State Finds Neglect Claims Against Assisted Living Facility to be Unfounded

The state has found that allegations of neglect involving an assisted-living center resident who died after developing  MRSA were unsubstantiated. The Department of Aging and Disability Services investigated the facility after a complaint made in April but did not cite the facility for any violations of state or federal regulations.. An allegation that the patient's rights were violated was also found to be unsubstantiated.

A 95-year-old resident of the facility since November, died April 16, three days after she was taken to the hospital by family members. She was found to have pneumonia, a broken arm, a urinary tract infection and MRSA. The granddaughter of the woman said that regardless of the fact that the allegations were unsubstantiated by the state, it doesn't change the facts surrounding her grandmother's death. "She died of MRSA, and she had a broken arm," she said. "That concerns me."

The granddaughter said she found the facility unresponsive when she went to Autumn Leaves after her grandmother died because she felt other residents needed to know about the MRSA infection. The facility later sent a letter saying no MRSA was at the facility, she said. In the particular state, assisted-living facilities are not required to report MRSA infections to state or federal public health agencies.

In its report, DADS concluded that allegations that "the facility failed to recognize, properly assess and intervene in a timely manner when the resident had a decline and change in condition" were unsubstantiated. It also found allegations that it "failed to provide appropriate pain management" unsubstantiated and that it "did not notify family members of any changes in condition" unsubstantiated as well. The facility did receive two citations but that state claims those violations were administrative in nature. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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