Key Points of This Article:
- An increasing elderly population of nearly 40,000 residents has led to more instances of Michigan nursing home negligence and abuse related to falls, overmedication, physical and verbal attacks, malnutrition, and tragic failures to provide quality care caused by understaffed workforces.
- About a third of the deaths attributed to coronavirus in Michigan have been linked to nursing home residents or workers.
- All but one of the state’s 447 nursing facilities have confirmed infectious disease cases related to the spread of COVID-19.
- Nursing homes will remain the last of places to reopen after Michigan’s coronavirus quarantine. As socially distanced visits are introduced, families should be prepared to identify any signs of resident abuse or neglect and report their findings immediately.
20 Revealing Questions for Nursing Home Residents After COVID-19 Quarantine
It remains very difficult for family members and friends to see their loved ones at a nursing home facility since about a third of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan have been linked to nursing home residents since March. And while anything resembling a traditional visit remains a long way off, the state does have plans to reopen facilities for new types of visitation after the Governor’s July 24th executive order expires. At that time, some organizations can start to gradually allow visits “as circumstances permit” separated by safe distancing rules, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The late summer visits will be the first of its kind for residents since March 13th.
For many, the first visit may be mixed with emotions of worry and joy, and in a new environment like a socially-distanced courtyard after an extensive request and screening process. Sadly, the much-needed time together may also expose incidences that will allow family members to recognize care deficiencies or warn of abuse and neglect. Naturally, these findings will be unsettling, but asking questions can reveal much evidence to prompt further action. During the visit, guests can use these 20 questions, carefully listen to the responses, and act immediately if suspecting anything unusual that may lead to signs of elder abuse or neglect.
The warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect should never be ignored. Report any findings immediately and create a line of questioning for administrators using the responses you received from your loved one. Nursing home owners, local ombudsmen, and legal authorities will need to act promptly so your loved one will no longer be at risk of neglect or abuse.
- Immediately talk to the Director of Nursing about what was revealed.
- Report all care issues to MDHHS.
- Arrange for a call or meeting with a local long-term ombudsman.
- Contact a Michigan nursing home neglect and abuse attorney at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free consultation.
For decades, nursing home owners, especially for-profit operators, have allowed facilities to perform under minimal oversight and disregard for residents protected by the “Patient’s Bill of Rights,” found in MCL 333.20201. This legal liability serves as a functional safeguard for nursing home residents who have the right to be served by an organization that complies with laws and regulations. Whether the abuse consists of recurrent negligence or a single incident that causes injury or wrongful death, nursing home residents and their family members have a right to money damages.
A Special Note About COVID-19 and Michigan Nursing Homes
As infectious disease concerns continue to be heightened in Michigan, where all but one long-term care facility has confirmed COVID-19 cases, many facilities are still struggling to meet general care standards expected in pre-coronavirus days, resulting in:
- One of every three deaths linked to COVID-19 in Michigan is a nursing home patient, according to the results of a new “extensive data validation effort” by MDHHS.
- On June 14, 2020, there were 7,163 confirmed coronavirus cases among patients in nursing facilities and 3,133 cases among staff.
- On June 25, 2020, the agency revealed it has tracked 2,064 deaths among patients in nursing facilities and 21 deaths among staff.
- In some counties, as many as 50% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases have been traced to nursing home facilities or staff.
There is no doubt that complaints and care concerns will continue to evolve in Michigan’s skilled nursing facilities, including those unrelated to COVID-19. The majority will be related to ongoing systemic failures to uphold adequate safeguards. Most deficiencies will be linked to intentional understaffing, disregard for infection protocols, misguided staff, and chronic violations of resident’s rights.
Information related to Michigan nursing homes and COVID-19 is rapidly changing. Be sure to visit michigan.gov/coronavirus for regular updates.
We Can Handle the Legal Fight for the Compensation Your Loved One Deserves
Throughout COVID-19 disruptions across Michigan, we have remained committed to fighting for our clients. We are providing continuous and sometimes aggressive service to those in the most sensitive situations, such as nursing home residents and their families who request our immediate help. If you have concerns about a nursing home resident’s condition or suspect negligent care or abuse by care staff or another resident, contact The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. toll-free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free consultation. We want to help you learn more about what can be done to keep your loved one safe.
Watch Attorney Rebecca Filiatraut: Identifying Common Injuries in Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Placing a family member in a nursing home is one of life’s most difficult things. We entrust our nursing home to take care of our loved ones on a daily basis, and we expect them to treat them with respect and to look after their health and safety every single day. However, mistakes can be made in nursing homes, and you can have compensation for those mistakes.
Some of the cases that we typically handle from nursing home cases are bedsore cases, where there’s skin discoloration or something called a debicutis ulcer. These are those awful, awful ulcers or holes and bed sores that you see from not properly turning an individual and when they stay in the same area or the same posture for too long in a bed. We handle those cases regularly. We also handle cases involve falls and fractures where someone might break their leg or fracture their hip because of a bed rail not being adequately placed or a bedrail breaking or having inadequate staff watching our loved one and a fall occurring, or there’s inadequate lighting in the hallways to cause our loved one to fall.
And a lack of supervision, malnutrition. Those are also cases that we handle in a nursing home environment. Sepsis is something that occurs. It triggers really are widespread inflammation of the body, and it could lead to blood clots. It can lead to impaired blood flow and brain damage and ultimately death. So we look into those cases, as well, to see why someone went septic and what we can do to see if there was some type of negligence involved in that occurring.
Give our office a call at 1-800-LEE-FREE. We handle nursing home cases throughout the state of Michigan. We’ve got a team of professionals ready to fight on your behalf aggressively and with compassion. You can reach us as always at 1-800-LEE-FREE.