Do You Suspect that your Loved One May be Being Mistreated in a Dayton Nursing Home?

Dayton nursing homes

If you have an elderly or disabled family member in a nearby Dayton nursing home or assisted living facility, the thought of that person falling victim to nursing home abuse is horrifying. Unfortunately, this kind of abuse does occur.

At the Dayton Nursing Home Negligence law firm, Cowan & Hilgeman, our attorneys have years of experience litigating personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of clients whose loved ones were harmed by nursing home abuse or neglect in Dayton, Ohio.

COMMON FORMS OF ABUSE

Our firm will hold these facilities responsible for nursing home neglect and abuse, which can be exhibited in the form of:

  • Bedsores and decubitus ulcers
    This is one of the most common problems caused by nursing home negligence. They occur when nursing home staff fail to reposition a patient frequently. Bedsores usually develop in the area of the lower spine.

    Depending on their severity, bedsores can be stage 1 to 4. Once a bedsore progresses to stage 4, it becomes very difficult to treat. They are also extremely painful and can lead to disastrous problems for a patient. If not recognized and treated promptly, bedsores can result in systemic infection and in the worst case scenario, can lead to death.
  • Carelessness and negligence resulting in death
  • Medication errors
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Burns
  • Falls/Drops
  • Physical and sexual abuse

Once a family has made the difficult decision to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home or an assisted living facility, a family has the right to expect that their loved one will not be injured as a result of neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are realities in Dayton nursing homes, and it is critical that nursing home staff are held responsible for their actions.

MAIN CAUSES OF NEGLECT

Nursing home neglect and abuse can be the result of any number of causes. Among the more common causes seen in Dayton Nursing Homes are the following:

  • The facility may be understaffed
  • Staff may not be qualified for their assigned responsibilities
  • Inadequate employee background checks
  • Inadequate maintenance of medical equipment
  • Inadequate cleaning of the facility
  • Inadequate supervision of staff by a qualified medical practitioner

HOW TO DETECT AND PREVENT ELDERLY ABUSE

Nursing home neglect and abuse is often difficult to detect, and families should be on the lookout for common warning signs. There are various warning signs of a problem potentially involving nursing home neglect and abuse that are commonly seen in Dayton nursing homes:

  • untreated bedsores, wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
  • abnormally pale complexion
  • bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints
  • excessive and sudden weight loss
  • fleas, lice, or dirt on resident or in resident’s room
  • poor personal hygiene, unpleasant odors or other unattended health problems
  • torn clothing or broken personal items

Hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents live in nursing homes, or will live in nursing homes at some point in their lives. Dayton nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be places where an elderly or disabled family member goes to enjoy a life of rest, comfort, and safety.

Many nursing homes near and in Ohio are owned and operated by companies or individuals who are motivated by profits rather than the needs of their residents. If you believe that an elderly or a disable loved one was neglected or abused please contact our firm.

Heartland / Promedica: Negligence Verdicts and Lawsuits

Abuse Negligence at Heartland Nursing Homes

As one of the largest health center corporations in the nation, Heartland / ProMedica has faced quite a few negligence verdicts and lawsuits for other related matters. To an extent, this is expected due to the sheer size of their health care system. No company is perfect; however, it does leave one to wonder – why does this keep happening? This articles explores the possible causes for the staggering number of Heartland / ProMedica negligence verdicts and lawsuits.

History of the Corporation

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The ever expanding corporation

Originally founded in 1959, the company began as a locally-owned Ohio nursing home and care center with a passion for people. By all accounts it was a neighborly, friendly type of place that went above and beyond. This popularity and trust from the community allowed the company to grow rapidly. It now operates 13 hospitals, 4 ambulatory surgery centers, and more than 400 post-acute facilities in 28 states. It boasts a whopping ¨ 4.7 million patient encounters¨ per year, and has over 56,000 staff members on its payroll. The company has run through a variety of corporate names. From Paramount Health Care to HCR ManorCare to Heartland to (currently) ProMedica, it can be hard to keep track of its parent company. At one point the company was so large that it was traded on the New York Public stock exchange.

A time of growth and troubles

Much has changed since the 1960’s besides the slew of names. CDC data shows annual nursing home care revenue has jumped from 800 million in 1960 to 166.3 Billion in 2018. This is in part due to corporations like ProMedica buying more and more locations. Leading them to have as many beds as possible. More patient beds equals more revenue, which only allows them to expand further. In an effort to reduce costs and increase profits, they even laid off 1200 full-time employees with an “early retirement package” in 2016. This package was “offered” to employees 55 years old and above.

This pattern of rapid expansion has led to a host of problems from the company, from federal lawsuits to suits on the behalf of victims’ estates.

Known lawsuits

Unfortunately, it is difficult to show exact data on lawsuits against ProMedica. There are a variety of reasons for this, but most often this is because the company would rather settle lawsuits out of court and force litigants to sign a non-disclosure agreement, rather than risk details of the case becoming public knowledge. However, a few extremely disturbing cases have had their day in court, and the results of that have made it into the public domain. The following are a sample of those verdicts:

Heartland / Manorcare / Promedica nursing facilities all over the United States have been involved in all kinds of lawsuits, most commonly: bed sores, broken bones, infections, wrongful death, and a number of other abuses.

Dayton Area ProMedica / Heartland Nursing Homes:

Heartland of Kettering
3313 Wilmington Pike
Kettering, OH 45429

Heartland of Centerville
1001 E Alex-Bell Rd
Centerville, OH 45459

Heartland of Miamisburg
450 Oak Ridge Blvd.
Miamisburg, OH 45342

Heartland – Beavercreek
1974 N. Fairfield Rd.
Dayton, OH 45432

Heartland of Hillsboro
1141 Northview Drive
Hillsboro, OH 45133

Settlement Values in ProMedica Nursing Home Lawsuits for Abuse and Neglect Injuries

Our nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys have undertaken cases against ProMedica and its related facilities for years. Although prior results do not indicate an expected outcome on your case, the nursing home lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have experience dealing with difficult nursing homes and obtained justice for the families of those injured by nursing home abuse or negligence. Because these cases typically include a confidentiality clause, we are not permitted to share the names and settlement amounts in each case that our attorneys have successfully championed.

However, the range of issues we have tackled in regards to ProMedica includes bed sores, broken bones, infections, wrongful death, and a number of other abuses.

Do I have a viable suit against ProMedica?

Every situation is different, but there are several indicators for a solid personal injury suit against this corporate giant. To learn more about possible indicators, click here.

If you or a loved one has suffered from neglect, abuse, or unfair treatment from ProMedica or any of it’s affiliates, don’t hesitate. Call our compassionate staff for a consultation about your rights today. Corporate bullies don’t deserve to get away with continued policies holding profits above the value of people. Get the justice your deserve. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with one of our nursing home attorneys.

Dealing with Nursing Home Abuse at a Heartland / ProMedica Facility

nursing home abuse

As we age, many people find it difficult to come to grips with one harsh necessity- the need for a nursing home in their life. Whether self committing or entering a loved one in the facility, it is a difficult decision. What is more unfortunate is when the Nursing home fails to uphold it’s end of the bargain. All too often, these facilities lose sight of what is important, our cherished loved ones, and instead focus on profits. When this occurs, it is almost inevitable to find cases of Nursing home abuse and neglect. But how does one wind up finding justice dealing with Nursing Home Abuse? How do you contend with corporate giants like Promedica?

How do you identify negligence/abuse?

While every individual case is different, there are common occurrences and injuries that indicate the possibility of negligence or abuse. Granted, it is normal for some incidents to happen, but these should be far and few between. If you see occurrences of any of the following, it’s time to start asking questions.

  • multiple falls leading to fractures or unexplained fractures
  • missed or improper dosing of medications
  • bedsores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers
  • dehydration or malnutrition
  • attacks by other residents or staff
  • unexplained or sudden death

In many instances, these injuries occur because of operating procedures that focus more on making a profit than providing adequate care. Under-staffing, overpopulation, and a variety of bottom line practices all too often result in negligence.

Who is ProMedica?

ProMedica, formerly known as HCR ManorCare, is one of the largest providers of elderly care in the USA. They are a massive corporation operating across 26 states, and taking on approximately 2 million patients each year. The have acquired several smaller nursing home chains through corporate buyouts and mergers, , including the Heartland facilities. They provide a range of services from short-term to long term care, Alzheimer’s care and hospice care. Over time, they have even begun to take on patients with severe medical needs,

In a perfect world, this increase in services would correlate with increased training, staff education, and resources to provide ideal care for our most cherished loved ones. In reality, it seems the company quite often cuts corners, leading to unnecessary negligence and leading our loved ones to the unfortunate circumstance of dealing with Nursing Home Abuse. There are quite a number of lawsuits that have been filed against them, but more often than not they make private settlements to avoid media coverage like the $91.5 million dollar Dorothy Douglas case.

What to do if you suspect a loved one is dealing with Nursing Home Abuse

if you or a loved one has faced any incidents of negligence or abuse at corporate facilities like ProMedica, you will need the help of dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys to achieve justice. Unlike some corporate giants, we know the value of an individual, and will do everything in our power to make sure you are given the focused attention your case deserves. If you suspect anything is amiss, don’t stay silent! Speak up, and get the help you deserve for dealing with Nursing Home Abuse today.

What do you do if a loved one is injured in a Ohio Nursing Home?

what to do if your loved one is injured in an Ohio nursing home

Deciding to send a loved one to a nursing home can be one of the most difficult decisions anyone ever makes. Yet in many cases, it is the right choice to make. But what happens when the facility make an awful mistake, or worse, is neglectful? What do you do if a loved one is injured in a Ohio nursing home?

First and foremost, make sure that your loved one has received the medical attention needed. Have they been to the hospital? Are they stable?

Next, find out from the facility why the injury occurred. If you are not satisfied with their response, or feel like something is “off,” it’s time to take a closer look.

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Ohio Nursing Home injuries

How do you know if an injury is the result of neglect?

As aging occurs, accidents are more likely to happen. We begin to lose control of our motor functions, our eyesight can become faulty, and our reaction times may not be what they once were. Nursing homes are designed to provide round-the-clock care to prevent these accidents as much as possible. They are supposed to be a safe space. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, it is imperative that you seek outside counsel.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a nursing home accident?

if so, you may be entitled to compensation for the accident.

What injuries can happen in Ohio nursing homes?

Bedsores, bed rail injuries, falls resulting in bruises or broken bones, concussions, infections, spinal injuries, and even death.

Have you or a loved one suffered from bedsores in a nursing home?

According to the CDC 2%-28% of nursing home patients have bedsores; however, this is a preventable issue.

Has your loved one fallen and been injured in a nursing home?

If so, this could be due to negligence from the facilities staff.

Has your loved one been dropped by staff at a nursing home?

This is unacceptable, and can be cause for a negligence suit

If you still aren’t sure if your accident was truly a natural occurrence or if it may be a case of abuse or neglect, learn more about the signs of nursing home abuse here.

What happens next if a loved one has Ohio Nursing home injuries?

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to worry about the quality of care you or a loved one receives from an Ohio nursing home. If there has been an incident of abuse or neglect, your family deserves justice. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing the facility has been held responsible- and hopefully can set an example to prevent similar accidents from occurring again. Don’t let what happened to your family be swept under the rug. Stand up for what’s right. Call our firm today to get help receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.

Ohio Legislature Passes Laws Protecting Nursing Homes from Liability During COVID-19 Crisis

Nursing home liability covid coronavirus

Understanding the extent and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult task. Researchers are still searching for a cure for the virus, and meanwhile cases are skyrocketing across the US. In Ohio, one of the most impacted sectors of the state has been to residents in nursing homes and other related healthcare fields.

As of June, the Ohio Department of Health found 1,860 of the 2,611 confirmed or probable COVID deaths were those of Nursing home residents. That’s a whopping 70% of total cases, leading to an understandably upset and fearful public. With potential lawsuits looming, Ohio lawmakers are taking steps to address how these cases will be handled.

Two bills have been put in place to protect businesses, especially nursing homes, from COVID related suits: Ohio Legislature House Bill 606 and Senate Bill 308. The spirit of these bills are very similar, but the Senate Bill reaches beyond the protection provided in the House Bill. 

HB 606 was passed on May 28th, 2020, and basically is attempting to protect a variety of groups, particularly health care workers/providers. This bill would grant immunity to healthcare providers from “professional discipline or tort liability for acts, omissions, or decisions related to the provision of health care services, including the decision to withhold health care services.” Furthermore, it would protect them from any liability that was a result of a director’s order or executive order and liability from the inability to diagnose, test, or treat  an illness due to these same circumstances.

While this does provide an enormous amount of protection to providers, they can still be held liable in the instance of “gross negligence” (conduct that is indifferent to the rights of those under their care) or “if their act, omission, decision, or compliance constitutes reckless disregard for the consequences, constitutes willful or wanton misconduct.” 

The last item in the bill grants protection to businesses from suits that claim liability for exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19.  Again, the business can be held liable in the case of reckless or intentional misconduct, and willful wanton misconduct. Beyond this, an important aspect of the bill states that “executive orders, director’s orders, and federal guidance do not establish a new cause of action and are not admissible evidence at trial.”

On June 3rd, 2020 SB 308 was passed, and it expands upon the ideas laid forth in HB 606. It has an identical take for the stance on healthcare providers, and about what can be admissible in court. Yet is has two root components that are extremely different. The first is that beyond protecting a business in the course of business, but also protects them from “liability for any act or omission that may occur in the course of the business providing services as a result of or in response to COVID-19.”

The second aspect that is different from HB 606 is the amount of time this protection is applied. H.B. 606 will apply retroactively from the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-01D, issued on March 9, 2020, through to December 31, 2020, while SB 308 provides no such date of determination. Since no date has been provided, one can assume that this protection will apply for the duration of the pandemic. 

While these bills have passed at their respective levels, they have yet to reach the Governor’s office. These variations will have to be resolved and identical bills passed before they reach that point. Yet unless there is a major shift in perspective in both the House and Senate, it appears that businesses and health care providers will have a considerable amount of protection from liability during the COVID-19 crisis. 

If you or a loved one has been impacted by poor standards of care at an Ohio nursing home, assisted living or long-term care facility, it is vital that you speak with and experienced nursing home attorney. Cowan & Hilgeman has recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of clients who were failed by the people and companies that were supposed to protect them. Understanding the legislative landscape during such uncertain times requires a strong yet empathetic guide. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your free online or phone consultation with one of our nursing home attorneys.

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Keeping Your Elderly Relatives Safe During the COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 nursing home

At Cowan & Hilgeman, we try to write articles that are timeless: Questions and answers that will make as much sense in 5 or 10 years’ time as they do today. The present novel Coronavirus outbreak, however, has created a pressing situation that needs to be addressed immediately: How to keep your elderly relatives safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cowan & Hilgeman has developed an excellent reputation in Montgomery County and the Miami Valley for fighting abuse, neglect, negligence and wrongful death in nursing homes. We have written extensively about how to spot potential mistreatment of your elderly loved one while in a nursing home or residential care facility, and what to do if your elderly family member develops a pressure ulcer (otherwise known as a bed sore) while in care.

But what happens when you are unable to visit, monitor and advocate for your elderly family member?

On March 11th 2020, The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Veterans Services issued an order limiting the number of nursing home/assisted living visitors to one person per resident per day. Exceptions can be made for end-of-life cases. The order will require that these facilities screen all individuals at every point of entry, including employees, vendors, family members, etc. Each individual will be screened for signs of illness and must submit to a temperature reading to gain entrance. All facilities will be required to keep a log of all who are admitted access.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we should all practice ‘social isolation’. This can be especially difficult for those with a parent or relative in residential care. Our elders rely on regular visits for love and support, but also so we can look out for their best interests. If we become sick ourselves, we will not be able to visit them at all, leaving them without an advocate.

Staff shortages in nursing homes and assisted living can be deadly

Aside from dealing with the illness itself, understaffed nursing homes can be incredibly dangerous for residents. Abuse and neglect become a bigger problem as the resident to staff member ratio increases out of control. Neglect and abuse on the part of the nursing home staff can cause psychological problems, physical illnesses and even death among the nursing home residents. Under-staffing of a nursing facility may add to psychological problems and physical illnesses among the staff members as they experience increased stress.

Physically dependent residents suffer the most. Bed-bound patients must be turned and moved regularly to prevent bed sores and muscle atrophy. Incontinence pads and diapers must be changed regularly to prevent infections. Residents who need help getting to the bathroom can instead be left to sit for too long in their own waste, leading to skin and genitourinary infections. Patients who need assistance with grooming, self-care and changing can be left to fend for themselves while more demanding residents dominate the attention of staff, which can lead to depression and physical degradation. If left to their own devices for too long, some residents try to do things unassisted, which can lead to falls and concussions.

Nurses who are understaffed may have problems feeding and giving medications to all of the residents on a routine schedule. This can lead to malnutrition, deficiencies in nutrition and other complications caused by not getting their medications on schedule. Dehydration can be especially dangerous in the elderly.

What you can do to help

1 – Visit as often as you can, as long as you are healthy

It will keep your loved one happier, healthier and safer. You will be able to nip problems in the bud before they become much larger problems that can have much more serious consequences. You can also help to care for your family member to lighten the load on nursing staff.

2 – If you cannot visit, call every day

Ask your relative if they are being properly looked after, if they are being fed, groomed, changed and assisted properly. Ask them if their needs are being met and if they are happy. If the answer to any of your questions is ‘no’, contact the Staff Nurse or management immediately.

3 – Document everything

If your loved one tells you that something is wrong, or if you even suspect that they are being poorly treated or neglected, document everything. What happened, the date and time, who was involved, who you spoke with to address the issue and what their response was. Hopefully, no further action will need to be taken. But if you ever need to take legal action against a nursing home, a well-documented paper trail showing their continued failure to address problems can help enormously.

4 – If you see something obviously dangerous, report it immediately

If nursing home residents are being obviously neglected, report it immediately. The State will take steps to rectify the situation, before it escalates any further. To report patient abuse or neglect to the Ohio Attorney General, click here. To file a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health, call 1-800-342-0553.

Extraordinary circumstances – such as a worldwide pandemic – do not excuse neglect or mistreatment.

It is the duty of nursing home owners to ensure that their clinics are properly staffed at all times.
It is the duty of nursing home management to ensure that their staff are properly trained and able to meet the needs of their residents.
Extraordinary circumstances – such as a worldwide pandemic – do nothing to absolve them of this responsibility. It is understandable that care facilities are occasionally understaffed, but owners and management must make every reasonable effort to boost staff to resident ratios to a safe level. If they fail to meet their most basic obligations, they may be found legally liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a result of their poor management.

If you see or hear of neglect, negligence or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, do not accept that as an excuse. Neglect, negligence or abuse happen because of poor management. Any explanation other than that is an unacceptable.

Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule a FREE video / Skype / Facetime consultation with one of Dayton’s top rated personal injury lawyers handling nursing home abuse, neglect and wrongful death cases.