New York Nursing Home has Long Record of Abuse and Neglect
History of Nursing Home Abuse
The Medford Multicare Center for Living has a long history of abuse, neglect and deception, according to a civil lawsuit filed last week by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. A Newsday editorial that called the facility a “nursing home from hell” says that the home violated the trust of residents and their families who rely on staff members to be competent and compassionate. The editorial also states, Medford Multicare Center for Living has an “abominable 11-year track record of abuse, neglect, cover-ups, health infractions, criminal convictions and multimillion-dollar paydays for the owners.” The owners allegedly used $60 million in Medicaid funds for their own financial interests.
Last week, Schneiderman’s office arrested nine Medford employees. Seven employees were arrested in connection with the death of Aurelia Rios, a 72-year old resident who died October 2012 after not being connected to her ventilator as her doctor ordered. The ventilator alarm went off every fifteen seconds for two hours unanswered, even though Rios was assigned a respiratory therapist to care for her. When she stopped breathing, the therapist allegedly ignored the messages to her pager. Six other nurses, aids and managers are accused of covering up Rios’ death. The remaining two employees were also arrested for neglect, unrelated to Rios.
This is not the first time Medford employees have gotten into trouble over endangering residents. Since 2008, 17 employees have been convicted of neglect and falsification of records. The civil suit alleges that there were over 5,000 incidents and accidents in the home, but only 60 were reported to the Department of Health.
Medford appears to have a history of abuse and neglect that started as soon as it went into operation in 2003. According to Newsday, the health department found that the residents there were in “immediate jeopardy” of serious injury, impairment or death due to inadequate nutrition, poor record-keeping and unstable staffing. Additionally, the facility appears to have hired a number of employees without first verifying their criminal history. One-hundred and eighty-two aides were hired without required criminal background checks between 2005 and 2009. Between 2006 and 2008, complaints of abuse and neglect increased tenfold.
Unfortunately, some nursing home facilities violate the trust of residents and families, who rely on them to provide much-needed care. Residents in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to abuse, especially since some are not able to convey what is happening. Because of this, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, which include weight loss, bruises of an unknown origin, bedsores, falls and an inattentive staff.