Saturday, September 26, 2020

Running out of time: Families beg for changes to nursing home visitation rules

by Jennifer Lewke

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Many of those with loved ones in nursing homes still haven’t been able to see them in person. It’s been six months since COVID-19 closed down visitation and while the State Department of Health has made some recent changes to the restrictions, many families still haven’t been reunited and fear they’re running out of time.

Right now, if you want to see your loved one in a nursing home in-person, the facility has to be 14 days COVID-free, a visitor must present a negative COVID-19 test from the past seven days, wear a mask and still stay six feet away.

Joyce Smith was only able to see her mom Helen via Zoom or through the window of Helen’s room at the Friendly Home during the pandemic. Smith has been pushing for and looking forward to the day she could reunite in-person with her mom but during her last window visit.

“She had her eyes closed through the entire window visit so we sensed something wasn't going right just because we know our mother…My daughters and I was in tears,” she said.

So, when they got back to the car, her husband called the Friendly Home, “he said, what's it take to get in when we see such a decline and she said it's a team effort so they were going to go meet and then she calls me back in another minute and mom was gone,” Smith recalls.

The family never got a final hug, kiss or in-person goodbye.

“We are so physical, for a physical family and I think that broke our hearts…to not have that physical contact and I know it affected mom she just went downhill during COVID,” Smith said.    

It’s called “failure to thrive” and so many families believe their loved ones are experiencing it too. In other states like Texas, if a physician diagnoses a decline in a resident’s physical or mental health, one person can be designated to be the sole visitor for that person and not just in end-of-life situations which had been the case.

Families here in New York are urging the NYSDOH to consider some modifications to the current restrictions to allow at least one designated visitor and they’d like to ease the social distancing regulation considering they now need to provide a negative COVID test to even get in the door.

In a statement to News10NBC Wednesday, a spokesman for NYSDOH said, “While we understand the challenges this virus has caused nursing home residents and their families, by adhering to the DOH visitation guidance nursing homes have taken the proper steps to protect residents from COVID-19.  As this unprecedented pandemic evolves, we’ll continue to closely monitor the data and review reasonable requests, while also acknowledging that this pandemic is not over and people are still at risk.”

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Disbarred Lincoln attorney gets prison time for theft case

Craig Hoffman
A former Lincoln attorney disbarred by the Nebraska Supreme Court last October has been sentenced to two to four years in prison for keeping thousands of dollars in settlement checks intended for his clients.

Craig A. Hoffman, 44, pleaded no contest to theft by deception, over $5,000, as part of a plea deal in July, where prosecutors dismissed four other theft charges.

Police originally said Hoffman had kept $27,500 in insurance checks intended for two of his clients. The payments either were part of a settlement or intended to pay their medical bills.

Police later learned about three other victims.

Lancaster County District Judge Darla Ideus sentenced Hoffman earlier this month. 

Hoffman voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law in Nebraska and he was disbarred last October.

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Nursing home ordered to pay €150,000 to care workers sexually harassed by 93 year old

by  Gordon Deegan

The €50,000 awards were made up of €30,000 for the distress caused by the sexual harassment and €20,000 for the victimisation and penalisation by the nursing home.

A nursing home has been ordered to pay €150,000 to three care workers who were sexually harassed by an alcohol-fuelled 93-year-old male resident.

All three care assistants were dismissed following a flash-point involving the pub-going resident on January 7th, 2018 and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has ordered that the nursing home pay each care worker €50,000 compensation.

The €50,000 is made up of €30,000 for the distress caused by the sexual harassment and €20,000 for the victimisation and penalisation by the nursing home against the three concerning their dismissals.

In her findings, WRC adjudication officer, Marguerite Buckley stated she was satisfied that the care workers were subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace by the resident.

“This went beyond tactile touching, banter or involuntary behaviour due to dementia. I accept the evidence that this behaviour was alcohol fuelled.”

Ms Buckley also said she was satisfied the nursing home “failed to put appropriate measures in place to stop this sexual harassment from occurring or to reverse its effects”.

Ms Buckley noted that a care-home case report on the 93 year old set out that the resident went to the pub most days and drank alcohol “which may contribute to behavioural issues”.

Ms Buckley said along with the evidence of three the care workers three colleagues also provided “clear and compelling” evidence of the resident’s behaviour.

In the case, the care workers alleged the male resident sexually harassed them over a period of time including touching their breasts and using foul language.


One care assistant stated the man said to her that “she had a fine pair of breasts”.

The workers’ case was that the resident’s behaviour had the effect of violating their dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive workplace to work in.

One of the care workers stated that the resident went to the local pub six days a week and always kept alcohol in the locker beside his bed.

The nursing home told the WRC that the man suffers from dementia while the resident denied the sexual harassment of the three.

The care home also stated that the man was largely bed bound and spent only about two hours a day sitting in his wheelchair. A medical cert was provided to the WRC to state that the man was frail and medically unfit to attend the hearing held over three days.

Concerning the January 7th 2018 incident, one of the care workers stated that she heard the resident “kicking off, cursing to his care staff” as they were attempting to provide care to him.

She stated that she went into his room and noted that he had been drinking alcohol.

She alleged the resident told her that she was “no f**king better than these two b*tches”.

One of the other care workers stated that the man grabbed her at the crotch “and told her to f**k off”.

The man threw a glass across his room and hit his locker.

A clinical nurse manager was called to the room by the care workers but instead of offering assistance to the three made a complaint to the Director of Nursing concerning the three.

The three were dismissed in December 2018 after an investigation concluded they had created a situation which resulted in the maltreatment of a resident.

The three stated they had raised allegations of sexual harassment with management on a continuing basis but no action was taken. The care home denied that management permitted the resident to have unlimited access to alcohol and denied any allegations of sexual harassment were made prior to January 7th, 2018.

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Friday, September 25, 2020

KARE 11 Investigates: Elder neglect alleged in locked down facilities

by  Lauren Leamanczyk, Steve Eckert

PLYMOUTH, Minnesota — There’s been a 20% drop in complaints about maltreatment in Minnesota’s Long Term Care facilities as families were locked out during the COVID-19 crisis. But some families say it was only because they weren’t there to see the neglect.

June Linnertz says she went to visit her dad Jim Gill on March 19th at Cherrywood Pointe of Plymouth. A photo from that day shows him outside, neatly dressed and smiling as he stood next to a bird feeder.

“He was still in good spirits, obviously always enjoyed a family visit,” Linnertz recalled.

Credit: Linnertz family
A family photo shows Jim Gill standing, neatly dressed and smiling in March.

Her dad was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia and although he needed assistance with many tasks, at the time he was still only considered a Level 1 case, the highest functioning level, soon to move to Level 2 at Linnertz’s request.

Linnertz visited regularly, helping with some of her dad’s care. But that March day she says she was told to leave. The facility, like others, was closing its doors to outsiders because of COVID 19.

I got all the verbal assurances in the world, ‘Don’t worry, we got it’,” she said.

Linnertz says she could call her dad on his cell phone, but the staff wouldn’t facilitate video chats. Her dad couldn’t do that on his own.

In phone calls, she says he didn’t understand why his kids hadn’t come to visit and why he was confined to his room for so much of the day.

“He was confused. He thought he maybe did something wrong,” she said.

Several months later she said she came by to try to see her dad through the window and was shocked by his appearance.

“He had lost a ton of weight, completely disheveled. He had grown facial hair. Had crust on the corner of his lips,” she said of her once neatly dressed dad. “I was nauseated. I was so sad”

On June 7th, Linnertz took a photo through the window. Her dad slumped over in a wheelchair. His hair untrimmed and unkempt. His shirt was dirty.

Credit: Linnertz family photo
This photo taken through a window in July shows Jim Gill's decline.

“He didn’t look well. He hardly had the strength to even try to bring his head up a little bit. Heavily soiled,” she remembered.

By this time, Jim Gill was receiving hospice care – and Linnertz wanted to bring him home.

But nothing prepared Linnertz, who works as a death investigator, for what she says she saw when she finally had access to see him in person.

“My dad is lying face down in the mattress and pillow … he is shaking and he is just saturated with perspiration,” she described to KARE 11. Care notes from his hospice agency document the sweat soaked sheets.

Linnertz also found her dad bruised and in pain. Care notes show he’d fallen unattended at least six times in less than two weeks. An aide wrote “bruises from previous falls are now appearing.”

Linnertz says she and a hospice nurse tried to flip Jim over into a more comfortable position. “He immediately started wailing out in pain.”

Credit: KARE 11
June Linnertz says she was shocked by her father's condition when she finally saw him.

Moments later, she would see why.

“They cut his diaper off and that’s when they called me over and said you’ve got to see this,” Linnertz said. “His genitalia was bright red and the skin was sloughing off already.”

A healthcare worker who saw the scene spoke with KARE 11 and confirmed Linnertz’s account, describing Jim’s treatment as “severe neglect”.

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating.

Ebenezer, the company that owns Cherrywood Pointe, denies allegations of neglect. They sent the following statement to KARE 11:

We take suggestion of neglect very seriously and remain committed to providing safe and compassionate care to every resident we serve. Recent inspections by regulators found our facility in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws. While privacy laws prevent us from commenting on specific cases or situations, all concerns brought to our attention by staff or family members are immediately reviewed and acted upon, if necessary. Our employees are required by law to report issues involving substandard care or neglect. We constantly look for ways to improve our procedures, and we take additional actions as circumstances warrant.

So, what happened in that three months Linnertz was locked out? 

“I think it comes down to the isolation, the loneliness and ultimately I figured out – the neglect,” she said.

Eilon Caspi – a gerontologist and researcher – says COVID didn’t create problems in some poor performing long term care facilities. It exposed them.

Credit: KARE 11
Gerontologist Eilon Caspi says suspending family visits because of COVID created other problems.

Coupled with health officials temporarily cutting back on site inspections and families not there to keep an eye on things, it created a recipe for disaster.

“It came from a goodwill of protecting residents. But then it spilled over into people dying out of neglect, dying out of loneliness in excruciating emotional and physical pain,” Caspi said.

KARE 11 reviewed data from the Minnesota Department of Health showing a 20% decline over last year in maltreatment reports during the long-term care lockdown. 

But the ombudsman’s office was flooded with calls.

“We have seen significant weight loss and other decline in some people in long term care,” Deputy Ombudsman Aisha Elmquist said.

Health officials didn’t open up facilities for approved love ones to visit until August – five months into the pandemic. As part of the Essential Caregiver program, some families, friends and loved ones can now visit in person with approval of the facility.

Leading Age, an industry group, says 68% of senior care residences have implemented that Essential Caregiver program. But, so far, their survey shows just 1 in 4 families is currently signed up.

“Our members are - join families about being concerned about the impacts of prolonged social isolation,” said Kari Thurlow of Leading Age.

Credit: KARE 11
Kari Thurlow says many families still haven't signed up for Essential Caregiver visits.

But some experts like Caspi say, though, concerns of spreading COVID 19 inside facilities were valid, Minnesota kept visitation restrictions in place too long.

“The idea of outdoor visits should have been introduced much earlier,” Caspi said.

Thurlow agrees isolation is not a sustainable plan. But she says many things need to happen before long term care facilities are open to all families.

“We cannot go to business as usual with regard to visitation until one of two things happens. Either we have widespread vaccine use which we know is some time away from now. Or widespread access to accurate, rapid testing which we also don’t have at this time,” she said.

“You cannot leave people abandoned,” Linnertz said. She fears what fall will bring, with the pandemic still raging, cold weather making outdoor visits more difficult and some facilities still locked down.

But she no longer worries for her dad. Jim Gill died at her home days after leaving Cherrywood Pointe.     

“Do I think my dad would still be alive right now? Yes. Would he still by declining because of the Lewy Body? Absolutely. But not maltreatment. Because guess what I would have been in there. I was his advocate,” she said.

The Minnesota Department of Health is now doing more onsite investigations, especially in the most serious cases. Linnertz has not heard back about their findings in her dad’s case.

Full Article & Source:

Disciplinary commission disbars Woodstock attorney


The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission disbarred a Woodstock attorney accused of mishandling of his mother’s will.

Jeffrey J. Keck, a licensed attorney since 1978, is no longer authorized to practice law in Illinois, records show. The longtime attorney was disbarred Monday, according to a news release from the disciplinary commission.

Keck could not be reached for comment at his listed business phone number.

In drafting a will for his mother, Keck named himself as the sole beneficiary of her estate, which prevented his only brother from receiving an inheritance, according to the release.

Keck also “dishonestly converted over $387,000 of his mother’s assets and presented false documents and failed to promptly deliver estate assets to the correct beneficiaries of the estate,” according to the disciplinary commission.

The commission also reported that Keck, during a deposition, falsely denied that he drafted his mother’s will and offered fabricated evidence during a probate court proceeding.

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Older adults in Philly turn COVID-19 into musical comedy

ByPeter Crimmins

Fran Hunter (left) and Bernie Littman (right) at the Watermark hotel. They performed in a virtual musical, “Ain’t Congregatin’” over Zoom. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

As happened at personal care facilities everywhere, the residents of the Watermark at Logan Square were strictly confined to their apartments for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Boring!” exclaimed Bernie Littman, 96. He normally takes exercise classes, eats meals in the common dining room, and attends lectures in the auditorium. None of that was available to him during the lockdown.

He conceded the lockdown was “necessary and quite effective.” Back in April, the Watermark nursing facility saw a surge of 58 infections and 16 deaths, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. A spokesperson for the Watermark disputes those numbers, saying there were 14 deaths across all of the facility’s 360 occupants, and by August the number of infections dropped to zero.

Littman is a member of the Watermark Players, a group of about 20 that stages musical productions for the other residents, generally twice a year. They are led by Steve Hatzai, a teaching artist with Philly Senior Stage, an organization that works inside senior communities to stage theater productions.

After the lockdown began, the group was forced to shelve a plan for a Roaring ‘20s-themed show. Nevertheless, Hatzai continued their normal Wednesday morning meetings via Zoom.

Tables reserved for viewers of “Ain’t Congregatin’” outside the Watermark at Logan Square in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“I wanted to keep together, without putting on a show,” he said. “As we continued our meetings, the idea emerged that as long as we’re getting together, let’s do that.”

Six months later, the Watermark Players staged “Ain’t Congregatin,'” a spoof on the classic Broadway revue “Ain’t Misbehavin.’” The residents altered lyrics to popular songs so they reflect life during the coronavirus pandemic. Like this take on a song from “La Cage aux Folles” — “The Best of Times is Now,” rewritten as “The Worst of Times is Now.”

… So let’s keep far away
We’ll get together on some future day
Right now that’s not OK
Because the worst of times is now.

Littman wrote that version of “ The Best of Times” and performed it from his apartment in the Watermark on Wednesday during a live performance via Zoom.

“Zoom is the greatest invention since sliced bread,” he said. That’s coming from a man who was born before sliced bread.

Zoom, however, does not allow people to sing together — the technology is not precise enough for musical timing. So the Watermark singers traded lines: One person commands the Zoom screen for a stanza, then passes it on to the next.

Between songs, they tell corny jokes.

“Do you know the difference between COVID-19 and `Romeo and Juliet?’” asked resident Marjorie Fitterman. “One is the coronavirus, and the other is the Verona crisis.”

The residents make light of confinement, saying they vacationed this summer in “Puerto Backyarda.”

One of the players appearing in the show, Fran Hunter, had contracted COVID-19 early on, in March. She had to be hospitalized for a few weeks in April.

“It’s a horrible thing. I’ve never been so sick in my life,” she said. “I didn’t have it as serious as some people. I didn’t have to go on the ventilator. And still it’s the most miserable thing I’ve ever had in my life.”

Hunter, 88, was speaking during a distanced interview, seated outside the Watermark building at tables set up for family and friends. Visitors are not allowed inside the building.

“I hope everybody pays attention and puts their little mask on,” said Hunter, through a face mask. “I’ve got this ugly thing on my face, that I hate. I hate it. But it’s what I need to do.”

Hunter said she complies with preventative health measures, like wearing masks and washing her hands frequently. She even joked about it in the performance.

“Soap and water. My body has absorbed so much soap recently, every time I pee, the toilet comes clean,” she says in the show.

Of his players, Hatzai said, “They adapted beautifully. It was one of those things where, ‘OK, this is what is happening, this is what must take place. We’ll live with it.’ They have an ability to look on something which may have a downside, and look at it in a positive light, and with humor.”

Hunter has recovered from the virus, saying she is stronger now than she was a month ago. She even feels strong enough to joke about her own health scare.

“If you don’t laugh, you’re a miserable person,” she said. “I don’t want to be a miserable person.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the numbers of COVID-19 deaths according to Watermark management, which disputes the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s numbers. 

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

When Conservatorship Goes Terribly Wrong

My family's troubling experience with the man appointed to manage my mother's life

The author's mother
By Erica Loberg

When people ask me about the circumstances surrounding the painful story of my mother’s probate conservatorship — where the man appointed by a judge to manage my mother’s finances and daily life inflicted financial and mental abuse on her — there’s one question I always encounter: How did this happen to your family?

A simple answer: it can happen to anyone.

Roughly 1.5 million Americans are under guardianship or conservatorship, most of them over 65. Although many conservators and guardians do excellent work, some are notorious. One AARP article said: “Activists charge that in some cases, unscrupulous professional guardians have turned legally sanctioned exploitation into a cottage industry, abetted by greedy attorneys and pliable judges.”

A more complicated answer: our family fell apart after my father died.

I was caught in the middle, not sure what best for my mom.

It took me almost two years and half a dozen court hearings to successfully remove the conservator who I’d describe as a criminal sociopath. He charged several thousands of dollars a month for my mother’s minimal care, blew through a massive amount of my mother’s money and emptied her house.

My Family’s Conservatorship Story

Here is my story, followed by advice so something similar doesn’t happen to you:

My father, a Los Angeles orthodontist and UCLA School of Dentistry faculty member, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and passed away 11 days later at 69. After his death, my family realized that he did not leave a will, and there was no guidance on how we should proceed with caring for my mom or managing her estate. As a result, my two sisters and I had different opinions on what should transpire.

With the shock of our father’s death and our immersion in grieving, we weren’t able to come together and move forward collectively. So, shortly after my dad died, my 70-year-old mother was appointed a conservator. (A conservator — sometimes called a guardian — is appointed by a judge when someone is no longer able to make financial or health decisions for themselves.)

For several years prior to my father’s death, he was in charge of the household finances, managing most of the day-to-day tasks like grocery shopping and handling all the bills. My mom was no longer able to manage the stressors of maintaining the household at the time.

When my father died, my older sister thought it would be better for our mother to live in an assisted living facility; my younger sister thought she should remain at home. I was caught in the middle, not sure what was best for my mom.

Initially, my mom wanted to go to an assisted living facility, but after a few months there, she decided she wanted to be back in her home. Mayhem unfolded. So, I decided to reach out to my mom’s older brother for guidance and help. He and my younger sister got my mother back home and found her a lawyer who recommended that my mother be conserved.

The Conservator Is Appointed

The lawyer filed the paperwork to make it happen.

The requirements to become a professional, licensed conservator vary from state to state. Not all states require licensing; others mandate a credential from a professional organization in addition to licensing. To become a conservator in California, either you must file a petition with the court and nominate yourself or another interested party can nominate you.

Given the contentious nature of our family, we weren’t given any options to decide on a particular conservator. We showed up to court and the conservator the judge appointed was there, ready to take over. His fees would be paid by the estate, which he controlled.

It was all very confusing, and my sisters and I were operating more or less in the dark.

Prior to this conservatorship assignment, I discovered, the man who became my mother’s conservator was listed on a website about guardianship abuse. Its victims shared personal warning and tragic stories.

I remember the night before the hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court probate department to approve his position, my mother was held hostage in her home and not allowed to speak to any family members.

Her own best friend flew in from out of state to speak to her and explain the dangers of her situation, and my mom was instructed not to open the door to anyone or else she would be sent to a nursing home. I only found out later that anytime he wanted something, he would use the nursing home as a threat so he could do as he pleased.

Trying to Stop the Conservator

When I went to the hearing to try to stop his petition for appointment, I presented the judge the list of testimonials I’d seen of his abuse. But I was immediately shut down.

I walked home that day and thought to myself, something’s not right.

After that, the court assigned us an attorney representing the interests of my mom to make sure the chosen conservator was the right fit for the family. In LA County, this kind of lawyer is known as a member of the Probate Volunteer Panel — attorneys who register with the court to help resolve probate proceedings.

During the hearing with the PVP, it was my older sister and I (who didn’t want this conservator) on one side of the courtroom and my younger sister (who did) on the other. The PVP chose to side with my younger sibling’s wishes, and the conservator was officially appointed.

Soon after, all the belongings from my mom’s house, where I grew up, were removed, with no indication of their whereabouts and with no communication about this with the family.

I remember the first time I walked into the house once this had happened; it looked like a living room set from “The Price Is Right” game show with all the furniture replaced by what looked like IKEA home ware. The family heirlooms, including paintings of my mother’s, were removed, too.

“I used to work in nursing homes over a decade ago, and he was known to prey on vulnerable women.”

The kitchen had been completely remodeled. Those adobe tiles my dad had personally laid in the floor were replaced with plain ugly squares. I opened the cupboards only to find all the china was missing. The box of recipes passed down from generation to generation was nowhere to be found, either.

Down in the basement, the wine cellar was gone. I wandered upstairs to an empty second floor and found the walls that used to hang family photos where bare. My childhood bedroom was a hallow box.

All attempts to connect with the conservator were for naught.

Shut Out From Information About Mom

I only found out that my mother was hospitalized for dehydration days afterwards. When I did, I tried phoning the conservator’s office to insist on  being alerted if my mother was sick, especially a hospitalization; he wouldn’t take my call.

I followed up with an email stating that correspondence about serious matters concerning my mother’s health was unacceptable. I didn’t receive a reply, but the conservator charged my mother’s estate for receiving the email, and for my phone call.

When I contacted St. John’s Hospital, where my mom had been discharged. I asked to speak to the social worker. I got her on the phone, mentioned my mom’s conservator’s name and she fell silent.

I asked if she knew him and she said, “I used to work in nursing homes over a decade ago, and he was known to prey on vulnerable women.”

Then one day, I received a call from another woman who had been victimized by the same conservator. She was involuntarily removed from her home and placed in a nursing care facility. This was one of several similar stories I heard.

Over time, I began to understand his pattern: Prey on vulnerable victims, isolate them from their loved ones, allow no open lines of communication with the family, provide no transparency in billing, bleed the estate, then toss the people in conservatorship into nursing homes. When they run out of money there, leave them there to rot and die.

The Estate Gets Drained

I remember when the conservator did unnecessary renovations on the house, which were expensive and draining the estate, I asked my mom why she allowed them. She told me that if she didn’t go along with what he had recommended, she’d end up back in a nursing home.

My mom was constantly subject to manipulative abusive bullying behavior that came from the conservator.

As far as I can tell, my mother had very little in-person communication with him. For the most part, he employed his minions to do his dirty work, which only calls into question the caregiving company he employed to watch over my mother. In fact, this conservator is practically invisible; you’ll never find a picture online or a profile on social media about him.

When I tried to contact my mom by phone, her number had always been changed. That happened numerous times.

There was only one time my mom called me. It came in on an unidentified number, so I didn’t pick up. However there was an accidental message left on my voicemail:

“She’s not picking up, call her back.” (Mom)

“She doesn’t want to speak to you.” (Her caregiver)

The Conservator Tries to Keep Me Away From My Mother

I remember the one time I picked my mom up when no one was there and took her downtown to spend the night with me. We left a note on the refrigerator letting the caregiver know she was with me, and that we were going to have brunch together. When the caregiver found out, she was instructed to immediately show up at my building to retrieve my mother. After that incident, she had 24/7 people in her home to watch her.

They were more or less bodyguards to keep her away from spending any private time with the family. Once my mother’s conservator realized I was after him, he tried to put a restraining order on me to keep me from talking to my mom, saying I was causing my mother stress by voicing my concerns about him stealing her money.

To avoid the worst outcome for my mom, I immediately went to work to try and remove him as soon as possible.

I decided I’d do this on my own, rather than hiring a Los Angeles attorney at $500 an hour — something I couldn’t afford. I also believed I would be the best advocate for my mom, even though I knew nothing about the law or much about the process of conservatorship appeal.

I’m grateful I took on this endeavor by myself because later, when I spoke with other victims, I learned they’d spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting this same conservator over the years. And they’re still trying to remove him.

We just wanted the original conservator out, so we succumbed to his ultimatum.

The first thing I did was file a complaint with California’s Probate Fiduciary Bureau; it’s supposed to be a watchdog for complaints regarding conservators. The Bureau said, after conducting their “investigation,” they didn’t find any foul play.

Next, I filed two Adult Protective Services reports, a police report and an FBI complaint.

Finally, a Break

For months I blanketed Los Angeles to find any and all outlets who could help. Then one day I got a break.

I had filed a complaint with the county’s Probate Investigators Office, and after months of the financial and emotional abuse inflicted on my mother, my complaint finally led to a report recommending his removal.

I went back to court and presented the report, arguing that my mother’s mental, emotional and psychological health was deteriorating. The judge assigned a new PVP to put fresh eyes on the case.

This opened the door for me to get the conservator temporarily removed. The initial judge who appointed the conservator had retired, which I thought might help the situation.

I argued that my mother’s PVP who recommended her conservator had never interviewed all the siblings, asked for a new PVP and the judge agreed.

The Troubled Mediation

After this PVP conducted her investigation, she provided a report calling for a new conservator. Because my mother’s conservator didn’t want to step down, we were off to mediation.

The next thing I knew, I was in an office with my older sister, the new PVP, the new temporary conservator and me in one room and the original conservator with his lawyer in another.

The mediation turned out to be a disaster.

The conservator lied about stealing all the family belongings, among other things. But the new temporary conservator had uncovered his wrongdoings. The conservator agreed to relinquish his position only if we fired the temporary one and went with one of his suggestions.

After 10 hours of torture, my sister and I gave in. We just wanted the original conservator out, so we succumbed to his ultimatum.

After the mediation I researched the new permanent conservator my mother was given, and discovered questionable articles written about her in The Los Angeles Times. I also learned that they both she and the original conservator used the same caregiving company, which struck me as odd.

I raced back to court and filed paperwork to undo the original conservator’s “suggestion.” Thankfully, at the next hearing, we won.

Getting Mom the Care She Needed and Deserved

We were able to make the good, temporary conservator my mother’s permanent conservator. Finally, after almost two years, my mom was able to start getting the care she needed and deserved.

Before the new conservator, my mother didn’t see any doctors, except that one time she was hospitalized. Now, she was seeing a primary care doctor and a therapist.

I’ve since seen my mom a handful of times; mostly we speak on the phone. She’s doing pretty well.

But when I walk into her house, I don’t recognize anything, and it makes me sad.

I doubt we’ll ever get back any of the items that were ransacked. It’s so depressing not to find my dad’s vinyl record collection in the living room or the wallpaper in the dining room where we shared family dinners every night together. Seeing the chandelier over the dining room table replaced with a cheap tacky light traumatizes me.

I don’t need my high school trophies or any other items from my old bedroom, but why did the conservator find it necessary to remove all the belongings from the house?

Best as I can tell, he was preparing the house for someone else to inhabit, so he could make money from the sale while my mother would live alone in a nursing home.

I still have hope that one day, my mother’s initial conservator will be brought to justice.

4 Ways to Prevent a Conservatorship Disaster

How can you avoid an experience like my family and I had? There’s no guarantee, but here are four suggestions:

Discuss your parents’ estate wishes and their finances while they are alive. I wish we had done that with my dad.

Find out if your parents have wills, what they entail and where they are. Learn about your parents’ assets and debts as well as how they’d like to live if their spouse dies before they do.

If you can, get a durable power of attorney and a health care advance directive, giving you or someone whom you trust the authority to make decisions for a parent if they can’t.

If you will need to hire someone who isn’t a family member or friend to be a conservator for your parent, do your homework. Make sure you choose a conservator with an excellent resumé and with reliable recommendations. Don’t do what we did and accept some random person assigned by the court.

If my sisters and I had taken these steps, most likely none of the abuse our mother suffered would have happened.

If things do go wrong with a conservatorship, document everything. I cannot emphasize this enough. It means keeping a record of all conversations you have with parent that are concerning, with dates and times. This will help you make a solid case to get the conservator removed.

If applicable, cover all aspects of the conservatorship abuse, including mental abuse — not just financial abuse.

Don’t give up. Despite the long odds to remove my mother’s conservator, I never quit, despite his evil attempts to silence me and taint my relationship with my mother. If I can do it, you can do it.

If you can afford to hire a conservatorship attorney to remove a conservator, you might want to do it.

Now, back to my initial question: How did this happen to your family?

The bigger question is how was this allowed to happen to my family?

And another question: Why aren’t there better checks and balances in the conservatorship system?

The Problems With Conservatorship in America

While states have laws designed to protect people under conservatorship, in reality, there’s very little oversight. A National Center for State Courts report said: “Nationally, there is a dire need for guardianship/conservatorship reform, as relatively few courts have the resources, staffing or expertise to actively monitor conservatorships.”

In 2017, the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act was approved by a group called the Uniform Law Commission. Among other things, it’s supposed to get rid of guardians and conservators not acting in the best interest of the people they’re assisting; let courts “remove a conservator for failure to perform the conservator’s duties or other good cause” and limit the ability of unscrupulous guardians to drain assets by charging unreasonable fees.

But so far, only two states (Maine and New Mexico) have adopted any or all of this model act.

At a 2018 Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said: “Some states have taken efforts to improve guardianship, but it’s also clear that much more work needs to be done.”

At that hearing, Nina Kohn, associate dean at Syracuse University College of Law, said: “Currently, monitoring is typically anemic, and the ability to monitor is generally limited to under-resourced courts.”

So, how did this happen to my family?

You tell me.

(You can read more about my experience with my mother’s conservatorship in my recent book of poetry,  “I’m Not Playing.”)

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Lafayette attorney permanently disbarred

Photo by: Louisiana Supreme Court
The Louisiana Supreme Court has permanently disbarred Peter Brian Derouen, a Lafayette attorney.

Derouen's license has been permanently revoked, and he is barred from being admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana ever again. He's been ordered to make restitution to his clients and to pay back fees he collected from clients he took on while he was suspended from practicing law. 

Back in 2017, the court had disbarred Derouen after finding that he neglected and mishandled the funds from a client's medical malpractice case and mishandled another client's settlement between 2014 and 2017.

Derouen also was suspended prior to the disbarment because he failed to follow the rules about continuing education and bar fees, the complaint against him alleges. While he was suspended, he filed a divorce petition for a client, and appeared in court several times - even though he knew he wasn't eligible to practice law.

The complaint also alleges that several of Derouen's clients filed complaints against him, but he failed to respond.

In the case of the settlement funds, the court determined that Derouen's client endorsed the checks and signed the disbursement agreement, but never got her money. 

"By failing to disburse the settlement funds, respondent has effectively stolen or converted the monies due to (the client). This conduct is dishonest, deceitful, and criminal, reflects adversely on respondent’s honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer, and is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rules..." the court states.

Derouen also took cases when he wasn't eligible to practice law, mishandled clients' cases and took their money without providing the service he promised, the court states.

"The board determined that respondent knowingly and intentionally violated duties owed to his clients, the legal system, and the legal profession," the ruling states.

To read the ruling, click here.
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Electronic monitoring, cameras finally allowed in nursing homes after a decade

by Hannah Norton

For 10 years, Martha Eudaley fought a seemingly never-ending battle with Missouri lawmakers to protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities from abuse and neglect.

Eudaley's husband, Tom, was a victim of elder abuse. In 2019, Eudaley told the Missourian she once found Tom alone, slumped over in his wheelchair in a nursing home in Town and Country. The room was hot and he was covered in feces.

Tom was later hospitalized with a high fever and transferred between various hospitals. He died soon after. 

That was in July 2010. Eudaley has been advocating for other nursing home residents since then and has supported many unsuccessful bills. 

This year, that changed. 

The "Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act," went into effect on Aug. 28. The new law, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis, allows residents to install cameras in their rooms. 

The idea is that residents' families can watch or listen to the resident via video and audio footage at any time. The facility must be aware of the recording, and any other residents in the room must consent to being recorded.

"In the past, there was no accountability at all within these long-term care facilities," Eudaley said.

She said she looks forward to seeing how residents and their families react to the use of electronic monitoring. 

Pandemic shows need

St. Louis lawyer David Terry said the act was a long-time coming.

"The law gives people an opportunity to keep closer tabs on their family members who are in a nursing home," Terry said, "particularly in this time period of COVID, when family members have gone months without being able to see their loved ones."

Terry is the founder of Terry Law Firm and practices personal injury law. For nearly 20 years, he has specialized in nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

Murphy's involvement began when he was elected in November 2018, and Eudaley reached out to him right away. 

"The first call I got in my office was from her," Murphy said. "She said, 'You need to do something about nursing homes,' which I knew very little about."

Murphy said similar bills prior to House Bill 1387 received a great deal of pushback from the Missouri Health Care Association. MHCA lobbyists were concerned about video footage being widely distributed across the internet, violating the privacy of residents and facility workers alike. 

Thus, House Bill 1387 requires video and audio footage to be jointly owned by the resident — or their family member or guardian — and the long-term care facility. It cannot be shared with anyone else, with the exception of government authorities in the case of abuse or neglect. 

Murphy said the ongoing pandemic made the need for authorized electronic monitoring that much stronger. He cited the need for transparency, as most nursing homes have not allowed visitors for months. 

"There's no communication with (your family members)," Murphy said. "You wonder what's going on because you can't see them, so this bill was timely for that and really drove home the fact that we need to be able to communicate to our loved ones."

Nicole Lynch is the grants and public policy coordinator for VOYCE, a St. Louis ombudsman program for long-term care residents. Lynch echoed Murphy's sentiment, explaining that cameras will reduce disparities across the board and help nursing home residents be less isolated.

Such isolation is widespread now, but was a way of life for some nursing home residents before the pandemic.

"Some of them have families that visit them, but many of them do not," Lynch said. "Especially in (facilities) within the St. Louis city that are primarily Medicaid homes and African American residents."

Authorized electronic monitoring allows families to see how their families are being treated — such as whether they are being moved around enough or getting bed sores — and gives residents an advocate they may not have had before, Lynch said. 

"We believe that the cameras will be a deterrent for abuse and neglect, and that it will improve the care they're receiving, whether that's the quality of services or the quantity of services to meet that minimum standard of care that is expected when you put someone that you love into a nursing home," Lynch said.

How do you report abuse or neglect?

The law requires that abuse or neglect be reported within seven days after the incident is viewed or heard on footage. A key point is that the timeline starts from reviewing the footage, not the date the abuse occurred.

Lynch said the seven-day reporting period can be one of the most confusing parts of the bill for Missouri residents. 

That's where Terry comes in.

Terry says he believes the reporting clause is to ensure people don't wait 30 or 100 days to report abuse and neglect, but instead take care of it in a timely manner. What the clause can't affect, though, is the Missouri statute of limitations for filing a claim. 

As detailed on Terry's website, there are two types of claims — medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Medical malpractice occurs if a resident is injured from neglect in a nursing home. This claim must be filed within two years of discovering the injury. 

Wrongful death is when a resident dies as a result of abuse or neglect; the family has three years to file a claim after their death. 

To report elder abuse or neglect, Missouri residents can call the Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-392-0210. Cases can also be reported online, and further resources can be found through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services or the National Center on Elder Abuse

Because of the pandemic and concerns about spreading COVID-19, many nursing homes are not allowing families to enter the facilities and install cameras. 

Murphy said that the DHSS has made available two liaisons to help residents and families navigate the process of setup and communication with long-term care facilities. The liaisons are: 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Family protests outside Watrous Nursing Center to have say in care of grandmother

By Sarah Page Kyrcz

MADISON — Some 20 family members held placards and protested just outside Watrous Nursing Center to bring to light what they consider ill treatment of the matriarch of their family for several hours on Sept. 12. The distressed family also called 911 at one point.

The Baldoz family’s concerns include the family being denied visitation rights to the resident due to COVID, who they say has been taken off her medications, while at the same time is not being properly fed or cared for on a day to day basis, they claim.

For some five hours, the protesters held signs with messages such as “Respect Not Neglect,” Save Our Grandma,” “Whatever Happened to Humanity,” as cars drove by the Neck Road facility beeping and stopping in traffic to talk. The family members stood on the property line of the facility.

Early in the protest the family placed a 911 call to the Madison Police Department to get the grandmother transferred to an emergency room for an independent medical evaluation. An ambulance arrived, along with a Madison police officer, but left empty because the nursing home would not release her, according to her son, Al Baldoz. The family does not have conservatorship rights, he noted.

Al Baldoz said he and his wife, Cherie, had an early afternoon meeting with the director of nursing and a social worker to discuss his mother’s care but that meeting abruptly ended when family members began protesting outside the facility.

“I pleaded with her not to do so (end the meeting) and knowing we weren’t going to get anywhere I had to call the police department, via 911, and ask for independent confirmation of my mom’s health because I wanted a second medical opinion, from an independent doctor, because I don’t think she’s in the condition that she (nursing home staff) is stating she is in,” Al Baldoz said.

Apple-Rehab, the parent corporation for Watrous Nursing Center, commented via email.

“Watrous Nursing Center rejects the allegations that were asserted against our staff that work tirelessly to protect and care for all of its residents,” wrote Karen Donorfio, vice president of operations for Apple-Rehab.

“The facility has followed all appropriate protocols regarding resident care and visitation and has been in contact with the Dept. of Public Health regarding these concerns,” she added. “We continue to work with and abide by the wishes of the court appointed conservator.”

Al Baldoz said he has sent messages to various state agencies including Department of Health Services and the long term assisted living ombudsman for the region and had not heard back from them.

However, later Al Baldoz, and Cherie Baldoz, were allowed to visit the 70-year-old resident.

After the visit Al Baldoz said his mother was sleepy, but he was glad to be able to see her.

“It was a poor visit and it was very quick,” the resident’s eldest son said. “We said, ‘We’ll only make it 15 minutes.’”

Al Baldoz explained his sister had been his mother’s conservator after it was discovered his mother was making “bad decisions living on her own, wandering off and those kinds of things.”

He added that after his sister “pushed some of her treatment and some of her caregivers pretty hard and they pushed back by having her removed legally because she was putting too many demands on them and they said she was being irrational.”

Al Baldoz plans to begin legal proceedings “to at least get co-conservatorship so my family has some say” and said he is currently working with his court appointed lawyer to get her discharged and have her come home.

He added, after seeing his mother and talking with the facility administrator, “We’ve run out of options, but the legal recourse, really.

“I’m just a little let down because I thought our discussions were going to go somewhere earlier,” he added.

Baldoz said his mother does have health issues, but he is concerned about the care she is receiving.

“We don’t think that she’s receiving enough attention that she could be receiving,” he said.

“Mostly it’s just the quality of the last few days,” he added, saying that she is currently on hospice care. “It makes it easier on the family when we come to visit her and she’s the best she can be at that moment and we sort of rest when the time comes.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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Daughter of fallen trooper reacts to attorney's disbarment

by Rebecca Cardenas

DICKSON COUNTY, TENN. (WSMV) - A Tennessee family can rest easy knowing a man, who stole more than one million dollars out of a fallen state trooper's trust fund, will never practice law again. 

The nightmarish wake of the loss of Carina Larkins' father has lasted most of her life. "I was 12 years old," she said, of the year her father, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Larkins, was struck and killed by a tractor trailer in the line of duty. That was 2005. Nearly a decade later, Larkins learned he'd left a large sum of money behind for her in a trust fund.

"I did not even know that I had inherited this money until I was 21 years old," she explained, "so, it's a pretty big shock to a 21-year-old." 

The family tapped attorney Jack Garton set up the trust fund, containing more than $2 million from the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit. Years after learning of its existence, when Larkins was ready to use the funds to invest in opening her own business, she discovered they were gone. "It was almost empty," she said. "It had less than a quarter of the original amount left."

The trust was administered out of the probate and juvenile court of Dickson County. Over a period of years, Garton began quietly disbursing trust monies to himself in the form of excessive fees. As the probate judge neared retirement, Garton began taking bolder measures to disburse more trust money to himself and hide his wrongdoing. He persuaded the judge to shield disclosure of trust transactions from Larkins, who by then was an adult. He also convinced the judge to issue an order saying that disbursements from the trust could be made without court approval. "It was awful," Larkins said. 

In 2019, Garton was convicted of wire fraud aggravated identity theft and tax fraud. The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended his law license. After that, a hearing panel of Tennessee's Board of Professional Responsibility, which regulates lawyers in Tennessee under the authority of the Tennessee Supreme Court, found that Garton committed multiple violations of the ethics rules, including misappropriation of client funds and engaging in dishonest and fraudulent conduct. The hearing panel and the Board recommended that the Court disbar Garton. 

The Court agreed and entered its order disbarring Garton on September 10. Under a new state law enacted earlier this year, Garton will never be eligible to be reinstated to the practice of law in Tennessee. 

"I was pretty surprised," Larkins said.  Until 2020, attorneys in Tennessee who had been disbarred for five years had the right under the ethics rules to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate them, no matter how bad the misconduct.

In January, the Tennessee Supreme Court amended its rules on discipline of lawyers to state that attorneys who are "disbarred on or after July 1, 2020, are not eligible for reinstatement." The change means that attorneys who are disbarred after July 1 are permanently disbarred and cannot ask the Court to reinstate their law license.

Garton is the first case to take effect after the new rule was enacted.

"I guess it’s just nice to know that he’s never going to be able to hurt anybody else," Larkins said. 

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Durant mother, son sentenced for robbery of elderly woman

SHERMAN, Texas – U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox announced Sept. 17 that a Durant mother and her son have been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Lori Majors, 45, pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting and money laundering conspiracy. She was sentenced Sept. 10 to 480 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III.

Max Majors, 21, also of Durant, pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, 2019, to kidnapping and aiding and abetting. He was also sentenced Sept. 10 to 240 months in federal prison by Mazzant.

“The 20- and 40-year sentences in this case demonstrate how seriously federal law treats elder abuse,” Cox said. “Let this case serve as a warning, and hopefully a deterrent, to others who might seek to exploit or victimize our nation’s seniors.”

According to information presented in court, on April 15, 2018, Lori Majors unlawfully and willfully combined, conspired and agreed to extort, kidnap or rob an 83-year-old victim and demand ransom.

In committing or furtherance of the commission of the offense, Lori Majors traveled in interstate commerce from Texas to Colorado, and used a motor vehicle as a means, facility and instrumentality of interstate commerce.

Justin Majors, on or about March 29, 2018, rented a vehicle from Sherman Enterprise Leasing Company in Sherman, Texas, and drove to Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a woman named Cheryl Ann Jordan with the intent to commit the robbery with other family members.

After arriving in Colorado, Justin Majors and Jordan met with relatives who were already there and finalized plans to rob the victim at her home with Lori Majors, Bryan Majors, Max Majors and Ashleigh Stonebarger, each of whom agreed to move forward with the plan and split the proceeds of the robbery.

On April 5, 2018, Justin Majors, Max Majors and Jordan went to the victim’s residence, which Justin and Max Majors entered through an unlocked dog door. Jordan remained in the vehicle waiting for the men to complete the robbery.

Justin and Max Majors found the victim asleep in bed, woke her, said that they had her son tied up and would hurt him if she did not tell them where her money was located.

The victim told the Majors that there was money in a downstairs safe.

Max Majors confined and extorted the victim as Justin Majors went downstairs to look for the safe, which he pried open with a pry bar that he had brought, before removing over $350,000 from it.

Max Majors kept the victim confined in a bathroom until he and Justin Majors left the residence with the money.

The two men split the proceeds from the robbery with Lori Majors and Bryan Majors.

The robbery and extortion resulted in a loss of $500,500 to the elderly victim.

Lori and Max Majors were indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 6, 2019 and charged with federal kidnapping-related violations.

In October 2017, President Trump signed into law the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, the purpose of which is to increase the federal government’s focus on preventing elder abuse and exploitation.

The Department of Justice also launched the Elder Justice Initiative, through which it has participated in hundreds of criminal and civil enforcement actions involving misconduct that targeted vulnerable seniors.

In March of this year, the department announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in U.S. history, in which more than 400 defendants in a nationwide sweep were charged. The department has also conducted hundreds of training and outreach sessions across the country.

The Majors’ case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; El Paso County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office; Durant Police Department; and the Sherman Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas in Plano.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Nursing Home Sued for Abuse and Death of Pro Wrestler Chief White Owl

The family of professional wrestler George Dahmer, known to fans as Chief White Owl, recently received $2 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Senior abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins affirm that the jury found that Lake Worth Nursing Home was failed to properly care for the aging wrestler, which directly led to his death.

His daughter, Debbie Dahmer, stated that the family is also seeking to reform nursing home laws and penalties, hoping to name the stricter regulations“Chief White Owl’s Laws.” Dahmer died at a Florida hospital in May 2008 after spending only two months at Lake Worth Manor, which is now Oasis Health.

Dahmer suffered from dementia and entered the nursing facility in February 2008. In the ensuing months his health rapidly deteriorated, according to statements made by his wife and son. He became severely dehydrated, and lost the ability to walk and communicate effectively. In one incident, nursing home staff lost his false teeth and failed to ever replace them. Staff also failed to adequately monitor and regulate his medication, rendering Dahmer severely overmedicating and almost completely immobile.

Within 60 days of being admitted, Dahmer lost 30 pounds. He developed extreme bedsores on his heels and tailbone, which eventually spread by inattentive care and exposed the bone. Upon seeing this, his wife demanded he be transferred to an Alzheimer’s facility in April 2008. One month later, he was admitted to JFK Medical Center, and died on May 16, 2008, at age 72.

Doctors at JFK were unable to treat the extensive injuries he received at Lake Worth. He was too weak to receive a feeding tube, and doctors were considering amputating his feet completely, as the pressure ulcers had worn through his skin to the bone.

During trial, it was revealed that Lake Worth Manor was significantly understaffed, and that the owners’ behavior caused problems with staff morale. Employees were overworked, and could not, or did not want to perform jobs properly.

Now, with Chief White Owl’s Laws, his family is attempting to send a public message about substandard nursing home care. Dahmer exhibited several common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect before his death: dehydration, bedsores, and overmedication. Sadly, his case is indicative of a larger problem affecting nursing homes throughout the United States. Substandard, deficient levels of care are more often than not the result of understaffing.

Lake Worth Enterprises, like so many other firms that own nursing homes, placed profits before patients in choosing to not hire enough staff to care for residents. Overworked staff often turns to medication to subdue patients or to render them virtually motionless so they do not have to constantly monitor or care for them. Like Dahmer, many nursing home residents suffer from cognitive disorders, and cannot remember to feed, hydrate, or clean themselves on their own. If this is the case, it is clearly noted in the pre-determined care plans for that resident, so nurses know to make sure that person is eating, drinking, and bathing regularly.

The first signs of abuse Dahmer’s family noted were dehydration and extreme weight loss. Unless the resident is actively and consciously refusing to eat or drink, any noticeable weight loss or dehydration is a major red flag that abuse or neglect is occurring. Bedsores of any degree are also a major red flag. Patients who remain in one position long enough to develop pressure ulcers – especially so significant it starts to show bone or muscle- are not receiving adequate care. They are being left to sit, lay or stand in one position for hours at a time without being checked on.

Elder abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins highlight Dahmer’s story to urge anyone with a loved one in a nursing home to check for these signs of inadequate care. The Dahmer family received $2 million in damages. If you or a family member was seriously injured due to employee abuse or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a nursing home lawsuit.

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