Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nursing Home Abuse Story

Our elderly citizens (parents, etc.) are not immune from abuse in the Nursing Homes we place them in. Expect me to report these case on my blog until more is done to ensure the health, safety, human, and civil rights of people in the care of others. From today's

Three indicted in abuse case
Posted on April 23, 2008 in Blog by Evan
Controversy surrounds Gateway Care and Center in Portland, Oregon.

Most recently, three former employees have been indicted for failing to summon help when a 60-year-old woman was dropped and broke her legs. Five days after the fall in 2006, Linda J. Ober was brought to the hospital, where she died the next day.

Last December, Ober’s daughter filed a $3.5 million lawsuit for the wrongful death of her mother. The suit claims that Ober was dropped when being moved from her wheelchair to her bed, and that while she was clearly in pain, the workers tried to convince her that she had not fallen but simply “had a bad dream.” The suit states that workers “did unlawfully and knowingly withhold necessary and adequate physical care and medical attention” from Ober. Following the fall, two women were fired from the home and one resigned. The same three have been indicted and are expected to be tried in June.

Prior to these indictments, the home was facing other legal troubles. One lawsuit, filed in late January, accused Gateway of persecuting a worker for reporting patient abuse. Melissa Muir says Gateway rearranged her hours so they clashed with her other job, forcing her to resign, as retaliation for reporting patient neglect. Muir was three weeks into a six-week employment stint.

Furthermore, Gateway earned 13 citations for failing to comply with federal nursing home standards. Rick Harding, director of Gateway, believes these numbers cast a bad light on the home; it is not uncommon for homes to rack up several demerits at a time. Only 14 of Oregon’s 138 homes passed citation-free during the same evaluation. Regardless, Gateway needs clear improvement.

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