses, as well as other courses to keep staff up to date on the newest and best methods of care. The Department of Health and Human Services reports “Besides improving competence and knowledge, training also offers a vehicle for building [staff] self-esteem, which also may help to reduce stress and burnout.” The report also states that ” . . .training can also prepare staff to respond appropriately to difficult situations, such as dealing with physically combative residents, which have the potential to trigger abuse.”

Step 6: Visit often and unannounced. Nursing home abuse is much more likely to occur to patients who do not have visitors, as there will be no consequence if no one is there to find out. If your visits are unannounced and frequent, staff members responsible for the care of your loved one will be forced to “stay on their toes,” providing the best possible care for the resident.

If Nursing Home Abuse Occurs

Nursing home abuse is an awful thing to deal with, and facilities that employ abusive tactics toward residents, or put profits before patients must suffer the consequences of this behavior. The long term care industry is a necessary one, as most of us are not qualified to care for our elderly loved ones when they get too sick to care for themselves. This industry needs to be one we can trust in. If you or a loved one have been negatively affected by nursing home abuse or negligence, you’ll need the help of a nursing home abuse attorney. 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 us help you get the compensation you deserve.