The New York Times recently wrote a good piece about a lawsuit currently taking place in Wisconsin. The elderly nursing home resident died by asphyxiation. He was found with his neck caught between his mattress or bed frame and the bedrail.
The federal government and the State of Wisconsin have both warned of the danger of bedrails at nursing homes and the elderly.
The article has an interesting quote:
“Rails decrease your risk of falling by 10 to 15 percent, but they increase the risk of injury by about 20 percent because they change the geometry of the fall,” he explained in an interview. Confused or demented patients who try to climb over the rails, instead of falling from a lower level and landing on their knees or legs, are apt to fall farther and strike their heads.
If your or someone you know has suffered an injury at a nursing home be sure to research and interview the attorneys you intend to hire. Feel free to contact me for any help you may need.
Check out this Journal Sentinel story about Nursing Homes.
Six nursing homes were searched by the DEA:
The nursing homes were:
Beaver Dam Care Center in Beaver Dam; Colony Oaks Care Center in Appleton; Heritage Square in Greendale; Mount Carmel Milwaukee in Greenfield; Village Gardens in Green Bay; and Woodstock Health and Rehab in Kenosha.
The story alleges that these nursing homes may have been dispensing prescription drugs without doctor’s authorization.
The truth of the matter is that there are companies in America that will do anything for profits. This includes injuring those people that the company is supposed to help and protect.
A lawsuit has been filed in Seattle against Milwaukee based Extendicare Health Services. The suit alleges that:
Extendicare is “more interested in protecting themselves from liability and thereby increasing profits than protecting the rights, health and safety of their own elderly and vulnerable residents”
The plaintiffs are:
two former residents and a man whose daughter died at Aldercrest Health & Rehabilitation Center in Edmonds after her tracheal tube clogged with mucus within 24 hours of being admitted.
For what its worth Carl Tabor, Extendicare’s area director says:
plaintiffs have mischaracterized the company’s admission agreement. He said government inspectors have never cited it for problems.
The problems with some nursing homes is that they cut too many corners in order to save a few bucks. Companies must make a profit in order to survive. They must make a profit in order to pay salaries and hire more people. But, especially in the nursing home field, these companies cannot cut too many corners. We are dealing with people and their families not some widget.
There must be checks and balances to make sure that the residents are protected.
My old firm has a good post from September 24, 2008 about a recent report published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of the worst Nursing Homes in America. Four of them are found in Wisconsin.
A large part of our practice is Nursing Home Abuse. I have a lot of family in Marinette, Wisconsin and have some knowledge of the Luther Home there. If you have any questions about nursing home abuse feel free to contact me.
Time magazinehas some interesting stuff. This week on page 54 is an article by Dan Kadlec about long term care insurance in the United States. Long Term Care is another word for a nursing home, assisted living facilities or at home nursing aids.
If you look around my blog you’ll see that my personal injury practice includes nursing home abuse. We often talk about what to do after the nursing home neglect took place. But, how do you avoid the neglect? There are lots of different things to look out for. Being proactive is one of them.
The Time magazine article talks about the cost of long term care and the difference in premiums depending on your age. For example, if you purchase long term care insurance (i.e. nursing home health insurance) in your 50s you may qualify for a “good-health discount” and only 14% of people are denied coverage. Wait until your 60s and only 42% get the discount and 23% are denied coverage.
This is really important if your family has a history of alzheimers, stroke or other degenerative illnesses. I suggest reading the article. It’s certainly something to think about sooner rather than later.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Algoma, Jackson, Two Rivers and Wauwatosa.