Pennsylvania nursing home sued for resident death

The Medford Multicare Center for Living is being sued by the children of a former patient who died at the nursing home two years ago. According to a Newsday report, the 72-year old woman was at the facility to recover from pneumonia. The staff of the Medford Center failed to attach the woman to the ventilator that helped her breathe as ordered by her doctors, leading to her wrongful death. The lawsuit also alleges the Medford Center staff ignored alerts from the woman's room for as long as two hours before she died.

This case is not the first against the Medford Center nursing home. Previously, six employees were convicted for their roles in records falsification, as well as nursing home neglect.

Not an isolated incident

The above story is, unfortunately, not unique. Abuse or neglect of the elderly is all too common. The abuse takes many forms. According to a report from the American Association of Retired Persons, facilities routinely administer antipsychotic drugs to essentially restrain residents.

The National Center on Elder Abuse reports the number of reported cases of abuse or neglect is on the rise, and that many incidents of abuse still go unreported. One study in New York indicated that as few as one in 25 cases is actually reported.

Another report from the U.S. General Accountability Office suggests that a large percentage of surveys conducted by individual states fail to capture deficiencies, injuries or immediate dangers.

Elder Care in Pennsylvania

Overall, according to the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, Pennsylvania received a "C" grade for its level of care to the elderly in the Foundation's Nursing Home Report Card. The report gave the state an "F" for its direct care staffing, and a "D" for having less than 50 percent of facilities with a nursing staffing level above average.

Further details from the Foundation Report Card show the percent of facilities statewide with noted deficiencies to be:

  • 54% for quality of care
  • 43% for infection control
  • 36.79% for accident environment
  • 30.9% for food sanitation

Deficiencies were also found in six other categories, highlighting the dangers to the elderly in Pennsylvania.

What are our options?

Family members should be fully aware of their options. If a loved one has been neglected or abused at an elder care facility, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.