The Detroit Free Press recently reviewed the state inspection reports for Michigan nursing homes and made several shocking discoveries. At least six individuals under the care of nursing home staff had died as a result of choking, falling, or medication errors. In some cases, staffers were clearly to blame. For example, Walter Polomoski, who was required to be on a pureed diet, choked to death on a meatball because nursing home staff failed to properly prepare his food. Similarly, Emeline Falls lived to the age of 99 even after suffering a broken arm, but later died at a Michigan nursing home because staffers inadvertently administered her roommate’s Diabetes medication to her instead.
In nursing homes, life is already very fragile. Combined with careless or negligent behavior, those attempting to recover from serious illness can be pushed over the brink into death. Overall, the Detroit Free Press reviewed a total of 30 cases and found that 3 out of 4 nursing homes had been cited for a serious violation that harmed residents or put them in serious jeopardy. An even bigger problem that they discovered was daily neglect, as an estimated 1 in 5 patients had been neglected while staying in a nursing home.
Naturally, even with the best staff nursing homes cannot prevent every resident from getting sick or injured—elderly patients fall and come down with the flu, amongst other problems. However, experts urge families considering placing their loved ones in nursing homes to look past shiny hallways and luxurious amenities. One of the worst ranked nursing homes is Borgess Gardens in Kalamazoo, a 2-year old, $17-million facility with private bathrooms, a bird sanctuary, flat-screen TVs, an indoor garden, and a spacious dining area. In contrast, one of the best nursing homes is Romeo Nursing Center and Continuing Care, two dated buildings in Macomb County. Overall, a caring staff makes nursing homes safe for residents regardless of amenities.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.