It was reported this week that a 77-year old Indiana resident of the South Shore Health and Rehabilitation Facility died after an attack by another resident. Diane Parkinson died on Sunday, March 11th, five days after being struck by a 75-year old resident. Gary Police Cpl. Gabrielle King says that witnesses told police that Parkinson was out for her morning walk when the man struck her so hard that she fell to the floor. She was taken to the hospital with facial injuries.
The manner of the death is still under investigation, and although this maybe a unique case with special circumstances regarding what might have provoked this one resident to attack another, it unfortunately, is not an isolated occurrence of violence or abuse at nursing homes. In fact, the event further highlights the need across the state for improved patient safety at long term nursing facilities. The South Shore Health and Rehabilitation Facility received a two-star rating out of five, or below average, from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid) on its most recent Nursing Home Compare Quality Rating . The star rating is based on how the facility performed in key metrics from state inspections of health and fire safety, nursing staffing, quality measures, and complaints. The facility ranks “much below average” on the ratio of licensed nursing staff time spent with each patient. The nursing home has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all residents and employees alike. This particular facility was sited as recently as April 2011 for not having adequate care plan assessments for patients after their admission, a discrepancy that was cited as being addressed in June 2011. Having appropriate care plans, removing dangerous objects from the environment, and providing counseling for patients with aggressive behavior are just a few of many steps that nursing facilities can take to better ensure the safety of their residents.
If you or your loved one is a current or former resident of an Indiana nursing home and you have questions about nursing home abuse or neglect, you can contact us, for a free consultation.