American Association for Justice has posted an article on the website titled: "Civil Justice System Uncovers Abuse And Neglect Of Elderly Americans"
A new report released today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) illustrates how the civil justice system is the most effective force in uncovering abuses by corporate nursing homes and insurance companies that target elderly Americans.
There are 1.5 million elderly Americans currently residing in nursing homes -- facilities that are now operated by mostly large corporate chains banking on the upcoming influx of baby boomers. Many of these vulnerable residents have suffered abuse by staff members and even died from dehydration or infection caused by inadequate care. The report explains how litigation has revealed this neglect and abuse and allowed residents and their families to hold offending corporations accountable.
"Corporate nursing homes and insurance companies have continually chosen to put profits ahead of the well-being of our most vulnerable population," said AAJ President Gibson Vance. "Where regulatory and legislative bodies have been unable to cope with this distressing rise of neglect and abuse of our elderly, the civil justice system has stepped into the breach."
A common theme in the report is abuse by insurance companies taking advantage of senior citizens. It highlights the story of a South Dakota farmer named Rudy, who was one of a flood of patients that companies signed up for long-term care insurance in the 1990s. Rudy moved into a nursing home at his doctor's suggestion, only to have his benefits cut after three years when the company declared his care was no longer "medically necessary," despite faithfully paying his monthly premium.
On a personal level, abuse also entails saying one thing about allowing animals, getting the elderly person into the organization, then saying "no" even in the face of several doctor's notes saying the dog is an emotional support. Doctor's notes make no difference? Why have doctors, let administrators make the judgment. Only animal lovers are going to know the pain and anger that comes with such behavior and my response to that behavior. Thus is the life in a corporate system with no heart. Bottom-line is all that counts.
My quick story is regarding psychological and spiritual abuse at a senior citizen housing facility called Clover Health Care in Auburn, Maine. (http://www.clovermanor.com)
The issue, I emphasize, is not about clinical staff, but administrative.
Clover Manner is a part of what is called "Continuum Health Services" which also contains Gorham House in Gorham, Maine; Sentry Hill in York, Maine and Durgin Pines in Kittery, Maine. Clover is a participant of a chain and is not community oriented. It's akin to Rite Aid or Best Buy. It has no empathy for the community of which it is supposed to offer services. All it cares about is the bottom line.
The personal story begins. I have a dog, a terrier mix. I purposely knew having Alzheimer's I would need to go into care and would wait until my other dog, a laboratory retriever, Sophie (named after Sophia, meaning Wisdom reflecting on the term dog being God backwards) died. I did just that. At first Clover said it was 'ok' to have the surviving dog then said 'not'. To that my wife and I answered, "We're not going and will look elsewhere." Then they backed down and said they would allow it (the policy to some is unclear, yet I found somewhere it stated pets were allowed and there was no mention in a difference regarding one being Medicaid or another being "Self-Pay").
The corporation then got us into the agency and began to complain about the dog while stating she "needs to go." Of course, they blamed the dog and us. I truly think this was their plan, but I cannot prove it.
Our dog, Kali, is a part of our family and, indeed, according to our philosophy of the interconnectedness of all life, a part of us like an arm or a leg. Doctors have attested in writing that she is necessary to us for emotional support. This support has been blown off given that Kali is not a "seeing" eye dog. Emotions and loving relations mean nothing? "Lack of empathy" is a telltale sign of abuse and psychopathology. "Make my day," states a Mafia hit man when blowing away someone in cold blood.
I should note here that the cost of housing in this place is my wife and my Social Security (for my wife), Social Security Disability (for me) and small pension checks. In addition, bills are made to Medicade (Mainecare) to further support our services. What we get out of our checks is 60.00 bucks a month each. That's not a lot for doing much of anything. Keeps you nestled in the bosom of Big Mamma Corp.
Isolate the target? Isn't that a telltale sign of abuse?
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