Saturday, November 16, 2013

Types of Elder Abuse

NASGA affiliate and advocate Danielle Jesserer addresses guardianship abuse as a form of elder abuse in the early segment of  this interview: 

Type of Elder Abuse YouTube

Nashville lawyer admits to stealing $1.3 million, gets 18 years in prison

A well-known Nashville probate attorney was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison after admitting to stealing $1.3 million from three clients, including the late father of a severely disabled woman.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, John E. Clemmons, 66, entered his guilty plea to three counts of theft, perjury and TennCare fraud in a barely audible voice. Under the plea agreement he could be eligible for parole after serving about five years and four months. Absent the plea deal, Clemmons could have faced jail terms of up to 30 years on the theft counts alone.

Clemmons, who already had pleaded guilty to stealing more than $60,000 from a fourth ward in Rutherford County, could face more charges as an investigation into dozens of other cases continues. His license to practice law was suspended indefinitely last spring when details of the Rutherford case began to emerge.

In all four cases, Clemmons had been appointed as a conservator of wards whom the courts had concluded were unable to look after their own affairs.

Assistant District Attorney General James W. Milam told Judge Steve Dozier that Clemmons has agreed to cooperate and “is cooperating” in that ongoing probe. Milam declined to discuss the details of the investigation

Under the agreement the victims, whose losses range from $172,506 to $771,009, will first collect restitution from bonds posted by Clemmons in the three cases and then from a state fund established to reimburse victims of attorney misconduct. The amount due after that, Milam said, will be Clemmons responsibility.

Milam said Clemmons filed false reports with the Davidson Probate Court and instead of the expenses he reported spending, wrote checks to himself. He also filed a false application for TennCare coverage for one of his clients.

Flanked by his attorneys, Paul Housch and Bob Lynch, Clemmons told Dozier the plea deal had been explained to him and that he had agreed to it.

Clemmons had turned himself in last week in anticipation of the plea deal. He will remain in custody and be turned over to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Action on the case came as some of the victims registered last minute pleas to Dozier urging him to reject the plea deal and order the Clemmons to make full restitution.

Ronnie Dismang, whose severely disabled cousin was one of the victims, wrote that she has been trying for months to learn how Clemmons was able to steal so much without detection by the courts or attorneys involved in the case.

Dismang wrote that whenever she asked how Clemmons could have gotten away with the thefts “I would get legal runaround.”

“John E. Clemmons does not deserve a plea deal for committing fraud against his conservator victims,” she wrote. “He should be required and ordered by the court to make full restitution to the victims’ families.”

Full Article and Source:
Nashville lawyer admits to stealing $1.3 million, gets 18 years in prison

Volunteers Sought For County Guardianship Monitoring Program

COURT HOUSE -- Cape May County Surrogate M. Susan Sheppard, Esq. is seeking volunteers to be part of the Guardianship Monitoring Program in Cape May County. The state-wide initiative calls for volunteers to monitor the well-being of the elderly and disabled who rely on legal guardians to manage their financial and health-related decisions.

Surrogate Sheppard said, “Volunteers are the foundation of this program - The Guardianship Monitoring Program enables Attorneys, Accountants, Retired Professionals, Students and others to volunteer to assist and protect our most vulnerable residents. We are in need of volunteers for our program in Cape May County.”

“As a society, we must protect those who are most vulnerable, it is our responsibility to ensure that those who have guardians appointed are well taken care of in Cape May County,” added Surrogate Sheppard. According to Census data, the population of elderly and disabled Americans will grow dramatically in coming years. Surrogate Sheppard stressed, “It is essential that we take steps to protect those with guardians by enhancing the level of oversight of legal guardians which this program does – but volunteers are the key to its success.”

Legal guardians in New Jersey are appointed by the court and are responsible for making decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person about personal and medical care, meals, transportation and even where the person lives. Guardians take control of the person’s assets, manage budgets, pay debts and make financial and investment decisions.

Legal guardians can be family members, friends, attorneys and others. They not only manage the affairs of people they assist, but also must report annually on the financial status and the general well-being of the individual in their charge. Written reports are filed each year with the county surrogate. The annual reports are designed to provide the courts with key information on the quality of financial management.

Surrogate Sheppard said, “Volunteers work directly in my office to review guardian files and the annual reports.” Volunteers receive detailed training from court staff on how to read and analyze the guardians’ annual reports and how to gather data for the new computer system. Volunteer monitors flag inconsistent or incomplete financial information, which is then reported to judges for appropriate action.

To access the volunteer application go to: Questions can be submitted to: or call Cape May County Surrogate M. Susan Sheppard, Esq. at 609-463-6667.

Full Article and Source:
Volunteers Sought For County Guardianship Monitoring Program

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kids-for-Cash Documentary Set to Debut This Weekend

A documentary about a juvenile justice scandal in Northeastern Pennsylvania will have its premiere this weekend at a film festival in New York.

"Kids for Cash" will be shown Sunday at the festival called DOC NYC. The film directed by Robert May examines the case of former Luzerne County judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. now serving lengthy prison terms.

Prosecutors say the judges locked away thousands of children at for-profit detention centers - often for minor offenses - in exchange for payments from the facilities' builder and co-owner.

Last year, a federal judge approved a nearly $18 million settlement for 1,600 juveniles who said they were wrongfully incarcerated.

"Kids for Cash" also will have a special screening in Philadelphia on Feb. 5, two days before it's released in theaters nationwide.

Full Article and Source:
Kids-for-Cash Documentary Set to Debut

TN Attorney John E. Clemmons Takes Plea, Gets 18 Years in $1.3 Mil Theft Case as Investigation Continues

A suspended Tennessee probate lawyer has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after admitting that he stole $1.3 million from three conservatorship clients.

John E. Clemmons, 66, pleaded guilty to perjury, theft and defrauding the state's Medicare managed-care program, known as TennCare, according to the Tennessean.

Meanwhile, an investigation continues concerning claims by other former clients that they, too, may have been victimized by Clemmons. He is reportedly cooperating with the probe.

Probate Attorney Takes Plea, Gets 18 Years in $1.3 mil Theft Case as Investigation Continues

TBI Case Against Franklin Co. Attorney, Joseph Bean Jr., Appointed to Conservatorship Results in Theft Indictment

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s case into a Franklin County attorney assigned by a court to be a conservator over the estate of a woman in failing health resulted in an indictment by the Franklin County grand jury. He surrendered to authorities .

Joseph Bean Jr., 41, of Winchester, was indicted on one count of theft or property over $10,000. Between October of 2009 and March of 2012, Bean, who was the court appointed conservator over the estate of the victim, stole more than $42,000 from her conservatorship account. Bean made payments from the victim’s conservatorship account to his American Express account, Bank of America mortgage account, a Community Bank loan account and his Toyota Motors account. Bean was appointed the conservatorship of the victim’s estate due to her failing health. He was the sole party with authorized access to her account to pay her bills and other financial obligations. The victim of the theft is now deceased.

In May of 2013, the 12th Judicial District Attorney General’s office requested TBI to investigate the theft after the attorney over the victim’s estate reported it to him. Bean was booked today into the Franklin County Jail on $7,500 bond.

TBI Case Against Franklin County Attorney Appointed to Conservatorship Results in Theft Indictment

Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

A federal magistrate Friday recommended upholding an indictment accusing Family Court Judge Steven Jones of participating in a decade-long investment fraud scheme.

Attorneys Robert Draskovich and Gary Modafferi had argued in court papers that the 20-count federal indictment should be dismissed against Jones because it violated the five-year statute of limitations.

They contended the actions alleged in the indictment were vague and old, making it difficult for the judge to defend himself. Key witnesses in the FBI investigation, including the judge’s father, have died over the years and no longer are available to be questioned, the lawyers argued.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. concluded that the charges laying out the protracted scheme in the indictment did not violate the statute of limitations.

“The indictment on its face, sufficiently alleges that (Jones) participated in conspiracies to commit wire fraud and launder money, and that overt acts in furtherance of those conspiracies were committed within five years of the filing of the indictment,” Foley wrote.

Draskovich said Foley did not prohibit the defense from raising the statute of limitations issues later in the case.

“I can understand at this point in time he’d be reluctant to grant the motion, but nonetheless his order allows us to refile the motion in the future,” Draskovich said.

Jones, 54, first elected to Family Court in 1992, was suspended from the bench after his November 2012 indictment. He has continued to receive his $200,000 annual salary.

The longtime judge was charged with using the power of his office to carry out a $3 million investment fraud scheme, which authorities alleged began in 2002. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Jones, his former brother-in-law, Thomas A. Cecrle Jr., and four others face criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. They are to stand trial March 3.

Jones also faces state judicial misconduct charges. He is accused of violating the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct by mishandling a romantic relationship in 2011 with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing on the allegations in Las Vegas.

Full Article and Source:
Magistrate upholds federal indictment against suspended judge

Former estate-planning lawyer faces federal charges in claimed $3M client theft case

A former Pennsylvania estate-planning lawyer is facing a federal wire fraud and money-laundering case, accused of bilking eight clients of over $3 million between 2007 and 2013.

Prosecutors say Wendy Weikal-Beauchat, 46, used fake certificates of deposit and IRS 1099 interest-reporting forms to cover up the claimed thefts, the Gettysburg Evening Sun reports.

Weikal-Beauchat was disbarred by consent earlier this year.

Full Article and Source:
Former estate-planning lawyer faces federal charges in claimed $3M client theft case

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Patient in So-Called “Vegetative State” Knew Doctors Were Dehydrating Him to Death

We dehydrate to death helpless people in this country because they have a catastrophic cognitive impairment. Advocates for dehydration say it is just medical ethics, the withdrawal of the medical treatment of tube feeding. (Now, there is even a lawsuit to compel starvation by withholding spoon feeding–not a medical treatment!)

Dehydrating helpless people to death was once unthinkable. Then, in the 80s, bioethicists began advocating withdrawing tube-supplied food and fluids. And so it came to pass.

Advocates for dehydration started by claiming it should be reserved strictly for those who are unconscious. They have, of course, broadened the dehydration caste since. But recent scientific studies have now also shown that many supposedly unconscious patients aren’t unaware at all.

And now we learn some are paying attention to their surroundings!  From the Cambridge University report:
A patient in a seemingly vegetative state, unable to move or speak, showed signs of attentive awareness that had not been detected before, a new study reveals. This patient was able to focus on words signalled by the experimenters as auditory targets as successfully as healthy individuals. If this ability can be developed consistently in certain patients who are vegetative, it could open the door to specialised devices in the future and enable them to interact with the outside world.
And get this:
These findings suggest that some patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state might in fact be able to direct attention to the sounds in the world around them.
If this is true of other patients, imagine the horror of hearing doctors and family discussing removing your food and water. Imagine the pain of the actual event!

Actually, we know what that is like. Kate Adamson, thought mistakenly to be unconscious after a brain stem stroke, underwent abdominal surgery with inadequate anesthesia. She was then left unfed (but hydrated via drip) during the healing process–and it was more painful than the sensation of being cut open!

Full Article and Source:
Patient in So-Called “Vegetative State” Knew Doctors Were Dehydrating Him to Death

Nursing Homes are the Most Dangerous Workplaces in America, Government Data Shows

Nursing homes had the highest rate of workplace injury and illness in 2012, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last year's illness and injury incidence rate for private sector nursing and residential care facilities was 7.3%, the BLS reported . This was the highest overall, and it far eclipsed the illness and injury rates for workplaces that might seem more dangerous. The rate for miners (except oil and gas) was 2.7%, and the rate for construction was 3.6%.

Many nursing facility injuries occur when workers move residents.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a campaign to reduce the number of musculoskeletal injuries sustained by long-term care workers, and the American Nurses Association is seeking to eliminate manual handling of residents. A bill in the House of Representatives,introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), would institute protections for nursing home staff.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing Homes are the Most Dangerous Workplaces in America, Government Data Shows

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lawyer charged with theft, fraud in conservatorship cases

A longtime Nashville attorney has been jailed on charges of aggravated perjury, theft and TennCare fraud stemming from his care of three people, two of them elderly and one severely disabled, that the state said couldn’t care for themselves.

John E. Clemmons, 66, turned himself in on the charges Friday. Bail was set at $500,000, and a hearing on the charges, along with an anticipated plea deal, is expected as early as next week.

Using a cane and accompanied by one of his attorneys, Clemmons, who had been entrusted by the courts to manage the three conservatorships, walked slowly through the metal detector in the night court building a little after 1 p.m.and was taken into custody.

According to court filings Clemmons was charged with three counts theft of more than $60,000, one count of aggravated perjury and Tenncare fraud.

Court records and interviews show that more than $1 million in assets from the three wards is unaccounted for and much of it has been tracked back to Clemmons himself. In one case, a civil suit already has been filed seeking restitution of $450,000.

In that case, records show, Clemmons submitted periodic reports to the court on the handling of the ward’s estate that contradicted the actual bank and checking account records. Checks he reported making out to health care workers and other service providers, for example, ended up in his own bank account.

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer charged with theft, fraud in conservatorship cases

Former TN Attorney John E. Clemmons Accused of Stealing from Conservatorship

John E. Clemmons is now facing criminal charges in Davidson County for the first time. You may remember he pleaded guilty in Rutherford County for doing the same sort of thing he is alleged to do here - stealing from the infirmed who were powerless to protect themselves.

Now, Clemmons is jailed in Nashville on half-million dollars bond. He's accused of causing millions of dollars of heartache to families like those of Nannie Malone.

Malone was 82 when she died in a nursing home. Clemmons was supposed to be caring for her and paying her bills. He had been her conservator for six years.

"I would ask for money to buy diapers or to get her hair cut. He said, 'She had no money,'" said Malone's daughter, Teresa Lyles. "He was very arrogant, he was very arrogant." Lyles says her younger sister hounded Clemmons, demanding an audit and an accounting of their mother's money.

"So he filed a petition in court to keep her from seeing our mother. She couldn't handle that. She could not handle not seeing our mother. And she took her own life that night," Lyles said. Eventually, the bank statements would show Clemmons wrote himself more than 50 checks from Nannie Malone's account for a grand total of $367,000. "One of those checks would have paid for the medicine that my mother needed - the cancer drug that he stopped paying for," Lyles said.

Lyles told Channel 4 News in July she wanted Clemmons prosecuted, and that's the process now in place.

Full Article, Video and Source:
Former Attorney Accused of Stealing From Conservatorship

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CA Conservatorship Ward Margarita Zelada on the Monterey County Public Guardian

Monterey County Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis alleged that Patricia Conklin financially abused her mother, Margarita Zelada. Margarita clearly stated that Patricia did not abuse her in any way. No financial abuse charges were filed. However, the Public Guardian refused to terminate the conservatorship of Margarita's estate.

The estate is valued at about $1.5M The Public Guardian keeps Margarita confined and isolated at Senior Paradise in Del Rey Oaks, California. Margarita has been allowed to see Patricia only twice since March 2013.

Margarita Zelada on the Monterey County Public Guardian

See Also:
NASGA:  Margarita Zelada, California Victim

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Monterey County Public Guardian: Home Vacant, Daughter Homeless

An abusive conservatorship devastated the life of San Francisco resident Margarita Zelada.  The Monterey County Public Guardian keeps Margarita unlawfully isolated and confined in a long-term care facility.

Margarita said, “ I am in prison.” Every night, she cries alone in her room and prays for freedom.
Margarita languishes at Senior Paradise in Del Rey Oaks, her estate charged $7,000/month for “care.”
Margarita’s three bedroom home in San Francisco’s desirable Outer Sunset neighborhood sits vacant.
Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis changed the locks on Margarita's home to prevent entry by family. The home is unattended, and landscaping deteriorates. Family said Empasis planned to sell the home for a fraction of market value.
The abusive conservatorship also devastated the life of Margarita’s daughter, Patricia Conklin. In her bid to control Margarita’s $1.5M estate, Empasis made many false allegations that Patricia abused her mother.
Empasis seized control of Patricia’s assets and the house she leased in Pacific Grove. Empasis unlawfully forced Patricia’s renter from the house and terminated the lease.
Margarita’s testimony was suppressed at Patricia’s trial. Material documents and videos were suppressed. Empasis threatened witnesses with criminal prosecution if they testified in Patricia’s favor.
With assets seized by the Public Guardian, Patricia could not retain competent defense counsel. She was found guilty on three counts of felony elder abuse.
Patricia is left homeless and dependent on the charity of friends.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Monterey County Public Guardian:  Home Vacant, Daughter Homeless

Linda Kincaid Reports: Consumer Voice conference discusses elder abuse in long-term care

The October 24-27, 2013 Consumer Voice conference in Washington, DC brought advocates and experts from across the county to discuss long-term care facilities. Prevention of elder abuse was a leading topic.

A panel discussed Engaging Family in Advocacy. This Examiner had the privilege of leading a discussion titled Toward a National Model for Advocacy.

The discussion emphasized the need for families of victims to collaborate with other families and with independent advocates. Case studies from California emphasized the frustrations of families attempting to advocate independently for an abused or neglected loved one. However, coalitions that focused multiple families and advocates toward a common goal were more effective.

Wildwood Canyon Villa in San Bernardino County was the first facility discussed. Citations from Department of Social Services (DSS) establish that Wildwood Canyon Villa unlawfully confined and isolated a resident for fifteen months. Police reports establish that Executive Director Lynnette Alvarado refused to allow family to visit. Alvarado stated that corporate instructions were to have visitors arrested for trespassing.

Court records show that family eventually obtained a restraining order against the unlawful and abusive isolation at Wildwood. That effort required sixteen court hearings over fifteen months. It cost family $70K to require Wildwood to follow the law and allow their loved one to have visitors.

Full Article and Source:
Consumer Voice conference discusses elder abuse in long-term care

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Tribute to Veteran Gary E. Harvey

A wife's loving tribute to her husband, Gary Harvey - Veteran and unfortunately trapped in an abusive guardianship.   Currently, Gary is confined to a hospital room and denied all visitation from family, friends, advocates - even clergy.  The guardian does not keep his wife informed of his medical condition and blocks all her efforts to advocate for his best interest and his preferences. 

Please pray for Gary's continued strength and that he will be allowed the comfort and the love of his wife.

Once a soldier.....

See Also;
Warning, Warning, Warning! Veterans Beware!

A Breach of Trust: WWII Veteran Wrongfully Denied Coverage

WWII Veteran known for his integrity and love of family, he worked hard his entire life to give them the best upbringing and memories he possibly  could.  He taught his young ones to always be honest and to keep their word without hesitation.  To him, that was ultimately important and his example served well.

Little did he know, as he raised his children in honor and honesty, that  one day he would be the victim of a breach of trust by one, who should  have been his champion, during a devastating medical crisisHe trusted  and he was betrayed.  Never again shall his life be as once promised.

 Deceit won the battle that day, but the truth was not conquered. 

Truth fights on and strives to win the war against those who deny care for  profit and because they can.

Truth and knowledge will bring the deceit and trickery into the light  and hopefully prevent others from being denied proper care at critical  moments.  People deserve better than that.  People should be able to  trust the caregivers and providers.  People deserve the chance to  recover and live on in dignity and with purpose to whatever degree is theirs to behold.  People should and it is time eyes are opened and the truth be seen by a population unaware.  It’s time people rather than  profits trump and honesty prevail.

A Breach of Trust is never acceptable and it shan’t be silently tolerated! 

Be intolerant — add your voice in objection to deceit and trickery that wrongfully denies coverage!

A Breach of Trust:  Wrongfully Denied Coverage

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Death By Medical Neglect - Why My Mother Died

Our guest this evening will be discussing the medical negligence, misadministration of medical procedures including dialysis, and the inability of staff to concern themselves with the care and attention she should have recieved St. John Macomb hospital.

As a result of dialysis supplies being unavailable routinely at St John’s Macomb Hospital, Nancy, who was trained to give her mother dialysis treatments, was forced to supply the necessary items herself.

On the evening of March 6th, I received a call from my Mothers roommate telling me that the nurse could not figure out how to do the dialysis and when my Mother asked her to call me, the nurse told her no. I had the roommate put the nurse on the phone and I told her if you don,t unhook her she could get infected, she was hooked up for 45 minutes, when it should have taken only 20 minutes. She told me she was not risking her job and was keeping my Mother hooked up until the Doctor called.

” I had one nurse write in the chart what had happened, so it would not happen again. I watched the nurse write it and put it with the records.”

My mother had developed peritonitis and they started her on antibiotics…they said.  But the nurse had lied, they were giving her Dilaudid every 2 hours until 3:00. After 6 hours peritonitis is deadly.  They were also administering HALDOL……not approved for use on the elderly.

They have on the records they had given her the antibiotic but I don’t know if she actually ever got it.

She passed away on March 12, 2010. I knew they had done something to her, when a women came up to my sister and I and told us that my Mother had been septic for days and not one person told us. When we recieved the medical records after her death, Dr. Kinner wrote in things that never happened.

There is much more to this story. Please tune in and please call in with questions or comments.
5:00 pm PST6:00 pm MST 7:00 pm CST 8:00 pm EST

Lawsuit Cites a DSS Report Criticizing Providence Place of DePaul ALF

The state ordered an assisted living center near DePaul Medical Center to make changes last year after an investigation found the facility failed to protect patients from an aggressive resident.

A Virginia Department of Social Services report from November 2012 was filed with a lawsuit alleging that Province Place of DePaul did not protect a woman who was attacked. The lawsuit also alleges officials tried to cover up the incident.

The alleged attack occurred June 9, 2012. Emily Steele, 81, a patient with dementia, lived in the special care unit near a man known to be aggressive toward residents he believed had entered his room, according to the suit.

Staff knew that Steele often walked by the man's room, which "presented a real and foreseeable scenario for harm to occur," according to the lawsuit filed in September by Steele's daughter, Nancy Stillman.

The lawsuit says staff alerted Stillman to her mother's injury. She arrived 20 minutes later and found Emily Steele sitting, alone, her face swollen and bleeding, in an activity room. Stillman and her sister took their mother to the emergency room where she was treated for scratches and bruises.

According to the DSS report, Province Place of DePaul made a "self report" on July 30, 2012, and sent DSS an anonymous letter alleging problems at the facility. The lawsuit says the letter was discovered near a copy machine in the assisted living center and appears to have been written by a staffer.

The lawsuit also alleges that according to nurses' notes, the family was never notified of a December 2011 incident in which the man hit Steele on the head.

A DSS inspector concluded staff "did not protect the residents from known aggressive behavior" of the man.

Full Article and Source:
Lawsuit cites report criticizing assisted living center

Nursing home abuse and neglect on the rise in Texas

A KVUE Defenders investigation uncovered cases of nursing home neglect on the rise across Texas. The investigation also discovered that facilities repeatedly cited for violations rarely see their contracts terminated with the state, despite getting millions in taxpayer dollars.

One of those abused included 97-year-old Minnie Graham. Her granddaughter Shirley Ballard considered her a saint.
"She would do anything for anybody. She would give you the shirt off her back," Ballard said.
When Graham's dementia took its toll a few years ago, her family put her in a Dallas-area nursing home.
After noticing bruises on her hands and face, they put a clock in her room equipped with a hidden camera.
A few days later, they reviewed the video in horror. They saw two nursing home aids slapping her on separate occasions. Video also showed a male aid shoving her head in the bed and then later flips Graham the middle finger.
Ballard said it was difficult to watch.
“It was hurtful that they would do that to her, because they don't know her like I know her,” Ballard said.
Both aids were fired and charged with elderly abuse. Graham died about a month after the video was recorded.
According to the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), deficiencies involving Texas nursing homes jumped from 14,215 in 2011 to 15,113 in 2012. The most severe violations, which put patients in immediate danger, increased by 35 percent.
"This is crisis mode right now for Texas," said Brian Lee, executive director for Families for Better Care.
Earlier this year, the nonprofit released what it says is the first comprehensive state-by-state review of nursing home care.
It calculated its grades using data from Medicaid. The analysis involved staffing numbers, inspections, deficiencies and complaints.
Texas failed.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing home abuse and neglect on the rise in Texas

California sued over lagging nursing home inspections

A Sacramento advocate for the elderly is suing the state for allegedly endangering vulnerable residents by failing to promptly investigate nursing home complaints, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco.

The suit, brought by the Sacramento-based Foundation Aiding the Elderly, accuses state regulators of “taking months and sometimes years” to complete investigations of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Filed in San Francisco Superior Court, the lawsuit names the California Department of Public Health and two top administrators.

“This is jeopardizing all patients,” said Carole Herman, president of FATE. “The industry is not afraid of the regulators, they are so lax in their responsibilities.”

Corey Egel, spokesman for the Department of Public Health, said the department could not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit, filed by the Lexington Law Group, a San Francisco public interest law firm, seeks a court order requiring the state to “complete complaint investigations and the complaint appeal process in a timely manner.” The lawsuit asks the court to impose deadlines or enforce existing ones on the complaint process. And, it asks that the court compel the department to prepare an annual report detailing the timeliness of its complaint investigations.

Herman said she pursued legal action because “it’s the only way the state is going to pay attention.”

The lawsuit cites Herman’s personal experiences with the department in filing complaints on behalf of nursing-home clients. One case filed by Herman in October 2011, which involves “serious allegations of negligent medical treatment,” remains unresolved, the lawsuit states. Two other investigations involving “serious allegations of sexual and/or physical abuse against an elder” have been pending since February 2012, according to the suit.

According to the lawsuit, the delays endanger residents and make it less likely a facility’s underlying problems will be addressed. The issues raised often need to be resolved quickly, before more harm can occur, witnesses’ memories fade – or witnesses die, the suit states.

Full Article and Source:
California sued over lagging nursing home inspections