I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that despite months of effort, voluminous evidential material, obvious serious damage done to my Mom, the State with which I filed an abuse report found in favor of the rehab facility, and took no action against them... Has anyone ever prevailed in getting even a slap on the hand for one of these places?

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Sorry, I didn't answer your initial question. When we had problems, we mobilized the family, with all our documentation, and had a meeting with the staff, raising not only the issues but how they intended to address the situation.

I think they were concerned; they literally circled the wagons - there were so many admins in the meeting that they easily outnumbered us. But changes were made, perhaps b/c we were so well prepared and perhaps b/c my sister was a long time nurse so she could with authority address the medical deficiencies. I was the legal counterpart, and of course we documented every issue that was raised in the meeting.

We never used that rehab facility again.
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Image, I think you've unfortunately encountered a situation which was also unfortunately not handled properly. I'm sorry to learn that your mother endured so much discomfort and medical complications.

I'm not a medical person or had enough experience with the specific issues you mention to pass judgment, but it does sound from your description that proper care was not given.

And I think that perhaps the State reviewer either didn't take the time to thoroughly review the complaint you filed, wasn't objective enough, or just had other reasons for the conclusion reached. With politics, we can really never be certain what factors were involved.

I don't know if there would have been another route you could have taken except to move your mother sooner, and that's definitely not a criticism of your attempts to work out the problems at the first place. I suspect many of us have been through situations in which we had to make decisions on whether to work with the staff and literally hope that changes were made, or to find another facility.

It's unfortunate that we can't always rely on the staff to provide the care that's needed. We entrust our relative to them, and should be able to rely on their representations that proper care will be administered. Unfortunately that's not always true.

Institutions that recommend these bad places are also to blame. One that was recommended years after I learned it was considered one of the worst places to go was surprisingly still on the hospital's list. When I challenged the discharge planner, advising that the reputation was that people who went there came out in body bags, she acknowledged she was aware of that reputation. Yet she still suggested it!

I do think your rating for the Medicare website was wise; perhaps others will take a second look before they go to this place again. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what else you can do at this point. I suspect any direct comments on this first place's negligence might prompt them to initiate slander or libel actions against you - they probably have the financial power to do this and might just to protect their financial position.

Do you know of anyone else who had problems while a relative was there?
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Hi Pamstegma - nope, I'm talking about ignorance, careless, and apathy in caring for a 96 year old woman transferred from a hospital after surgery to repair a broken hip and wrist... They were clearly warned that she had really fragile skin and almost no circulation - They didn't float her heels (I was there every day for HOURS), I saw CNA's pull her across the sheets with her heels dragging, and in 5 days her heels were black/spongy and described as "necrotic" by her doc in the visit report when I too her in. They put TEDS pressure stockings on and off her feet/legs incorrectly (there is actually a real procedure laid out on the TEDS website for the correct way to use them, size them, and assess risk categories for when and how to use them). At first the tops of her feet got really red (I told them!), then she got huge blisters (I REALLY told them!) and then the tops of her feet were torn open with severe wounds where the blisters tore open. The continued to put the TEDS on over the wounds! They didn't have a doc look at them, didn't treat or dress them, and at one point even put leather street shoes on her feet over the TEDS and wounds, without even socks (and of course, with bare toes.) In less than a week, her feet were ruined, and I got her out of there and transferred to another facility that took good care of her, but the damage was so severe, and her circulation was so bad, that healing was very slow and she had to have wound care/dressings on her feet every other day for almost a year! This is now a year and a half later, and her left heel is still not totally healed... She had a bypass on her right leg below the knee (5 1/2 hours of surgery!), to save her leg/foot - the previous day the "options" had been for amputation or "palliative/hospice" care... The vascular surgeon called and said he didn't believe in limiting health care, options, or treatment based solely on someone's age, she had good private insurance, and he thought it was a shot... It worked, and that foot is now healed... (She has had circulation problems for almost 20 years, has been regularly checked and had nail/callous care by a podiatrist every 5 weeks. She's been under regular care of a vascular surgeon, with ultrasounds and checks routinely done at regular intervals. Any issues with her feet have been promptly addressed, and with proper and prompt treatment responded and healed). That place claimed her feet were already damaged when she went to them (not true - I even found notations in med. records from the hospital that she transferred there from that her feet were undamaged). They didn't do an intake assessment of her body, and didn't even note in her/their records she had any wounds or problems (despite my increasingly alarmed - by this time - harping at them!) Only when I demanded a care meeting, and forced them to look at the situation and her condition, did they even note the wounds and set a "treatment plan", including nothing on her feet and care taken to float her heels, etc. I had photos, diary notes, etc. and had produced pages from medical records to back up my contentions of the damage they caused and ignored - and the State simply "interviewed staff and witnesses (I was actually the only non-staff witness!) who of course said they took meticulous care of her, and look here - we even had a treatment plan to care for her wounds! (after she'd been there for 5 days and I forced them to admit her condition!). I will never bother reporting or try to have corrections and/or sanctions placed on a facility again because it's an exercise in futility - tilting at windmills - and all I did was cause myself a lot of work, anguish, and anger in the end. I will however, forever give them all the verbal advertisement I possibly can and my accurate and true critique on their website dropped their "5 star rating" (which was totally comprised of stuffed reviews by facility employees) to 4.3... There is more - I really think one of the nurses was taking her meds - but that's another issue... ("She was away at the doctor's when her meds were due so I had to throw them out..." - she was at a scheduled doctor's appointment, and the meds she was referring to were Percocet. I'm sure she threw them out?!) Anyway, I'm pretty bitter about her treatment, and she's needlessly gone through for the last year and a half... I don't know what more the State could have needed to take action against that place, but if they'd let me know I could have provided it - I had solid evidence!
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I am an Ombudsman in NY. If you are referring to injuries from falls, nursing homes are struggling. Federal Medicare regulations and state health laws strictly prohibit any use of restraints, which in my mind are basic safety items.
Even patients who WANT the bars on the upper half of the bed, so they can reposition, meet with stiff resistance.
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