Residents deaths caused by staff mistakes, buildings deteriorating still remain open caring for the elderly
Even those nursing homes with the highest of fines and numerous violations still seem to remain open and yet some experts state that closing these homes is not the easiest option or the best one.
Nursing homes such as St. James Nursing Center in Detroit owned by Ciena Healthcare Management had paid out $265,000 in a lawsuit paid to the residents sister. Ten years later the nursing home still remains in operation even with the lowest performance ratings according to federal ratings. Over and over this nursing home piles up violations for serious negligence in patient care.
However, St. James does not stand alone when it comes to violations. Over three-quarters of Michigan Nursing homes have received at least one serious violation within the last three years.
In 2009, Omni had been cited for failure to report several events including a resident with a history of confusion that wandered outside in 48 degree weather wearing only pajamas and all that two staff members who were standing in parking lot at time of occurrence did just greet the man “Good Moring”. This incidence was caught on surveillance tapes. Lower violations had included a female resident standing covered in her own wasted asking for help with the only response being from one staffer was to pick-up nearby breakfast trays.
On the other side of the spectrum the Cinea chain has nursing homes with few violations and good performance records. One such facility is the Regency in Waterford. Here there is the smell of fresh paint and carpet in the air. Providing residents with private rooms and showers, courtyards, wide-open meeting place and an executive chef.
According to Sara Slocum, State Long Term Care Ombudsman at the State of Michigan, Cinea is a “mixture of poor performing homes and lovely places which are well staffed and have state-of-the-art equipment”.
Owner of Ciena, Mohammad Quzi, last summer had related to Detroit Free Press after receiving a tour of their outstanding nursing home facility in Waterford, that he is working at improving care at the Detroit homes by hiring more staff and doing renovations on its homes across its chain.
In all fairness to Ciena, St. James had troubles long before it was bought by the management company facing threats of closure due to inadequate facilities and equipment failures.
Mr. Quzi had also stated that it is an “ongoing struggle” to hire staff in some of the poorest areas of Detroit.
Troy attorney David Haron, rejects the argument that hiring staff is a struggle to note that Detroit is job starved.
The last three years has seen state inspectors cite 247 nursing homes averaging 2.5 times for serious violations. Serious violations meaning residents were harmed or were placed in immediate danger due to the homes wrong doing.
In August, the ending of a 35 month period had 9.9 million in federal fines for Michigan nursing homes leaving them the top state in the nation for federal fines. The most fined home was St. James.
Michigan Long-Term Care ombudsman and president of the National Consumer Voice John Weir, stated it even the more dangerous homes can be saved by new ownership or having the state take over the facility. He further notes that they do not wish to send the message to the residents and their families “if you complain, they will close down the home”.
Elmer Cerano, of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, is not in agreement with Weir stating giving nursing homes months, much less years to fix the problem is unacceptable. Leaving his final statement as “What if it was you? What if it were your loved one?”
In 1998, the federal government developed a program in order to identify the most poorly performing nursing homes in each state and have them fixed.
Special Focus Facilities (SFF) are subject to greater visits from state inspectors around twice a year instead of just once and have more strict enforcement.
Across the nation over 140 nursing homes have SFF designation with the state of Michigan having four.
The home under SFF have two years to show improvement or they can face the loss of federal funding which for most nursing homes means closure.
St. James Nursing Center in Detroit has thirteen months left under SFF since their last inspection date of October, 21, 2011. After that inspection no improvement had been shown. St. James is one of the lowest ranking nursing homes with eleven serious violations, $300,349 in fines and 83 violations in total.
Between March 1998 and September 2000, the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services (MDCIS), the state agency that licenses and regulates nursing homes, issued a notice of emergency license revocation to seven nursing homes, thus forcing the closure of the facilities and the immediate relocation of hundreds of residents.
L & L Nursing Center in Detroit, Michigan, closed October 7, 1998;
Lakeland Convalescent Center in Detroit, Michigan, closed September 7, 1999
Broadstreet Nursing Home in Detroit, Michigan, closed September 27, 2000.
Nursing home comparisons are available at Medicare.gov
Michigan nursing homes with the lowest rating can be seen at Detroit Free Press
There are options to nursing homes such as Assisted Living Facilities. These facilities provide their residents with help of daily activities such as personnel hygiene, help to use the bathroom and dressing. They may also help with care that most persons do themselves such as taking medications with additional services including preparing meals and getting to appointments.
Most of the times residents have their own room or apartment within a building or group of buildings and have some or all of their meals together. Also, provided usually are social and recreational activities. Healthcare services on site are offered at some of them.
In most of these cases the residents pay regular monthly rent and additional fees for services in order to receive them. Not all facilities provide the same services. Contact the facilities to see if they can meet the required needs and take a tour.
Medicare.gov has a listing of alternative options to nursing homes.
Grand Street Assisted Living
2050 W. Grand
Miracle Manor #2
927 E. Grand Blvd