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advocacy 13 articles

Eldercare advocate rallies family members to fight for better care

Eldercare advocate Wes Bledsoe stood among nearly 100 residents from Hot Springs, South Dakota last week, and rallied them to take action and change federal and state guidelines that impede speedy reporting of incidents that harm vulnerable elderly in the state’s nursing homes. The meeting was his second since early last month, when he held a town hall meeting with an audience of more than 200 focusing on recent allegations of sexual abuse of residents at Castle Manor by a nursing home aide at the home. According to family members, it took days for the nursing home to file the ... Read More

Illinois nursing home advocates fight proposed bill to refund fines

State Sen. Dan Kotowski said he had good intentions when he sponsored a bill in the Illinois General Assembly that would refund fines paid by nursing homes that promised to use the money to improve care at their facilities. But opponents of the bill say it is faulty and would only “eliminate the financial disincentive for bad behavior,” according to the State Journal-Register. Sen. Kotowski says the basis of the bill is to ensure that problems at nursing homes get fixed. The Illinois Department of Public Health would be charged with overseeing the system and deciding if homes were using ... Read More

Staffers leave nursing home residents unattended

The elderly man at a Nova Scotia nursing home had fallen to the floor in his bathroom during the overnight hours of May 5-6. No one knows how long he had been lying there, but the light from the bathroom prompted his roommate to ring the call bell to have staff turn off the light. The three staff members in charge of the 39-bed home that night had been enjoying a 7- to 15-minute smoke break when they entered the facility and heard the bell. They went to the men’s room and found the one man on the floor of ... Read More

Nursing home advocate says to heed warning signs of neglect, abuse

Wes Bledsoe, founder of the victim’s advocacy group A Perfect Cause, cautioned Norman, Oklahoma, residents to heed the warning signs of neglect in patients in the state’s nursing homes, citing a study by the national coalition Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes. The study found that nursing home residents in Oklahoma had more pressure sores compared to the national average, according to NewsOK. Bledsoe said pressure sores on nursing home residents are akin to “canaries in the coal mine,” adding that pressure sores often are a sign of neglect, and the frequency of pressure sores on a nursing home’s patients ... Read More

Advocacy group demands answers from state

A watchdog group that advocates for the developmentally disabled is pressuring Nebraska state leaders to look into the care at the troubled state-run Beatrice State Developmental Center, according to the Fremont Tribune. Three deaths that occurred in three weeks on the same floor of the 240-bed home for the developmentally disabled have raised the suspicions of Nebraska Advocacy Group. “This demands an immediate response, not a promise to do something in the future. They’ve had a history of un-kept promises,” Nebraska Advocacy Group litigation director Bruce Mason told the newspaper. The group sent a letter last week to state leaders including ... Read More

Watchdog group founder plans second visit to Albert Lea

Wes Bledsoe, the founder of the watchdog group A Perfect Cause, returns to Albert Lea, Minnesota, this week to meet again with families of victims allegedly abused during the widely publicized “attacks for thrills” incident at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Star Tribune. While in town, Bledsoe also will attend the arraignments of two of the nurses charged with in the crimes. The town of Albert Lea was rocked last year when an investigation revealed that six nursing home aides at Good Samaritan Society were charged in connection to disturbing cases of abuse ... Read More

Oklahoma man accused of sexually abusing nursing home patient

Last week, when a nurse at Southtown Nursing Home in Bixby, Oklahoma, walked in on restorative aide Edward Lee Marshall giving a blind, physically and mentally handicapped patient a bath, she felt sure she had witnessed something inappropriate. It appeared Marshall was not bathing the patient, but masturbating him. She immediately contacted management, who called the police, according to The Tulsa World. Bixby police arrested Marshall and charged him with making a lewd proposal and sexual battery. He was transported to Tulsa jail where he was held on $27,000 bond. He was released Saturday. “There might be nothing to this, ... Read More

Disgruntled employee accused of putting urine in ice bin

Kathleen Chmura thought it was her soda that tasted funny. Then she realized it was the ice. And it tasted like urine. Chmura had scooped the ice from the ice bin at By the Lake senior assisted living facility she owns in Hayden, Idaho. She immediately had a suspect in mind – a disgruntled employee who had just joined two other employees in a walkout to protest of a firing of two employees three days prior, according to The Seattle Times. “I won’t put up with this crap,” Chmura told the newspaper. Chmura opened the facility two years ago. Chmura ... Read More

Watchdog group holds town hall meetings in Albert Lea

The “attacks-for-thrills” case where four nursing home aides were accused of abusing cognitively impaired residents at Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minn., for entertainment, has captured the attention of a national watchdog group, according to the Star Tribune. Wes Bledsoe, president and founder of A Perfect Cause, arrives Thursday and will host a town hall meeting addressing the abuse at Good Samaritan Society. A Perfect Cause is a victim’s advocacy organization that fights “to end needless suffering and preventable deaths while protecting the rights of citizens from corporate greed and negligence.” According to prosecutors, the nursing aides held down ... Read More

Advocacy group wants more control over caregiver training

A Washington state advocacy group is hoping to raise awareness of the problem of abuse and neglect by caregivers of the elderly and disabled before voters approve Initiative 1029 on November 4, according to Columbian.com. I-1029 requires all new caregivers beginning in 2010 to be certified by the state, undergo an FBI background check and get at least 75 hours of training. The initiative is sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). PAS-Port for Change, an eight-member statewide steering committee, argues that the initiative fails to address the core issues of abuse and neglect against the elderly and disabled. ... Read More