Nursing Home Falls and Injury in Veterans State Homes

In a recent blog, our Washington D.C.-based Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys discussed the prevalence of violent elder abuse incidents including nursing home falls occurring in seven veterans homes in the state of Texas, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.

According to the state’s Department of Aging and Disability Services, inspections in the Amarillo veterans home uncovered a series of nursing home neglect incidents and resident falls. In one case an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s was allegedly found on the floor, after the neck of her nightgown got stuck in the bedrails, causing redness around her neck. After an investigation, it was discovered that this patient had been previously assessed and that staff members were supposed to assist the woman get in and out of bed, to prevent nursing home falls and personal injury. The assessment did not order restraints, which are controversial, but sometimes used to prevent falls, a topic that our lawyers discussed a few weeks ago in a blog.

In another nursing home fall incident at the Big Spring home, one of the seven veterans nursing homes has been cited for several violations since 2004, a man who was known to be at risk of falling out of bed was reportedly not carefully monitored and fell twice in the bathroom, experiencing personal injury both times. Another man experienced a fall after his bed rolled—as there was no system established for ensuring that the beds were locked into place. Another resident who needed supervision from nursing home falls and wandering was found on the floor at least four times in a period of less than two months.

In another wandering case in Big Spring Home, where felony charges were filed against two employees last month for nursing home abuse, a resident was found eighty feet from the nursing home building after being left unattended in his wheelchair. He was allegedly found lying on the cement with a swollen face and spent two days in the hospital.

Big Spring reportedly was given the second-lowest rankings possible from the state’s Medicare and Medicaid Services this year, citing neglect, and placing residents in “immediate jeopardy.” Of the seven homes, Ron White, the director of the veterans homes doesn’t think that Amarillo and Big Spring are in need of the most improvement.

According to the article, the veterans homes are popular, as six of the seven homes have certification for 160 beds, and one for 120 beds. The capacity is currently reported to be at 98 percent occupancy. When interviewed, other veterans in Big Spring claimed they enjoyed living at the home with other residents who have had a common history, and have not experienced any problems.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a Marine and Vietnam War veteran created the nursing home program in 1997 to help his fellow veterans receive nursing home care. Patterson claimed that rating the homes based over the three year period, when many improvements have been made is unfair.

Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC represents victims nursing home abuse and negligence in the Washington D.C. area. Call our attorneys today at 1-800-654-1949 for a free consultation.

Elder Abuse Investigations Linger in Incidents at State Veterans Home, The Dallas Morning News, April 4, 2010
Are Bed Rails A Maryland Nursing Home Hazard?, Maryland Accident Law Blog, March 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

Maryland Department of Aging

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