Articles Tagged with San Francisco nursing home abuse lawyer

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200Title 22 specifies the standards according to which California nursing homes must adhere. Many of the standards aim to preserve the patient’s level of health and independence, even when it means more work for the nursing home staff. For example, it stipulates that patients must get enough exercise to preserve their mobility.  In practice, this means that nursing home staff should provide walking assistance to patients who can walk with assistance rather than transporting them in wheelchairs. Likewise, it prohibits feeding tubes for patients who are capable of oral feeding, even if they require assistance with feeding. In general, it requires nursing homes to provide patients with the kind of health maintenance care that it would be difficult for them to get outside the nursing home. Therefore, when a nursing home unjustly evicts a patient, and the patient loses the state of health that she had been able to maintain while living at the nursing home, it could be a case of elder abuse. This issue is at the center of a lawsuit currently being argued in California courts.

Details of the Case

A nursing home in Sacramento, California sent a patient to the hospital for a psychological evaluation after she reportedly began behaving aggressively at dinner and throwing table utensils. Physicians at the hospital examined the patient and determined that she was fit to return to the nursing home; in fact, they did not find anything wrong with her. They sent her back to the nursing home, but it refused to re-admit her. According to California law, nursing homes are required to reserve a patient’s bed for seven days when a patient is hospitalized. Likewise, the nursing home did not give her advance notice before she went to the hospital that they would not let her back in when she returned, which is also a violation of the rules.

cristian-newman-63291-199x300Another wrongful death lawsuit has been brought against Brius Healthcare Services for the negligent care provided at its Granada Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. The suit alleges that an elderly patient, Jeanette Sharp, died after the staff at Granada allowed a significant amount of fecal matter to build up in her colon. According to reports, physicians removed up to four liters of fecal matter, some of which was spilling into the patient’s abdominal cavity and had reach the exit of Sharp’s stomach. By the time the patient received surgical intervention on April 4, 2017, the situation was dire. Sharp passed away the same day of the procedure.

Granada Staff Allegedly Provided Negligent Care

The lawsuit filed against Brius Healthcare Services states that the staff at Granada failed to monitor Sharp’s bowel movements. Sharp had dementia and was likely unable to self-monitor. Over an extended period of time without bowel movements, the fecal matter accumulated and filled Sharp’s digestive system.

zi8-e3qj_rm-cristian-newman-300x199Many of us have become familiar with dementia because we may have witnessed its effect first hand in a parent or grandparent. The condition, which is both chronic and progressive, affects about 47 million people worldwide. Millions of those individuals are right here in the U.S. and in California. Dementia affects all aspects of an individual’s life, from memory, the ability to think clearly, and the ability to live independently and perform everyday tasks. While many elderly people can initially live alone or with a spouse in the early stages of dementia, the disease usually progresses to the point of the individual requiring constant in-home care or to live in a nursing home. It is at this time that the elderly become vulnerable to abuse and neglect.

Rates of Dementia in the U.S.

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, many in the medical and public health professions worry that the rate of dementia will skyrocket. However, it looks like dementia rates in the U.S. are actually falling. A study by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, observed 21,000 U.S. adults over the age of 65 between 2000 and 2012. The study uncovered that the rate of dementia decreased 24% during this time period. It was 11.6% in 2000 and 8.8% in 2012. In 2000, the average age at diagnosis was 80.7 years and by 2012, the average age rose to 82.4 years.

The calendar is filled with days we love celebrating including New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving Day to name just a few.  There are other days that are vitally important, but that we wish there wasn’t any need to mark.  June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, is one such day.  It is a day to remember the victims of an ever-increasing, worldwide epidemic of elder abuse.  It is not a happy day, but it is one that is important to remember because our San Francisco elder abuse law firm knows that awareness is a key part of fighting this terrible wrong.

June 15 — World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

According to the Administration on worldelderabusedayAging’s National Council on Elder Abuse (“NCEA”), World Elder Abuse Day (“WEAAD”) was launched ten years ago by the World Health Organization at the United Nations.  WEADD is intended as an opportunity for communities across to globe to work together to advance a better understanding of the problems of abuse and neglect facing older individuals.  According to the NCEA, some 5 million older Americans are victimized each year by some form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  This number is likely a gross underestimate; experts believe that for every case that is reported, up to 23 go unreported.

Trust.  It is an essential part of living in a community from trusting the food we purchase is safe to trusting opposing traffic will stop when they have a red light.  As our population ages, another form of trust becomes ever more important – trusting that elder care facilities will care for and protect their residents.  A shocking example of the violation of this trust arises when facilities fail to guard against sexual elder abuse.  Difficult as it is to think about, sexual abuse in nursing homes is a very real threat and our San Francisco nursing home abuse lawyer believes elder care facilities must take swift and comprehensive action when sexual abuse occurs whether the perpetrator is a nursing home employee or another resident.

Civil Suit Follows Investigation into Nursing Home’s Failure to Report Sexual Assault

On June 16, a civil lawsuit was filed in Washington state involving allegations that a nursing home failed to take appropriate steps to protect a resident from sexual abuse.  KOMO 4 News and Wenatchee World (via San Mateo County’s Network of Care) report that the estate of Christine Trowbridge filed the suit against Cashmere Convalescent Center.  The civil action follows government investigations, including a $6,500 fine levied by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services for failing to intervene in or report the abuse.