Former Schoolteacher Sues Nursing Home For Elder Abuse

Recently, our Baltimore nursing home abuse blog discussed the financial abuse of elders–a hugely under reported problem affecting around 3.5 million seniors around the country every year.

In recent nursing home abuse lawsuit news, a 68-year-old retired preschool teacher has sued a Seal Beach nursing home for elder abuse, alleging that as a resident, she was chemically restrained with drugs against her will, while the nursing home staff tried to take control of her retirement income.

According to the lawsuit, Marsha Davis lived in her own home until November of 2010, and suffered from many health issues, including diabetes. After collapsing at her home In the fall of 2011, Davis was reportedly hospitalized and then transferred to the Country Villa nursing home, for a three-month stay.

Davis alleges that while residing at the home, she was medicated with psychotropic drugs for chemical restraint against her will—allegations that were reportedly found to be true by state investigators in February. The lawsuit claims that after she was medicated to the point of being entirely disorientated, the nursing home stated that she was suffering from “cognitive impairment” and tried to collect her Social Security payments.

Although Davis has no immediate family members to act as an advocate on her behalf, a friend of hers reportedly intervened, and the medication was stopped. Davis was later transferred to another home where she remains today.

The state inspection report states that it is against the state code to use psychotherapeutic drugs for nursing home resident discipline or for the convenience of the staff. When Davis was treated for anxiety, she was reportedly given an antipsychotic drug used for schizophrenia—that goes against even the facility’s own policy–stating that anti-psychotic drugs should not be used if the patient’s only issue is anxiety. According to the report, Davis was continually given the drug for dementia, even after a doctor discontinued the use of the medication.

The financial abuse of elders is a problem that can happen at a nursing home or long-term care facility where a nursing home staff member or resident tries to steal an elder’s money, possessions or even power of attorney, especially with patients who have no immediate family members.

As our Baltimore nursing home injury attorney blog at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, has reported previously, it is a violation of federal and state law for any individual, including healthcare workers, nursing home staff, volunteers, visitors, guardians or other nursing home residents to engage in nursing home or elder abuse.

As Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers, we fight for nursing home residents to experience their right to a nursing home environment that is protected from elder abuse or neglect of any kind, and that promotes the safety and health of the residents in Maryland and Washington D.C. nursing homes. Contact us today.

Suit alleges abuse at Seal Beach nursing home, Orange County Register, August 26, 2011

Related Web Resources:

What is Abuse: Why Should I Care About Elder Abuse?, National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA
What is Elder Abuse?, Department of Health & Human Services: Administration on Aging
Frequently Asked Questions, National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Related Blog Posts:

Elder Abuse—the Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Nursing Home Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2011
Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney Testifies in Congress About Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2011
Types of Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 8, 2011

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