Estimates from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) suggest that between 2 and 10 percent of elders suffer some form of elder abuse. There are many ways in which a care facility can cause actual harm to its residents. While some facilities hire workers who physically or mentally abuse their patients, others simply do not hire enough employees to provide adequate care. Nursing homes that are unclean and poorly maintained are likely to have inadequate staffing as well. Dangerous facilities may also have unqualified workers or a complete lack of communication between medical professionals and the care providers.
On October 18, 2010, inspectors with a multi-agency task force known as Operation Guardians performed an evaluation of the Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center and some of its residents. Unfortunately, they found a number of conditions that were cause for serious concern.
Medical Findings at the Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center
There were a number of miscommunications and unsanitary conditions that were recorded at Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center on the day of the inspection. A few of the issues observed during the surprise inspection include:
- One patient received an x-ray of her left shoulder. Her medical chart, and the nurse's notes did not include the results or if there was any follow up to her injury.
- Another patient was suffering from a Stage III pressure ulcer to her left and right buttock. Her notes stated that she refused to be turned one day. There is no other notes regarding how they planned on dealing with the situation or if she continued to refuse help. Later, there were deep tissue injuries on her left third and fourth toes as well as on her left heel.
- One patient escaped from the facility and was found several blocks away. On the day of the inspection, the resident did not have a Wanderguard on either her or her wheelchair, and there was no mention that she had wandered away from the facility. That same patient had her arm in a sling. The sling was not positioned correctly.
- A resident had a history of refusing wound care treatments. Her record had no notes regarding how to treat her or how to deal with her refusal to receive help. Her records also did not reflect her current hospice status.
- One patient was clearly in need of an evaluation by a psychiatrist. Inspectors were unable to find any documentation that facility staff had ordered the evaluations.
Unfortunately, there were more concerning findings at Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center other than the inadequate treatment and medical care provided to the residents. Inspectors also found:
- Dirty floors throughout the facility. The walls, medical equipment, wheelchairs, tables, and doors all required deep cleaning as well.
- The building was dimly lit and many residents were eating in the dark.
- Patients were not given thick blankets and many said that they were cold.
- Certified nurses were observed throwing soiled linens on the floor.
- The medication refrigerator was unlocked.
- Some medications were open but not dated.
- Nursing documentation in the charts was "poor in quality."
- There was no continuous plan of care in effect between the physician orders, social services notes and the nurses' notes.
- The number of licensed staff members at the facility was below the minimum state requirements on two of the four days randomly reviewed.
There are many reasons why a facility may become unsafe. It is common for nursing homes to cut corners by failing to hire enough qualified staff. The experienced California nursing home abuse lawyers at our law practice can help you understand your legal rights and options. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact us for more information about pursuing your legal rights.