In yet another example of nursing home abuse, the Washington Post recently reported that nursing home workers across the country are posting inappropriate images of nursing home residents on social media platforms such as SnapChat and Facebook. The embarrassing posts of elderly residents violates the privacy and dignity of the victims and are typically unlawful – some have lead to criminal charges.
Investigations reveal that over the course of several years, a number of workers at nursing homes and assisted-living centers across the nation have surreptitiously shared photos or videos of residents, some of whom were partially or completely naked. Closer to home, reporters show that in 2013, a Johnston, Iowa nursing home fired two employees for posting at least one inappropriate picture on a social media website. In 2014, an Ames, Iowa nursing home employee plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of dependent adult abuse after recording a sexually explicit video of a resident.
Unfortunately, neglect and abuse of the elderly or the otherwise disabled residing in nursing homes or residential care facilities happens all too frequently. We entrust nursing homes with the care of our family members when they are at their most vulnerable and believe that nursing homes have an obligation to live up to the reasonable standard of care that we expect. It is simply unacceptable when nursing homes fail to protect those in their care. If you or a family member has been the victim of Iowa nursing home neglect or abuse, Des Moines attorney John T. Hemminger can help.
Iowa Car and Truck Accident Injury Law
Injuries sustained by occupants of a passenger vehicle as a result of a collision with any of the large, commercial freight trucks traveling across Iowa can be devastating. Passenger cars are no match for big semis when things go wrong.
Truck accidents have many causes, some of which are caused by driver negligence. When a driver fails to stop and rest at appropriate intervals, or drives under the influence of sleep-suppressing drugs, their judgment can be impaired. Truck drivers can also put others at risk by driving aggressively, carrying unsecured loads, or driving too fast. If truck drivers do not adjust their speeds for various conditions such as slick roads or construction zones, they may be responsible for an accident even if they are following posted speed limits.
Sometimes the risk posed by a semi-truck is unrelated to the actions of the driver – it may be the trucking company that failed to do their part. For example, the driver’s company may have neglected to inspect or repair the truck. Cargo may have been loaded improperly, or the truck may have inoperable lights, brakes, or other equipment. Lacking regular inspection, damaged truck tires can also cause accidents by disintegrating at high speeds leading to injuries and fatalities on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Iowa Injury Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. John has handled hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death claims for truck accident victims and their families. He has extensive experience in trial and in negotiations and can help you recover the compensation you will need. Call today.
The nation’s $137 billion nursing home industry has made major improvements since the landmark 1987 federal Nursing Home Reform Act imposed mandates to combat neglect and abuse. However, the industry, which draws heavily on taxpayer funding via Medicare and Medicaid, still struggles to provide safe care for many of its residents.
Approximately one-third of Medicare patients suffered preventable harm within a month of being admitted to nursing homes for short-term rehabilitation, according to a 2014 study released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The harm cost an estimated $2.8 billion in Medicare for hospitalizations alone in 2011.
Researchers and patient advocates say that insufficient staffing is one of the biggest contributors to poor outcomes for nursing home residents. After evaluating staffing metrics, the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded that anything less than 4.1 hours of total daily nursing care per long-term resident increases the risk of harm to patients with injuries ranging from bed sores and weight loss to much more serious conditions. Nursing homes are hardly keeping up, putting residents in harms way.
Nursing homes have an obligation to live up to the reasonable standard of care that we expect. When they don’t, our elderly community can wrongfully suffer degrading, injurious nursing home neglect and abuse. If you or a loved one has been harmed in an Iowa nursing home or other residential treatment center, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help today.
Guardianship For Aging Parents
Many children of the boomer generation are now confronted with the responsibility of caring for their aging parents. Although many elderly people function independently, some require a great deal of assistance. It may become necessary to explore the possibility of obtaining designation as a guardian. In some cases, elder care plans may already be in place through an advanced directive or through power of attorney. If there are no provisions, it may be necessary to petition a court for an appointment as the guardian.
A person must be declared incompetent in order for guardianship over him or her to be determined, an issue that may be contested by the person. It is important to note that such an appointment may only be made if evidence is provided of a prospective ward lacking the mental capacity needed to conduct personal affairs. This person may choose to object to the appointment of a guardian, and a lawyer may be retained to represent their interests.
In seeking guardianship of an aging parent, it is important to recognize that by gaining legal authority for that individual’s decisions and affairs, he or she will be losing many legal rights. Additionally, a great deal of responsibility and accountability is placed on the new guardian.
A guardian is expected to use input from a ward as much as possible, and actions are restricted to those authorized by a court. In some cases, responsibilities may be designated to different parties. Regular accounting and reports are required.
In seeking guardianship, it may be important to work with a lawyer who is experienced with elder care issues. Guardianship is a big responsibility, and it it is helpful to discuss the implications and requirements with a lawyer prior to initiating the process.
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