Contact Authorities Including Police if You Suspect Phycial Abuse in a Nursing Home

Involve the Police if You See Phycical Signs of Abuse

There are many measures one can take if suspected abuse has occurred with a loved one in a nursing home, but one thing to do for sure is to contact the police. Here is what one authority on nursing home abuse says:

If you notice signs of nursing home abuse that are physical or sexual in nature, you should contact local authorities and the appropriate state department immediately. If the signs you notice do not require immediate medical attention, you still need to act quickly, but can take more time to help ensure the proper party is held responsible.One of the most important steps you can take if you suspect nursing home abuse is to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer well-versed in nursing home neglect cases can review the specifics of your situation and advise a course of action, which may include further investigation or filing a lawsuit. Read More…


Jury Verdicts Are Rising Against Nursing Homes for Abuse of the Eldely Residents

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review . An Allegheny County jury awarded $300,000 to the estate of a former resident of a Squirrel Hill nursing home related to damage stemming from bed sores.

Jeffrey Green of the North Side filed a lawsuit in 2009 on behalf of his mother, Dolly Brown, a former resident of The Commons at Squirrel Hill. Brown, 72, died from unrelated causes. Green’s attorney, Peter Giglione, argued that the nursing home was responsible for the bed sores, which caused her pain. Attorney Tony Williot, who represented the nursing home and its parent company, Berkshire Pennsylvania Inc., said Brown came to the facility with bed sores and they healed. Williott said the company would appeal last week’s jury decision. Read more

There are many incidents — far too many – of abuse happening in our nation’s nursing homes. If you suspect a loved one has suffered abuse, do something about it. Be assertive. Be aggressive. Take action now. Don’t sit idly by and let it go on.

Loved one in nursing home and abused?

 



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How to File a Complaint Against a Nursing Home in Indiana

Nursing Home Complaints

The state of Indiana has a very good system in place for the reporting of complaints that you may have against a nursing home. They take these complaints very seriously. While you may feel that there is nothing that can be done, what you may not realize is that others may have made similar complaints. So, while your complaint standing alone might not mean as much, when taken together with other similar complaints, suddenly the state can recognize that in all probability a serious problem does indeed exist, and they can take steps, and will take steps, to correct those problems.

Complaint to the State of Indiana

On the website of the state of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health gives a very detailed explanation of how to report a complaint against a nursing home for abuse, or for other problems or issues (cleanliness, medication issues, financial issues, etc). That explanation is reproduced below for your convenience, or you can see it on their site in the link above.

The Division of Long Term Care of the Indiana State Department of Health is committed to being attentive to your concerns about the care and services provided by an Indiana health care facility. We encourage you to initially alert the administration of the facility of your concerns in an effort to provide the facility opportunity to internally address and correct concerns immediately. If you have done this and feel that further investigation is needed, call our toll-free complaint number: 1-800-246-8909.

Please include your name, address, and phone number when writing or emailing.

You may send written complaints to:

Indiana State Department of Health
Division of Long Term Care
2 North Meridian Street, 4B
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Or email complaints to complaints@isdh.in.gov.

It is recommended that you take the time to document any complaints by simply taking notes.
Guidelines for Reporting a Complaint

Please include the following information when reporting a complaint:

Location:
1) Name of the facility
2) City where the facility is located

Date:
Try to recall the date (if a specific date is applicable) of the occurrence you will be addressing. If there is no specific date, attempt to address the time period (e.g., weekdays, weekends, within the last week, within the last month, etc.) relative to when the concern was observed.

Time:
Address the time of day (or shift) during which your concern was observed or is most prevalent (e.g., 7 a.m., day shift, evening shift, night shift, etc.).

Individuals Involved:
Address individuals (or departments) involved in the concern you are reporting (e.g., nursing staff, certified nurse aides, dietary staff, etc.).

Specifics of the Occurrence:
Keep in mind a concern is much more likely to be confirmed if you are specific in your reporting. For example, if you believe the care to be poor, examples of the behavior you have observed that define what you are referring to as “poor care” should be reported.

Example: If you are dissatisfied with meal service, it is best to describe with what aspect you are dissatisfied with (e.g., food temperature, presentation, taste, etc.).
Example: If you don’t think the facility is sanitary, specifically state what makes it unsanitary (e.g., dust, debris, soiled floors, etc.).

Timely Reporting:
It is imperative that we be notified of your concerns in a timely manner. It is difficult to effectively gather information surrounding an incident that has occurred months before. To assist in accurate and thorough investigations, we ask that you report a concern as soon as possible following its initial occurrence or observation.

After a Complaint Is Filed:
The name of the person who files a complaint and any specific medical information given in the complaint is confidential. Within 7-10 days after you call, you will receive a letter from the Long Term Care Complaint Department verifying that we have received your complaint and we are going to investigate. Complaints are investigated in order of severity. For example, complaints involving immediate threats to a resident’s health care and safety receive top priority.

During the investigation, surveyors will attempt to contact you to gather additional information.

After the investigation has been completed, we will inform you in writing of the results of the investigation.

If you want to be contacted, please include your name, address, and phone number when writing or e-mailing.

More Questions?

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to call our toll free complaint number: 1-800-246-8909.

In an effort to gather information necessary to effectively investigate a complaint, this information has been designed to provide you with guidance prior to placing a call to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Although it is not mandatory to provide all of the listed information, it is helpful for the investigative process.

TOLL-FREE COMPLAINT NUMBER

1-800-246-8909

E-mail complaints

When emailing complaints@isdh.in.gov, please include your name, address, and phone number.

As you commit the time and effort to report concerns in an accurate and timely manner, we at the Indiana State Department of Health commit to you that those concerns will be reviewed and investigated to ensure that the best care possible be provided by health care facilities in Indiana.

If your complaint is very serious, do not just file your complaint with the state. They can help investigate, but seriously consider getting an attorney involved early into the process. The attorney will subpoena all the records of the state that is gathered in the investigation, among other things, and will be in a position to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of your loved one against the nursing home, if there is merit to the complaint. Abuse or neglect of a loved one by a nursing home should not be tolerated. The statistics are rising, and we, as a society, should no longer tolerate nursing home abuse of our loved ones.

Loved one in nursing home and abused?



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Nursing Homes in Indiana – Resources and Report Cards

Indiana Nursing Home Resources

If you are an Indiana resident, or you are looking for a  nursing home for loved ones in the state of Indiana, then there are certain things you ought to know before you place your loved one into nursing home in Indiana. The 1st thing you want to do is look for the ratings of the various nursing homes in the state, particularly in the county in which you prefer your loved one be located.

Start with this resource: NURSING HOME REPORT CARDS

The introductory paragraph to the site reads:

The Indiana State Department of Health, Long Term Care Division, is pleased to make nursing home survey information available to consumers to help evaluate the quality of care provided by Indiana’s Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes. The Division inspects nursing homes at least every 9-15 months to assess compliance with federal standards of care such as adequacy of staffing, quality of care, and cleanliness of facilities. In addition, as necessary, the Division investigates complaints and serious incidents occurring within a nursing home.

View Nursing Home Report Cards

Now, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the lin link that says: View Nursing Home Report Cards You will be taken to a page showing all of the counties in the state. If you click on one County, for example Lake County, Indiana, you will see a list of the nursing homes in Lake County, and a link to the report card for each nursing home. If you click on the link that says View Survey Report you will see the complete report and a PDF file. This allows you to download and/or print the entire report for that nursing home.

Another Excellent Information Resource for Indiana Nursing Homes

Care Pathways is and excellent resource on the Internet for valuable information and insights into the nursing homes in the state of Indiana. It is a paid service, but the prices are reasonable, and if you’re about to place a loved one into a nursing home, it’s a small price to pay in order to have some advance knowledge about the nursing home in which you will be placing them. The site provides a comprehensive overview and they make it into a very easy, readable and understandable format.

The top of the page says as follows:

Up to 7 reports available spanning many more years of history than any other resource on the net! Easily compare ratings among facilities and to county, state and national averages. Subscribe Now!

Whatever else you do, make sure you investigate each home thoroughly before you place that loved one into a nursing home here in Indiana. There are some nursing homes with “failing grades” and there are some that are excellent. Don’t be surprised if you ignore the warning signs or if you do no investigation, and one day you learn that your loved one was abused while in the care of the nursing home in which you place him or her. Nursing home abuse occurs all too often, and it appears this is not going to disappear any time soon.

 



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Accidental Death or Wrongful Death? The Legal Difference

Accidental Death Not Always a Wrongful Death

The mere fact that there has been an accident does not necessarily mean that this is what is known in the law as “wrongful death.” Sometimes, an accident is just that: an accident. However, there are times when there is an accident, and it is an “accidental death,” but it is also a wrongful death. Consider the case of a man who was struck by vehicle, and was later discovered drowned in a nearby ditch. According to the news report, the man who was found drowned had been a passenger in a vehicle which had stopped beside the road. The passenger exited the vehicle and was struck by another vehicle on the road. The victim then began running and disappeared. His body was later discovered in a ditch filled with water. He had drowned.

From the Beaver County Times: “The death of an eastern Pennsylvania man whose body was found in a drainage ditch two days after an accident has been ruled an accidental drowning. Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen made the ruling Monday after an autopsy on the body of 19-year-old Corey Costenbader of Effort. Costenbader’s body was found Sunday submerged in a drainage ditch about 22 feet from where he was knocked down by a car Friday night near Saylorsburg. Read Story

There Must Be Fault to Make it a Wrongful Death Case

Now, it would appear that the fault lies entirely on the individual who had been struck, in this case Mr. Costenbader. While it is true that he was struck by a vehicle, it does not appear to be the fault of the driver. Therefore, there is not a “wrongful death” in the legal sense. But, if the driver of the vehicle who struck Mr. Costenbader is found to have been driving while intoxicated, or was speeding, or if there was some other reason suggesting that the driver was at fault, then this would be a wrongful death case. (see this article for example of a wrongful death case)

Just because there has been an accident in which a death occurs does not always mean that this accidental death is also a wrongful death. The only way you will know whether or not a wrongful death case in which you might have an interest, i.e, you have a loved one that was killed accidentally, is to speak with a lawyer who understands and has dealt with wrongful death issues.

auto accident - consult attorney free 219-736-1420

 



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Florida Jury Awards $200 Million Dollars in Nursing Home Abuse Case

 Jury Punishes Negligent Nursing Home for Abuse

One thing that is becoming apparent is that juries are punishing nursing homes that mistreat the residents in their homes. a plaintiff’s lawyer is going to subtly point out to the jury the fact that this could be anyone’s mom or dad’s, and it is not going to be lost on the jury. Every juror is sitting there thinking this: “That could one day be my mother.” Corporations that own many nursing homes need to start realizing that if they get in front of a jury, those jurors will not be sympathetic. The reason? They all have a mother and a father.

A son whose 92-year-old mother suffered a fatal fall at a nursing homewas this week awarded an astonishing $200million in compensation. Richard Nunziata, 58, of St Petersburg, Florida, represented her estate and sued the company which operated the home in Pinellas Park, Florida. Elvira Nunziata died in October 2004 after slipping away from residents at the home and falling down a flight of stairs in her wheelchair.Read more…

When a lawyer litigates a nursing home abuse case, that lawyer will show the jury that the abuse could have been prevented. Many times, the remedy would have been very simple and very inexpensive. The sad reality is that far too many nursing homes are understaffed and definitely underpaid. Nursing homes are full of people who have inadequate training, limited skill sets, and sometimes have criminal records. Some things you can’t do “on the cheap.” Hiring quality people for nursing homes is one of those things.



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