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Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Anti-psychotic drugs used to restrain nursing home patients

Elderly patients in a nursing home may need an advocate. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, anti-psychotic drugs are over-prescribed in California by more than 15 percent.

A daughter, who claims her mother was given anti-psychotic drugs at a Sacramento nursing home, would undoubtedly agree with that. She claims her 82-year-old mother checked into Roseville Point Health and Wellness Center after a fall, and died just 12 days later after she was administered Haldol. The daughter says that the nursing home was instructed not to give her mother any anti-psychotic drugs under any circumstances.

Financial abuse often plagues seniors in nursing homes

Making sure that your loved one is cared for while in a nursing home takes a lot more than just looking out for bruises and other physical marks. In some cases, the mistreatment of elderly nursing home residents is invisible to the naked eye, unless you are vigilantly watching your loved ones financial accounts.

Financial elder abuse is a problem that often plagues nursing home residents. In fact, this problem can also affect other senior citizens who aren't in nursing facilities. No matter where that financial abuse occurs, it is a sad situation since someone is preying on a senior citizen.

Medicare requirements for hospital discharge

When a person is enrolled in Medicare, or an insurance plan that includes Medicare, they have certain rights that a hospital must follow if they are a resident. For instance, the hospital cannot just discharge a patient without following specific procedures to ensure the patient has received the care he or she needs or the information to follow up with treatment.

This is important because some hospitals, unfortunately, are financially driven. It is usually in the hospital's advantage to discharge a Medicare patient as promptly as possible. Since Medicare pays a flat fee for specific services, the less the hospital spends on the hospital stay, the more they are likely to make.

What should you look for on nursing home contracts?

Nursing home contracts are going to include a lot of detailed information. If you are about to put your loved one into a nursing home, you need to review the contract carefully. You should even have your attorney review it before signing.

What should be on a nursing home or elderly care facility's contract? The contract should include all basic services that will be provided to your loved one at the basic rate. It should also include any items that will be charged extra, in addition to the basic costs. Also included should be the notice of right to apply for Medicaid or Medicare.

Overmedicating nursing home patients is a serious problem

One of the issues that was covered in a story we discussed last week was about how a nursing home was overmedicating patients. It is very important that those who have loved ones in nursing homes know some finer points dealing with overmedication so they can try to protect their loved ones from this horrible situation.

What is overmedication?

Nursing home found guilty of fraud and elderly abuse

Two nursing homes in Watsonville, California, have been found guilty of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, as well as elderly abuse. A federal lawsuit was filed eight months ago against the two nursing home facilities, as well as the entities who manage the homes. The facilities were accused of "providing worthless or substandard care" and also filing false Medicare and Medicaid claims. In addition, the charges included over medication of patients.

Allegedly, management received over $20 million dollars in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims. According to the complaint, the services claims were filed for were either completely made up, "grossly inadequate" or worthless.

Physical abuse in nursing facilities is never acceptable

Learning that someone in a nursing home isn't properly caring for your loved one is troubling. In many cases, it is downright angering. Just last week, we discussed the case of the mother who asserted that her son was being physically abused at a rehabilitation facility. That story brought up some very interesting points.

People who are in nursing homes are almost always at a disadvantage in a physical altercation. Some nursing home residents are non-verbal and others are unable to effectively communicate. When you consider that and the frailty of some nursing home residents, you can understand why physical abuse in a nursing facility is so horrible.

Teen in rehabilitation facility allegedly abused by staff members

When most people think of nursing homes, they think of facilities for the elderly population; however, there are other forms of nursing homes that cater to people of all ages. Some younger people have to get care in rehabilitation centers, which are a form of nursing home. While this story didn't happen in California, it is of interest to people here because it shows the severity of cases of abuse that can happen in rehabilitation centers.

The case centers around a teenager who is in a rehabilitation center following a grand mal seizure in 2010. The child had seizures from the time he was 5 months old. He had infantile spasms around the clock for two years; however, the tonic-clonic seizure he suffered in 2010 rewired his brain. He became aggressive and was deemed unsafe to live at home by a medical center. That is how he ended up in the rehabilitation facility.

Startling numbers for fatal falls in nursing homes

Hearing about an elderly person who took a tumble is not uncommon, but according to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, you might be surprised at just how "not uncommon" it is.

About 5 percent of the population in this country who are 65 and older reside in nursing homes. There are an approximate 9,000 deaths from falls in this age group per year in the United States. About 20 percent are from those living in nursing homes. That amounts to around 1,800 fatalities per year from elderly individuals living in nursing homes.

Can post-traumatic stress disorder follow nursing home abuse?

We have discussed how some elderly residents in nursing homes aren't properly cared for. In some cases, that neglect or abuse might lead to broken bones. What some people might not realize is that the effects of a broken bone can go far beyond the physical effects. It is possible that post-traumatic stress disorder might follow a broken bone. Even when a broken bone isn't present, the resident might still suffer from PTSD simply because of the abuse he or she suffered.

What are some symptoms of PTSD?

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