Andira Lawson was ‘charged with one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult and one count of neglect of a vulnerable adult’, The Post and Courier reports. Lawson worked at the Sumter Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in Sumter, SC. Lawson allegedly committed these crimes against two residents in their 70′s. One woman said Lawson ‘struck’ her and one man said Lawson left him in a wheelchair, ‘nude from the waist down’. Lawson no longer works at the nursing home.
You know the licensing agreements that you probably never read? Pretty much every time you download software, get a credit card or cell phone, you’re signing an arbitration agreement. What this means is that if you should ever have a case against one of those companies, you would immediately bypass a jury trial in favor of arbitration. Arbitration is similar to a trial, but instead of a jury of your peers, you give your case to a panel of arbiters. Arbiters are legal experts. Some may be judges or other lawyers. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?
The problem is when the company pays for the arbiters and choose who they are. That doesn’t exactly seem unbiased and objective. In fact, the company is heavily favored in arbitration. There’s also no appeal in arbitration. Arbitration is yet another way for big companies to gain an advantage over the Average Joe. In a hypothetical case, the company is already at a significant advantage without adding arbitration to the mix. Company’s who use arbitration clauses tend to be larger, which means they have more resources, more experience, and more to lose. Arbitration is becoming a part of every person’s life, and the Supreme Court recently ruled that being ignorant of the clause doesn’t make you exempt. Know what you’re signing, and read those licensing agreements. Because you may find that in the event of a case against one of those companies, the odds will be heavily stacked against you.
According to a new report released by the federal government, Kansas ranks 47th in the nation in prescribing anti-psychotic medications to seniors with dementia. Giving anti-psychotics to patients with dementia can cause harmful side effects including sedation. Not only is the state among the worst in the nation, but they have also shown that they’ve been getting consistently worse. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said they can’t dictate what medications doctors prescribe to patients. Kansas has more than 300 nursing homes.
A 90 year old man was left outside in the sun for three hours. Aristocrat, the nursing home where the man lived, wheeled the man outside and forgot about him. The man was nonresponsive when they brought him back into the facility, according to the 911 call. At the hospital, staff tried to cool the man down, spending half an hour on this process before the man went into cardiac arrest. He’s believed to have suffered severe sun stroke. At the time of reporting, he was barely alive.
Taneka Kiera Hopkins worked at a South Haven nursing home when she was charged with second-degree elder abuse after abusing an 80 year old bedridden patient. Hopkins slapped the man and treated him roughly. The police caught on to Hopkins after the family became suspicious and notified police. Authorities say they ‘were provided with visual evidence’.
The Honey Grove nursing home in Texas lost over $500,000 after one of its employees, Jeri Flanery, misappropriated funds. Flanery had access to checks for the home and used those to steal more than half a million dollars over three years. Flanery has a history of bounced checks. This is not the first time that Fannin County has seen misappropriation of funds. Last year, the county saw a case where $800,000 was taken from Fannin County Electric Co-op because there wasn’t enough oversight of the funds. The nursing home says they turned the case over to police immediately once they found out, and that they strive to protect their residents.
One nursing home is answering that question the same way that they always live their lives: by giving to others. The Randolph County Nursing Home houses a number of residents, including Merlene Brown. Brown had a mastectomy 13 years ago and says she knows how hard it can be to live with and as a survivor of breast cancer. The home has a number of people like Brown who form a support group. The NEA Breast Cancer Survivors Group is composed of 25 giving women who have survived breast cancer. They often engage those outside the home with breast cancer, sending special pillows and roses, writing letters, and holding meetings for survivors and families, says the nursing home’s activities director. The group has made a dance competition video in the hopes of winning $10,000 which they will donate to charity. To watch the group’s video (and maybe vote for them to win the prize), click here.
Families for Better Care recently released their second state report card for nursing home rankings. Coming in as the worst state for nursing homes is Texas, for the second consecutive year. Texas failed to meet minimum federal requirements in almost every category including staffing, inspections, and complaints. To combat the complacency of Texas’s long term care facilities and the seemingly inept Department of Aging and Disability Services, the regulatory body in charge of ‘overseeing’ nursing homes in Texas, lawmakers created a ‘three strikes rule’ which would make the DADS shut down violators who had three serious violations placing residents at immediate risk within 24 months. Hopefully, this measure will provide some relief to Texans everywhere who have no choice but to use the worst nursing homes in the country. Texas’ continued lackadaisical attitude towards long term care represents more than two failed report cards, it also represents a failure to each and every resident who lives in a home which doesn’t even meet minimal federal standards.
Emerald Health Care received a shock when one of its caregivers woke up a resident. What was unusual was when the resident saw Christina Bazo slipping something on her hand. Bazo had been stealing jewelry from residents at the home, even daring to put lotion on residents’ hands to slip off rings. The resident told the staff who alerted police. Police found jewelry at a pawn shop and traced it back to Bazo.
Researchers from several established institutions just released a new study which shows that chronic constipation and fecal impaction are two areas of care where nursing homes aren’t meeting the needs of the residents. The study was conducted in 34 Spanish nursing homes, using surveys, data, and rectal examinations on consenting participants. This study is the first of its kind since other constipation studies have been based on the use of laxatives. What the researchers found is that chronic constipation is not well controlled in nursing homes, even though it’s very common. Almost 3/4 of all residents had chronic constipation, and half of those exhibited signs of fecal impaction. Part of the problem is that laxatives are not as effective in the older population as they are in others, and if a patient is given a laxative, there is no follow up to see if it worked. The researchers cite other studies done outside of Spain, some in the US, which suggest these results can be generalized to nursing homes elsewhere. The full study can be found here.