Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Protect Your Parents From Nursing Home Abuses

Submitted by Lisa Wilson Visit Lisa's website =>> Surviving the Odds

Clark recently discussed how he was furious over kangaroo court arbitrations in the corporate world. Many banks force customers into these joke arbitrations that are worthy of a banana republic. Of course, the financial institutions routinely select arbitrators that rule in their favor.

Days after his initial comments, The Wall Street Journal did a story about nursing homes that harm or kill people through negligence. Surviving family members have no recourse because they signed mandatory arbitration clauses when they were admitting their loved ones. It's getting to the point that nursing homes have no incentive to not kill people; there's nothing families can do after the fact.

The Wall Street Journal is not exactly a bleeding heart liberal publication, but they're very angry over this. So what can you do to protect yourself before you put a loved one in a nursing home? They suggest you carefully vet the admission contract and see if you can opt out of the mandatory arbitration clause. If you can't avoid it, try writing the following next to the clause: "I'm signing this because I was told that I have to." That creates the possibility that you can potentially get out of mandatory arbitration in the event your loved one is harmed or killed while in their care. The thing with the banks was bad enough, but it's a whole different story if they kill your mama.

Last year, Clark told you that nursing homes were using multiple holding companies behind the scenes to limit their liability. There are a lot of things going on in this industry that are unacceptable in a decent society, according to Clark. Interestingly, the demand for beds in nursing homes has been far lower than what demographers anticipated. That's because more families are choosing in-home care options for their elders. You need to feel confident about who's caring for your senior loved ones.


Bank of America sued over mandatory arbitration

Clark has long objected to companies putting mandatory arbitration clauses into contracts. Many car dealerships, home builders, cable providers, cell carriers and others do this. Why? They want to be able to cheat you and not worry about consequences.

The city of San Francisco now is suing Bank of America over its mandatory arbitration process. Stacked-deck kangaroo courts allow BoA to win 99.9% of the time with the arbitrators they choose. Sounds like the results of a Third World election. One supposedly impartial arbitrator in Minneapolis has heard more than 18,000 cases.

The arbitrator found for businesses 18,045 times and for the consumer 30 times. How can that be unbiased? Clark loves alternative dispute resolution, which offers a mediation process where both parties agree not to go to court and instead arbitrate in a mutually decided upon forum. But that's not what BoA is offering; their arbitration is just a joke and they have no intention of fairness. The irony is that it will be up to courts again to decide if BoA's use of the mandatory arbitration process is fair. Boy, that bank is lucky that Clark's not sitting as the judge!

Protect your parents from nursing home abuses.
The Wall Street Journal recently did a story about nursing homes that harm or kill people through negligence. Surviving family members have no recourse because they signed mandatory arbitration clauses when they admitted their loved ones. So what can you do to protect your family before you put a loved one in a nursing home?More of Clark's health care advice


Anonymous said...

My dad was in a brand new facility, when the aides gave him a shower they dropped him and both hips were fractured. After a fight they took him to the ER. The DRS only xrayed one hip, they didn't discover the other fx for about 5 days. By that time it was too late and he died of a pulmonary embolism. These stories are NOT just a few unlucky souls - the attitude is what feeds the bottom line is acceptable. Well it's not, and the sooner we let our Congressmen and Women know that we demand better for our loved ones, the sooner we can turn this injustice around.
By JGRAVES @ 09/07/08

Anonymous said...

My 72 year old mother was in a nursing home in Massachuetts.She slipped and fell.The attendents picked her up and placed her in bed were she laid for 24 hours unattended,her vital organs started shuting down.By the time they got her to the hospital it was to late.
By Ron

Anonymous said...

Insulting comments about nursing homes
On my way home from my 9 PM meeting with my 3-11 nursing staff, I by chance and misfortune was subjected to your radio show. Your comment " nursing homes have no incentive to not kill people" is insulting to me, my staff and tens of thousands of long term care workers in this nation. My staff routinely do the thankless task of providing direct care and compasion to the elderly that our society disgards. You deamonize, humiliate and insult honest and hard working people that in many cases are the only family residents in nursing homes have. Yet with disregard and callousness you crush the spirit of people that do a thankless task. Are there workers in this industry that cause harm, yes. As there is in every profession. This is not to minimize the problem but your comments come from what is obivously an uninformed opinion. Have you ever spend a day, an 8 hour shift, one hour in a nursing home. Have you ever tried to toilet, bath or dress a resident who is so confused that they strike you, kick you or spit at you. This is what these thankless nurse, nursing assistants or dozens of other workers do everyday. I would like to invite you to visit our facility or any facility to understand what happens at a nursing home.

Edwin Rojas, NHA
Nursing Home Administrator

Ray said...

I have served as a volunteer and I know how hard and dedicated some nursing home workers are, the long hours and poor pay.

A lot of them are there because they enjoy helping others.
That being said most nursing homes are for profit and have few workers handling many patients and
sometimes need to drug them to keep them docile.

The family members really need to get involved and help out by being there for your family members.

A lot of these folks really do a good job, but I would not want to be a patient in a nursing home.

It is our culture that we like to take care of our own, even under the most difficult of circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Nursing Home Care : Use Your Senses

Researching and visiting nursing homes is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Generally, when looking for a nursing home for your loved one, time is of the essence. Use your senses to identify causes of concern when visiting nursing homes and you just might save some time!

Smell-The first sense to use when visiting a nursing home is your smell. Go beyond the scent of Salisbury steak wafting through the air from the cafeteria...what do you smell? If the answer is urine or human waste, consider your visit over. That smell is a huge indicator that cleanliness is not as much of a priority in that facility as it should be.

Sound-If you made it past the smell, next open your ears. What are you hearing? Perhaps you hear nurses quietly preparing their medications and treatment. Maybe you hear the Price is Right playing too loudly on the TV in a patient's room. Of course, there could always be the incessant ringing of patient call bells with restless, agitated patients calling out to their aides. If you are hearing the latter, imagine your Mom or Dad having to listen to that kind of noise around the clock. Also, consider the fact that if patient call bells are ringing continuously, that is a sign that patient's are not being attended to in an appropriate manner.

Sight-Lastly, look around yourself. What observations can you make about the staff and residents of the nursing home? Does the staff seem to be calm and in-control or are they harried and stressed? Pay close attention to the residents. Do they appear to be content and comfortable? The residents will give you a clearer picture of how your loved one will be.
Using these three senses immediately upon entering a facility can easily help you to determine whether you even want to take the tour. Home Health Senior Care can provide you with access to an entire network of nursing home care providers. Contact us today so that we can help in your search for the best senior care provider for you!

Home Health Senior Care