Any family who must place a loved one in a nursing home should do a thorough investigation of the home's past record and working policies before making the placement. Nursing home neglect is an issue that is all too common, and nobody wants their loved ones to suffer because of it. Oregon residents should know that when neglect is discovered, law enforcement may be able to step in and stop the neglect from continuing.
A nursing home administrator in another state was recently arrested and charged with the second degree felony of neglecting an elderly person. The arrest stemmed from a 2013 alleged nursing home neglect incident that involved the death of one of the home's residents.
The patient, who served as chaplain of a medical center for more than 20 years, began complaining of severe pain in his eye that continued to worsen. A nursing home staffer called the administrator to ask permission to call for emergency medical assistance for the man. The administrator directed the staffer to give the patient prescription Tylenol instead. The staffer ended up calling the administrator a total of six times in four hours about the patient, and each time she was denied the opportunity to call for emergency responders.
The staffer eventually ignored the administrator's directive, and she did reach out for emergency responders, but it was too late for the patient. He eventually suffered a stroke and died. The administrator told investigators that the staffer did not need her permission to call for emergency medical assistance, but the staffer said that it was an unwritten rule that nobody could call 911 without the administrator's permission.
Although this case ended in tragedy, the arrest of the administrator might make other nursing home personnel think twice before denying medical care to patients. The family of the deceased may also choose to pursue civil action against the nursing home, which may also act as a deterrent if the nursing home loses the lawsuit.
Source: MyFox Tampa Bay, "Nursing home administrator arrested after patient's death," Ken Suarez, June 20, 2014