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Nationwide, nursing home abuse startlingly common

In the latest of a tidal wave of senior abuse reports, federal authorities fined a Kansas nursing home more than $185,000 and imposed a $1,000 per day fine that will be charged until the home is brought back into compliance. 

The State Department for Aging and Disability Services alleged that four staff at the home verbally and physically abused at least two seniors. The individuals in question have been terminated.

The alleged abuse came to light after a state inspector talked to 27 residents. Those discussions revealed that at least two elderly residents suffered repeated abuse. One patient was the preferred target for all four nursing home aides. Another patient at the facility had repeatedly abused a fellow resident.

On release of the report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid fined the home $8,200 a day from March 26 to April 13, and $1,000 a day for each day after April 13. The fines will cease once the home is compliant with all rules and regulations and has dealt with the issues cited in the report — including the failure to self-report and to look into intra-resident violence.

All facility staff is being retrained, and the home will be subject to random inspection at a later date.

We all need to take action if we suspect that something is wrong at a nursing home or that a relative is being abused. If you feel something is wrong at a nursing home, call a competent lawyer and get help.