Elder fraud in Elder Care Facilities

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One of the biggest scams I have encountered is within the elder care community. Most assisted lving communities charge a non- refundable entrance fee anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $8K. After I paid the entrance fee, I was told they could not take care of dad, refused to bath him or provide basic personal hygiene. Dad is unable to stand unassisted, which was disclosed in writing up front. I was told I could either pay for a private setter or leave that they refused to lift him. I left with the large deposit still unrefunded. This has happend multiple times and even with calling APS, the ombudsmen and the Health Department, I am finding there is nothing I can do to recover the deposit. All of my complaints have been found to be "unsubstantiated", which I have found is 99.9% of the time. They ask Dad if he was showered, and he doesn't remember. The records have all been falsely documented. I started writing in his chart "No" when I saw that the CG had recorded bathing and brushing his teeth, when i was there and found him unbathed, and teeth nasty from multiple days of not brushing. I have been accused of being "abusive" so many times, that I have learned this is the facilities way of throwing up a smokescreen to take the focus off of them. I was told the only way to retrieve my money was if the facility had multiple complaints for the same offensive, and to show a pattern. Well, who do you complain to? Are there any honest facilities out there that truly care about elders or have we reached the stage that this is just another get rich quick way to scam our parents? This is the most unregulated, dishonest industries I have ever encountered. Where does one go to get support and who advocates for the residents?

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Sister, you go for it! I mean it!. I fully understand what you are saying and in total agreement. I've said it before and I'll say it again to anyone that will listen. Just because you place your loved one in a facility with people who wear nice little uniforms and walk around with stethescopes around their neck, does not and I repeat not mean that they are professionals. You are correct that you "competence and integrity" cannot be regulated. It is innate. You either got it or you don't. All the more reason for close scrutiny. Sad world when we can't trust others to take decent care of our elders. Wonder how they would feel if their mothers or fathers received the same treatment that they dish out.
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I have placed Dad in skilled nursing, assisted living, and dementia care facilities. I have hired home caregivers and have done it myself. I have learned over the past five years, that competence and integrity can not be regulated. Dad most recently had a 43 YO insane, HIV positive felon for a room mate in an assited living group home, that was referred to me as a “real Christian home.”

Elder care is a multi billion dollar business and the folks who operate these facilities are for the most part no more than body brokers. I have learned that there is no federal regulation over assisted living or in home care. That’s all regulated at the state level, thus the difference in differing states. However, skilled nursing facilities are governed by Federal guidelines.

I have paid $65.00 per bath, for baths that were never provided in a high end skilled facility and in an assisted living facility. Even with Dr orders, or with private funds, one can not control the number of baths that are given unless you are there to supervise. I discovered that Dad had been showering himself in the high end facility for an entire year, at a cost of over $1,000.00 per month. The CNA’s simply charted that it was done, and no one ever questioned. They rolled him into the shower, turned the water on, and left him to himself, with dementia and only one arm. All he did was sit there. I discovered that one when I had to take him by van to CA for a court hearing. He got wet from the rain while getting in the van, and I was subjected to the worst case of BO anyone ever smelled. It took two showers just to get the heavy fog out of the shower. Of course there was no refund of money when I confronted the DON, even thought the care givers admitted it. They said they thought he could shower himself. HA!

The second place was at Sunrise, another well known facility. I was also charged per shower at that facility. Again the care giver simply charted that showers were provided. No questions. Dad finally presented with stage 2 pressure sores when he told me his butt hurt. I literally pulled his skin off with his under shorts when I tried to check his bottom. It had been documented that Dad had been showered that morning, but the urine had dried multiple times causing an infection that caused his shorts to stick to his butt. I took digital photos of that one, but the director simply came in and removed the memory card from my digital camera while I was tending Dad. Again, no refund, just a nasty letter from the director, telling me “No one likes you, You have no friends here”. And what does my friendship have to do with receiving the care for sheikh I am paying?

I don’t have a lot of good things to say about elder care. I have spent over $10,000 a month on care, only to be defrauded, embezzled, and exploited. The term used by administration is “head to the bed”. This is all about money, not care. The last facility Dad was in hired illegal immigrants, who could not read or write English, therefore could not read a menu or a care plan. Dad was served bread and water for dinner and fried wieners for breakfast. I learned that the food comes from the local food bank, that the sister, who is a minister, operates.

I have just reported to the courts, the misappropriation of federal funds and the immigration issue. and have asked for a court investigator to investigate this last home’s illegal activity. I have complained to the ombudsman, APS, and the Dept of health. I was just informed by the county who runs the ombudsman program, that if they closed down every illegal elder care facility that there would be no where to place the seniors. My response to that is if we cleaned them up, we just might be able to hire legal American citizens who actually cared and bring a level of competence and care to the industry. Perhaps then the care providers would actually receive fair pay for a fair day’s work and the owner’s would not be getting rich off of our parents. The last place Dad was in operates ten homes, grosses over 3 million dollars per year, yet has strategically placed the homes in foreclosure (quit paying the mortgage) so her sister can buy them back at half the price. She hires illegal immigrants at $2.50 per hour, and gets the food from the food bank. Now, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I’m mad. Our elder’s are being used as an illegal profit center, and no one seems to care.

This has taken away five years of my life, my life savings, the majority of my income for the past five years, just to oversee Dad’s care. Elder care is a front for illegal business operations, that includes mortgage fraud, rent scamming, Medicare fraud, slave trade. This doesn’t even touch the surface of the exploitation and fraud to the folks like me who have used our hard earned income to support these fraudulent businesses. The problem is that the folks running these businesses have been defrauding the American public a lot longer than we have been on to them and their unscrupulous activities. I have reported to every conceivable entity only to be told my “allegations are unsubstantiated”.

I am making a video this week with one of the care givers who has agreed to be video taped and tell all. I think it will be very interesting. I intend for my experience to make a difference for others. If I can’t stop it, perhaps I can expose it.
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Well, I don't know if one is related to the other. I do know that when you have a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria that close to your breathing aparatus, it can't be wonderful. Unfortunatly, a lot of places overlook the importance of good oral hygeine. They just kind of think that the old farts don't know enough to care anymore (or tell). I see it as a matter of patient comfort (how nasty to sit around with a ycky mouth), safety (the decay/bacteria thing, as well as dignity ( certainly wouldn't want someone to have to look at me with a yucky mouth). I guess in the long run you have to decide what battles you want to pick. Goodness knows I'm sure you have enough of them on your hands.
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Bobbie, I'll check into that. I've only heard of one CNA doing his oral care, and she's not always there. Dad only trusts a couple CNAs, and when they keep switching them around, its hard on him. He has been so resistant to care, and combative, that even when they try, he doesn't always comply. They drugged him for aggressive resistance. But he is resisting meds now, and he is more compliant (due to inability to resist), and they are also lowering the dosage of his meds. Late stage Alzheimer's is getting the better of him. Still, he hasn't had a dental check up since January 2008! When they tried, he resisted. Now he has horrid tartar build up. He's also had some respiratory struggles, but it's hard to tell if these are related.
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I have never worked in a nursing home. However, I work as a case manager and if my memory serves me correctly, the Medicaid policy regarding bathing in NH facilities was two times per week. The oral care information comes from what I learned transcribing physician orders at a hospital Oral Care Protocol at the hospital which adheres to national standards was oral care q 8 hrs. Oral care is very important from a heal point of view. Poor oral care can lead to things like pneumonia and other infections. Those seniors in nursing homes who still have teeth, need to proper care in order to prevent decay. If they don't want to do it, ask his attending physician if he can write an order for it.
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Yes, we need to be vigilant, even in nursing homes. Go often, ask questions, and participate in their care. We have 2 dads in a nursing home presently. They aren't bathed 2x week, and don't get oral care ever 8 hours. I'm wondering where you got that standard? I'm there almost every day, and I've never seen that. They are lucky to have their nails trimmed; usually I do it. Sad :(
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Ladies, I am so sorry that you and your loved ones have gone through this. I might be able to help give a little information. First, you need to distinguish between nursing home level of care and assisted living level of care. They are two very different things. Nursing home level of care is a much higher level of care than assisted. Nursing homes should be bathing regularly ( the minimum is usually 2x wk), oral care every 8 hrs, assisting with toileting and personal hygeine, changing briefs as needed, turning pts to prevent bedsores,transferring, assisting with feeding and giving medication ( I think I've got everything). Assisted living, the person usually is independent in most of the areas but needs supervision. They are independent with wanlking/wheeling about, feeding themselvs, etc. The assisted living facility passes medications . If the patient is a Medicaid patient you can contact DMAS in your state. Do not stop complaining! If you do then nothing will get done. My mother also suffered the consequences of poor nursing home care. She was in a nursing home after major abdominal surgery. I live out of state from her and have POA, so I would call every day and speak with the nurses to check status, they'd say she's doing fine. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, when I spoke with Mom, I noticed she was having increased difficulty speaking/breathing and then started telling me that something smells...I spoke to the nurses, again, everything is fine., next thing I know, I'm getting a phone call, she's being transported by ambulance to ER with sepsis, has to undergo major surgery again, (surgoen didn't think she'd make it), ICU,bla bla bla....It's terrible to say but family members need to understand that placement in an institution means a committment to providing an ever watchful eye. Ask to speak with other residents families, talk to the other residents and ask them what they do and don't like about the facility.
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beautiful picture !!! i shall learn how to do that and put me and my pa in it too , great wonderful !!
wish you could change the clock and time back and do the right way and things may be alot better . i am learning alot and my dessions to do the right thing ... ( i hope i am doing the right thing ) ,,, hope one day of all things will be returned back to you . ure a sweet heart !
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I changed my photo to show off my Dad. I am so proud of him. Isn't he a handsome man? Even in a wheelchair, he still attracts the girls, and....he is a complete gentleman.
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I wish I could. If I woulda' known then what I know now, I would have kept Dad in my home. Unfortunately, I've now spent my life savings and refinanced my personal home to finance his care. I truly thought I was doing what was best for him. He only makes $650.00 a month SS with no other retirement benefits. He was a minister and a general contractor. He had cash in the bank which was embezzled by the second wife. I can not support us both on that small amount of income. My mortgage is more than that. Too smart, too late!
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