A 93-year-old man died last year after being left unattended at a nursing home facility in Southern Florida. Alfonso Jansen was residing at ManorCare Health Services, located in Plantation, Florida, when he died on October 5, 2013. ManorCare is a skilled nursing home facility that provides both short- and long-term care, post-hospital care, rehabilitation therapy, skilled nursing and medical care.
According to the records, Mr. Jansen was taken to an outdoor courtyard and subsequently left unattended for nearly four hours in 88 degree weather. Autopsy results indicate that Mr. Jansen suffered from second- and third-degree burns, and “thermal exposure” was listed as one factor in his death. Mr. Jansen’s family was shocked by the news of his passing. The Jansen family attorney, Michael Freedland, summed it up when he said, “[H]is family expected that he would be cared for and treated with dignity and respect, and instead they left him out there and he literally baked to death in the hot Florida sun.”
A spokesperson for ManorCare said in a statement, “The staff at ManorCare-Plantation is deeply sadden by Mr. Hansen’s death,” but declined to comment any further, citing patient confidentiality. One former nursing home employee is, though, speaking out against the facility.
A woman who previously worked for one of ManorCare’s sister facilities has stated that she witnessed working conditions worsen over the last few years as budgets decreased. She explained that previously a nursing assistant would be in charge of eight patients on any given shift, but now that number is closer to ten or eleven. Furthermore, night shift employees might have up to twenty patients.
The statements of this former ManorCare employee highlight the importance of talking to nursing home staff about the standard of care provided at their facilities. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, it’s best to go right to the source to try and resolve the situation. Although you may feel hesitant about accusing an employee directly, it is obviously the employees themselves that know the most about the quality of care your loved one is receiving. Current and former employees can be great assets as you attempt to hold accountable those responsible for any harm caused to your loved one. As evidenced by this ManorCare employee’s statements, sometimes people are just waiting for an opportunity to speak out against a facility’s substandard health care practices.
Having represented families and victims of nursing home neglect cases over the past several years we have found that the testimony of primary care employees can be very valuable. These employees include positions like CNA (certified nursing assistants), Nurses, CNT (certified nurse technician) and other employees that are involved in the day to day care of the nursing home residents. It is these workers that have direct contact with the residents and the inner workings of the nursing home. They can answer the critical questions like: Was there enough staff to care for the residents? Was the staff properly trained? Did the residents receive proper care?
Contact the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at The Higgins Firm today for a free initial consultation. Our lawyers are here to answer any questions you may have about your potential Tennessee nursing home abuse or neglect claim.