Nursing Home Closing: Some Nursing Homes Close Instead of Fixing the Problem

Nursing Homes Remedy to Problems Can be to Close

The sad reality is that there are nursing homes that would rather close down than remedy problems in their facilities. Realize that nursing homes are about profit. If these nursing facilities can get away with providing sub-standard help and providing sub-standard care to the elderly who are in their facilities, they will do it. That’s just the way it is. It is fact of life. Here is a case of a nursing home owned by a large company, Life Centers of America, that decided that it simply did not want to remedy the serious problems it faced. Quite likely, the cost and the ultimate “bottom line” was at the heart of the decision. This company states on its web site that it “operates more than 200 skilled nursing homes, assisted living, retirement, home care and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states – from Boston, Massachusetts to Hilo, Hawaii.” From The Daily Times, by Iva Butler:

The corporate owner of Colonial Hills Nursing Center was given chances to remedy a facility with numerous deficiencies but failed to correct big problems, and now residents are scrambling to relocate, state officials said Friday.

The state told the nursing center in late December to relocate about 100 Medicare and Medicaid patients by Feb. 6, but the owner decided to shut the facility down to all 164 patients until it can be refurbished and reopened. Colonial Hills, located at 2034 Cochran Road, Maryville, is owned and operated by Life Centers of America. Vincent Davis, the director of Health Care Facilities for the Tennessee Department of Health, Friday outlined the problems that led to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decertifying the facility provider agreement in late December.

That means they cut off the money for the services. The state and federal government will not pay for subquality care, Davis said. Complaints were made, which resulted in the state doing an investigation that revealed numerous deficiencies, some that were potentially life-threatening. On June 17, 2011, 95 pages of deficiencies were found. There was the potential for harm to three residents out of 12, he said. Some residents on the blood thinner Coumadin were given antibiotics, which could cause serious increased bleeding, he said. On July 29, 2011, the facility was placed in a special focus group, which meant instead of inspections once a year it would be checked every six months. To graduate, a facility would have to have two consecutive surveys with no deficiencies higher than a certain level. “The intention is to produce rapid improvement in care,” Davis said. Read More

On the home page of Life Centers of America, they say: “We understand your loved one is irreplaceable in your life, and we’re committed to providing superior nursing home and long-term care, as well as rehabilitation services. We’ll show you ways to stay involved in the care of loved ones, and work with you to maintain the highest quality of life.”

I suspect there’s some folks in Tennesse who would dispute with them over those words.

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Nursing Home Found Guilty in Lawsuit – Jury returns Verdict for Plaintiff

Nursing Home Lawsuit

Nursing Homes can be a blessing or a curse. We have all heard of serious abuse happening in nursing homes to patients there. That’s where attorneys can provide much needed assistance. While some might decry Plaintiff attorneys who bring in large awards for their clients, the fact is, they are extremely beneficial to our society. In this case, a jury returned Here is a great example:

“When nursing homes do not provide the right care to their residents or negligently provide the care they claim they offer, they too may be sued for medical malpractice, and not just the facility itself,” said Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and wrongful death lawyer at The Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio, “The employees, other caregivers on the premises, and the owners can all be liable.”Consider the case involving an 80-year-old woman who fell out of her bed at her nursing facility. The staff responded to her cries and discovered she had sustained head trauma and was in excruciating pain. For some unknown reason, the staff put her back in bed without calling a doctor and later in the day found her unresponsive. She died in the hospital. The medical malpractice lawsuit filed stated the nursing home was negligent in caring for the woman and that the negligence was the direct cause of her death.“Evidence at trial indicated that the staff knew the woman was at a high-risk for falling, and it was for that reason that her doctor ordered her bed to be as low as it could go. The home was also supposed to have rubber mats around the bed to help protect her should she fall and bed alarms to alert staff if she tried to get out of bed. None of these preventive measures were being followed when the woman fell,” added Mellino. Read More...

Sometimes, the only recourse for someone who has a loved one who has been abused while in a nursing home is to see an attorney and file a lawsuit to stop the abuse, or to seek compensation to the family and/or victim for the wrong done. It’s unfortunate, but it can be very necessary. If you hit these companies in the pocket book hard enough, they will improve their hiring practices and their homes. You can make them change.

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In 2004 the Center of Disease Control (CDC) reported that there were approximately 16,100 assisted living facilities, otherwise known as nursing homes. That number has risen and  it is clear that there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of nursing homes since then, partly because of the aging population, but mostly because it is a huge money machine, with the federal government picking up the bigger part of the tab. There are around 510 nursing homes in the state of Indiana.

Number of Residents in Nursing Homes Rising

Estimates are given of well over 2 million individuals residing in a nursing facility, and nearly 1,000,000, if not more, staff, including nurses, and in some cases, doctors (who often are big investors, and sometimes owners, of nursing homes). It is a huge industry and as the population ages, it is only going to grow.

Abuse of Nursing Home Residents Rising

Unfortunately, as the population grows older and more seniors become permanent residents in a nursing facilit y, the rate of abuse of those senior citizens is going to rise. Statistics show that one in 3 assisted living facilities have been reported for abuse, and over 90% have been cited for various violations.

Criminals Among Staff in Nursing Homes

Studies have shown that of over 12,500 nursing aides working in the nursing homes, 5% had criminal records, and a staggering 25% of staff members who were prosecuted for any form of abuse against nursing home residents, had a criminal record. Is it any wonder that more and more civil lawsuits against Nursing Homes are being filed?

Five Star Rating System for Nursing Homes

The federal government has enacted a five-star rating system for nursing homes. One of the factors that is rated is called “Health Inspections.” These are annual (though there can be more than one inspection) inspections that are done unannounced by the state. They facility is graded based on a number of criteria related to the care of the residents, the process of care, staff and resident interactions, and the nursing home environment. A rating is assigned based on the data from the last 3 standard health inspections, and all complaint inspections conducted in the past 3 years.

Lake County Indiana Nursing Homes Rated Poorly

In Lake County Indiana, which contains 21 nursing homes, only 7 of those nursing homes got more than one star, out of five (five being the highest ranking). Of those 7, 6 of them received 2 stars and only one received 3 stars. There was not a single nursing home in Lake County Indiana that received more than 3 stars. That is a sad commentary.

New York Undercover Investigation of Nursing Home Abuse – Video

In New York, an undercover investigation revealed some very ugly abuse situations resulting in 26 people being charged and convicted using hidden surveillance cameras. Here is the new video showing some of what was going on in nursing homes in New York State. Unfotunately, this kind of abuse is being duplicated around the country, and in the state of Indiana, and in particular, Lake County, Indiana.


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Guardianship of a Minor in Indiana

Reasons for Guardianship of a Minor

In the state of Indiana, one may have guardianship over a minor for a variety of reasons. The law requires a Guardianship of a Minor be established, for example, where mesothelioma has caused the death of  a mom or dad  and left a child without a  living parent. These cases involving the disease, mesothelioma, (which is asbestos related and  today, very heavily litigated) are producing a large number of children who are left without a parent and in need of a guardian. Or, it could be where a minor has been involved in an auto accident and there is a settlement awarded from a judgment or through a settlement agreement. It might be that a minor’s parents are unable to care for the child and someone besides the natural parents have to assume the role of caretaker. It could be that a child must temporarily reside with a relative, such as a grandparent, because of some incapacity of a parent or parents.There are many reasons why Guardianship of a Minor might be required. Guardianship over a minor can be over the person and/or the estate of the minor. In those cases involving automobile accidents, or wrongful death cases where a parent or parents have been killed, a Guardianship will always be required for the minor child or children.

Sometimes, a couple will marry. One of the individuals has a child either from a prior marriage or a prior relationship. The other individual can file for either guardianship over the minor, or sometimes adoption, so as to enable that non-natural parent to exercise true parental rights over the minor.

Is a Lawyer Necessary for a Guardianship of a Minor

Few will be able to navigate the tricky waters of establishing a guardianship without a lawyer. There are certain statutory requirements that must be complied with, as well a compliance with certain forms. Evidence must be presented that is legally sufficient. Sometimes a guardianship over a child or children will require evidence that is unusual, such as where a child comes from a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) situation. If a child is in the custody of the state, there are particular steps that must be complied with that can be rather complex, and there is some evidence the Court is going to want to see and hear. It would certainly be advisable to have an attorney for the Guardianship of a Minor.

Guardianship over a minor does not take a lot of time.

Once the proper paperwork is filed, it is simply a matter of the Court setting a hearing that fits within its schedule. That may be a few weeks, or in some less busy counties, a few days. The actual hearing is fairly simple. The lawyer will ask questions of those seeking guardianship and will present any other evidence necessary, to the Court. Then, the Court will generally ask a few questions, and sometimes will question the minor, who will typically be required to be present, absent a good reason (which needs to be approved by the Court).

Costs of a Guardianship of a Minor

An uncontested Guardianship of a Minor is usually going to be under $1000.00, including filing fee costs. However, if a guardianship becomes contested, there is no way to establish the costs, since there now exists the need for evidence that ordinarily would not be required, plus there will often be a need for an expert. What would have been a simple hearing is now a full fledged trial. Trials are expensive. It is not unusual for a trial over Guardianship of a Minor to cost several thousand dollars in attorney fees and hundreds of dollars in costs.

Guardianship of a Minor only lasts until the minor reaches majority

Once the child reaches his or her majority (age 18), there is no parental rights that can be exercised. Therefore, if a parent or parents have a child that is mentally handicapped, or physically disabled, that parent will need to establish a new guardianship. This time, it will not be a Guardianship of a Minor, but will be guardianship over an adult.

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A Guardianship in the State of Indiana


The guardianship over an individual is something that is sought by persons virtually every day across the State of Indiana. Some seek guardianshipWeigh your decisions about disinheriting your childen carefully over a minor, some over an adult. The reasons for seeking a guardianship vary widely. Often, guardianship is sought due to mental incapacity of someone, or it might be a physical disability that requires a person be cared for by a guardian. It could be that someone was injured in a car accident and needs temporary (or permanent) guardianship over their person and their financial affairs.

Guardianship Over a Minor

It is not uncommon to seek to have a guardianship over a minor by a parent. It can be that the child is handicapped and thus deemed, by the law, as incompetent. In other words, the child is unable to manage his affairs. Typically, this kind of guardianship will occur when the child is nearing his or her 18th birthday. Once the child reaches his majority, technically, the parent has no authority to manage the affairs of their child, even if the child is mentally handicapped. Thus, a guardianship becomes necessary in anticipation of the child reaching majority age.
While it is possible to wait until the child is eighteen years of age, the problem with that is the complications that can arise during the pendency of the guardianship. Legally, the parents have no legal authority over the child at that time because the child is now an adult in the eyes of the law. Parents who raise children who are mentally handicapped cannot afford to have a lapse in their authority to care for the child.

A guardianship may be established for a child because of the temporary incapacity of a parent. Or, a guardianship might be established where parents have died and the new caretaker for the child has to have legal control and custody of the child. A guardianship does that.

Guardianship over the person and the Estate

Whatever the reason for the guardianship, whether it is temporary, or permanent, it will be necessary to divulge the assets of the ward, and to show the Court that the guardian is going to control those assets for the ward. A bond can be required in some instances, and there will be a reporting requirement by the Court. In other words, the Court will ask for an accounting from the Guardian.

Guardianship Over an Adult

Taking guardianship over an adult by another adult is a bit different than with a juvenile, but in many respects, it is the same. The statue governing a petition for guardianship in the state of Indiana is found at Indiana Code § 29-3-5-1. The law notes that “(a) Any person may file a petition for the appointment of a person to serve as guardian for an incapacitated person or minor under this chapter…” While the statute provides that any person can file, it does not mean that any person can serve. The Court looks closely at who wants to be guardian, the relationship, the ability to serve, and the reason for serving. If there are assets, the Court is going to expect the guardian to act as a fiduciary, which means the guardian will have some legal duties to take care of the assets of the person.

When a guardianship is sought over an adult (or a child over 14), the Court asks that the one for whom the guardianship is sought be given notice of the petition, and that they have the opportunity to be present at the hearing, The statute allows a waiver of appearance, and it may allow the person to not appear where it is not in the best interest of the individual, or if they are physically infirm. In such instances, usually a letter or other evidence from a doctor or other medical provider can be given to the Court to show that the appearance of the individual is not necessary, or is impossible, or otherwise dangerous to the health and well being of the individual. However, the Court is going to want some evidence of this fact before it will waive the appearance of the individual.

Guardianship is Perfect Tool for Caring for a Loved One

[ReviewAZON asin=”1143387902″ display=”inlinepost”]A guardianship is a great tool for taking control of the life and assets of an individual for their well being. So many people are in need of someone who cares, someone who will help them do the things they are simply unable to do for themselves. A guardianship provides the perfect vehicle to care for someone who is unable to take care of themselves.

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