The care a family member receives in a Colorado nursing home is expected to include quality treatment. Nursing homes residents are vulnerable to medical malpractice and abuse because they often cannot communicate well about the care they receive. Evidence of negligence frequently doesn’t show up until harm results in wrongful death.
Families trust medical professionals with the care of loved ones. Suspicions of wrongdoing are sometimes complicated by a resident’s medical condition. A claim by an elderly, heavily-medicated resident might be dismissed as delusion. No one wants to believe a nurse, aide, doctor or facility would allow a resident to be mistreated.
The level of care can become a tug of war between nursing home staff and a resident’s family. A wrongful death lawsuit against the Broomfield Skilled Nursing facility in suburban Denver alleges, despite relatives’ pleas, a gravely-ill resident’s health was ignored until her condition turned fatal.
The 80-year-old resident had been admitted in March 2011 following hospital treatment. The woman contracted a life-threatening infection. Requests by the woman’s daughters to hospitalize their mother and rehydrate her were dismissed. The resident died within a month of admission. The resident’s physician, working while on professional probation, was named in more than one dozen liability lawsuits.
Broomfield also recently made headlines following the arrest of a male nurse’s aide for unrelated patient abuse and sexual assaults. State officials confirmed the allegations were among many at the nursing home.
Federal, state and local agencies are responsible for safety certifications and licensing of long-term health care facilities. Medicare-qualification inspections over the last three years at Broomfield resulted in “much below average” ratings. The average number of violations found during an inspection is about nine for the period; Broomfield had 40.
While nursing home complaint records and ratings available to the public, patients and family members have every right to insist upon quality care in any operating facility.
dailycamera.com, “Broomfield nursing facility has history of staffing, regulatory problems” Megan Quinn, Aug. 24, 2013