Articles Tagged with elder care

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200An audit conducted by Daniel Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that elder abuse and neglect is a significant concern for Medicare beneficiaries and that the Medicare program currently has inadequate procedures to ensure abuse or neglect are identified and reported in accordance with legal requirements.

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home and you believe that he or she is being neglected or abused, contact an experienced San Francisco elder abuse attorney at Brod Law Firm right away. While Medicare mandates that all suspected abuse or neglect of elderly or patients be reported to the police immediately by the facility’s staff, this is often not the case. Many episodes of abuse or neglect go unnoticed and unreported, leaving your and other people’s loved ones in danger.

The Medicare Audit

milind-kaduskar-87650-copy-300x300Certain areas of the U.S., particularly the west coast and southwest, are known for their high temperatures. Temperatures can stay in the 90s and 100s for weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, this excessive heat has already led to fatalities this year. Santa Clara County officials confirmed in June that two elderly residents passed away due to hyperthermia, which is the condition of the body’s internal temperature becoming too high and the body being unable to cool itself down.

Elderly individuals, meaning those over the age of 60, are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death. As summer fully sets in and California experiences very high temperatures, it is crucial that individuals and facilities take extra precautions to protect seniors from the heat.

Elderly are Particularly Vulnerable to Heat-Related Illnesses and Death

p_pnznnd7-y-ashim-d-silva-300x200In July, Gary Lee Potts, 62, was arrested for his part in the 2014 death of Mauricio Edgar Cardenas, 65, who was an elderly nursing home resident with dementia at The Manse on Marsh. Potts, the owner of the facility, and another former facility administrator, Christopher E. Skiff, have been accused of elder and dependent abuse and involuntary manslaughter based on the care they and their facility failed to give to the elderly man.

If you believe your elderly loved one is not receiving the care he or she is entitled to at a nursing home, or you think that negligent care caused your relative’s death, contact our San Francisco elder neglect and abuse attorneys at Brod Law Firm right away. It can be difficult to investigate nursing home care. However, we are well-versed in these matters and will fight to get to the bottom of what has happened to your loved one.

Nursing Home Owner and Employee Charged With Manslaughter

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200The day may come when you have to help your elderly parents move into a nursing home. You may have struggled against this decision for quite some time, or your mom or dad may have resisted the idea of losing his or her independence. However, at a certain point, it becomes clear a professional health care facility is the best place for your elderly loved ones to receive the medical care and attention he or she truly needs. As a child, grandchild, or close friend, you can do a great deal to help your loved one make this difficult transition.

Ways to Help Your Loved One Transition to a Nursing Home

If your elderly loved one has made the decision to move into a nursing home or you have had to make this decision on his or her behalf, take these steps to try and smooth the transition:

freestocks-org-126848-copy-300x200Whether or not a terminally ill individual should have the right to decide when he or she dies is a vehemently contested issue. Throughout most of the U.S., physician-assisted suicide is illegal. If it goes on, it is not talked about or done within the eyes of the law. Only six states have some form of legalized physician-assisted suicide, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia. However, California’s current law is up for debate with a new legal challenge.

California’s Current Law

California’s current physician-assisted suicide law is known as the End of Life Option Act and went into effect in June of 2016. The law enables qualified, terminally ill individuals to ask for and obtain medications that would result in death when they chose to administer them. The law is entirely voluntary for both patients and physicians, and there are safeguards in place to ensure it is not abused.

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200There may come a time when you have to put mom or dad, or grandma or grandpa, into a care facility. It is never your first choice, yet it is often the best one. Your elderly loved ones may need more physical support, supervision, and medical care than you are capable of giving them. By letting your loved one continue to live at home or with you, you are actually doing him or her a disservice and increasing the risk of negative health effects or early death. However, there are a number of practical questions that arise after you have decided a facility is best for your loved one, including:

  • What are his or her needs?
  • What care facilities are available and how do they differ?

mark-rabe-240392-copy-300x200Cheryl and Eric Mills were arrested for kidnapping and elder abuse after suddenly removing an elderly relative from a care facility without permission. Police found the Mills and the elderly individual 90 miles away from the care home in Stockton. The 88-year-old victim was not harmed during the incident, but the individual has continuous health concerns and is unable to give consent, according to a detective on the case. Neither of the Mills had permission to remove the individual from the facility and did not have the capability to care for the elderly person as was necessary.

Civil Liability for Elder Abuse

When an elderly individual is abused by a relative, caretaker, or other person and suffers physical, psychological, or financial injuries, he or she has the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Any person who harms an elderly person can be held civilly liable in court for the economic and non-economic damages associated with the abuse. For instance, if the Mills had harmed their elderly relative during this incident, the individual would have had a cause of action against them.

freestocks-org-126848-copy-300x200Coumadin and other blood thinners are commonly used by elderly individuals. These individuals are often prescribed this type of medication to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, and other major medical events. However, blood thinners are serious medications and patients taking them need to be closely monitored by a physician or nursing home staff. Being on this type of medication when it is unnecessary or taking too much can lead to injuries and fatalities. In fact, ProPublica and The Washington Post found that 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after suffering from Coumadin, or the generic Warfarin, errors between 2011 and 2014. These incidents are preventable when elderly patients are given proper care.

The Dangers of Failing to Monitor Blood Thinners

Coumadin has well-documented benefits. However, when patients are given too much or too little of a blood thinner, they are put at risk for serious health issues and early death. For instance, when patients who are at risk for negative health events are given too low of a dosage or not given their prescribed medication, they remain highly at risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. When elderly individuals are prescribed or unnecessarily given too much of a blood thinner, they can suffer internal bleeding. Warfarin can also dangerously interact with other medications like commonly prescribed antibiotics. If physicians and other nursing home staff are not on the lookout for common medication interactions, then elderly patients are seriously at risk for injuries.

daniel-frank-201417-300x200Under House Bill 1215, introduced in February 2017 by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, there would be a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages for civil malpractice cases involving elderly and dependent adults. While California has a similar cap, it does not apply to lawsuits involving negligence and abuse toward the elderly and dependent adults. Lawmakers stress that the bill is intended to reduce healthcare costs and increase access to healthcare – it is even named “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017.” Since the federal government is adversely affected by malpractice lawsuits for individuals insured through Medicare, legislators estimate it could save the government $62 billion in the next 10 years. However, many healthcare providers and attorneys feel this law would take away a crucial protection against elder abuse and interfere with state’s rights.

Elder Protection Issues in HR 1215

As David R. Cohen of Stark and Stark pointed out, civil lawsuits are one of the only ways elderly individuals and their families have to recover after an elderly person or dependent adult is significantly injured or killed due to negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful medical care. Civil cases enable victims and their families to be reimbursed for their expenses and compensated for their pain and suffering, which can be severe in elder abuse situations. These civil cases also serve to make fraud in nursing homes and other care organizations known to the public, increase accountability, and improve the quality of care adults receive.

gbvrye4prlk-kate-300x200According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 million individuals in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 8.1 million go undiagnosed. A small percentage of these individuals have Type 1 diabetes, while the more significant portion of Americans have Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity and other lifestyle factors. Considering the proportion of Americans with diabetes, it is no surprise that many elderly individuals in nursing homes need their diabetes properly maintained to avoid injury. Undiagnosed or improperly treated diabetes can lead to devastating consequences, including death. If you believe nursing home staff over- or under-treated your parent’s diabetes causing an injury, contact a San Francisco nursing home neglect attorney at Brod Law Firm today. Your parent’s situation may be protected by California’s elder abuse and personal injury laws.

Avoiding Hypoglycemia

For elderly individuals, particularly those with diabetes, it is crucial to avoid hypoglycemia, which is when a person has detrimentally low blood sugar. A normal blood sugar level ranges from 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter. A diabetic patient’s goal depends on a number of factors and should be set and monitored by a physician. Hypoglycemia can occur when patients are administered too much insulin or another drug that lowers blood glucose levels.