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Washington State Nursing Homes Worst Offenders

Washington State Nursing Homes Worst Offenders

It’s a trying time for people with family in nursing homes. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is sweeping through nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and many of them are completely shut off from visitors to protect the residents. That’s why it’s vitally important that your loved ones are in facilities whose staff you can trust. You want nurses and assistants who are caring, well-trained, and who follow stringent sterilization guidelines. 

Unfortunately, not all facilities are equal.

We’ve outlined some of the worst-performing nursing homes in Washington State, according to Medicare.gov reports. Abuse and neglect are the primary citations here, though the nursing facilities have also been cited for many other violations. We hope this list will help you understand the threats that could face your loved ones and helps you find a healthy, safe place for them to live in during this crisis.

[Trigger Warning: this post contains descriptions of physical abuse and neglect.]

Paramount Rehabilitation and Nursing - Seattle

Medicare.gov overall rating: N/A (too many deficiencies)

The first nursing home in our list has had too many deficiencies to get a rating from Medicare.gov. They have been designated as a “Special Focus Facility”, which Medicare.gov says it has a “history of persistent poor quality of care” and is “subjected to more frequent inspections, escalating penalties, and potential termination for Medicare and Medicaid.” For a series of major violations that caused “actual harm” to residents, Paramount Rehabilitation and Nursing earned this ignominious designation.

Paramount is also cited for not preventing resident-on-resident abuse in at least two situations. In one, a resident with dementia was watching TV loudly after midnight for several days in a row, to the annoyance of his roommate. His roommate snapped and threw his urinal full of urine on his roommate. In another event, a resident with dementia wandered into several residents’ rooms late at night, despite complaints from these residents. Another resident decided to take the law into his own hands and slap the wandering resident. In both instances, staff failed to address a problem before it escalated into physical altercations.

Bremerton Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center - Bremerton

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

This facility has a few dozen citations where their actions caused actual harm in the past few years, but one report from 2017 is striking. In it, four different residents suffered from abuse or neglect of some sort, including a paralyzed stroke resident not being given a call bell, another disable resident being mocked for not being able to take a drink of water on his own, a resident who expressed suicidal thoughts not being properly monitored, and another partially paralyzed resident not being bathed regularly. These are cruel ways to treat those in need.

Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation Center - Port Angeles

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Over the past few years, Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation Center has been cited for two dozen incidents that caused actual harm to residents. One terrible incident happened in 2018 when a resident randomly and violently pushed over another resident with severe cognitive issues. The victim fell, striking his head so hard he eventually died. 

A terrible event, certainly, and one that had no precedent, which is hard to blame on the nursing home. But just a few days later, the same culprit pushed over yet another resident. Investigators found that the nursing assistant assigned to monitor the violent resident simply didn’t do her job, allowing the second incident to happen. Fortunately, the second victim didn’t pass away, but she seriously injured her hip, ankle, and wrist.

North Auburn Rehab & Health Center - Auburn

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Government inspectors lump together abuse and neglect in their citations because the outcomes are often the same. Whether someone is actively or passively hurting a resident, the end result is someone who is injured. North Auburn was cited for neglect when they didn’t follow proper procedures in transferring a resident from bed to wheelchair. 

While the care plan stated that this particular resident required a hoyer lift (sling) to transfer between wheelchair and bed, the staff decided the “stand and pivot” method was fine. But it wasn’t, resulting in a fall and a compound leg fracture that required hospitalization. Had they followed the care plan, this awful injury could have been avoided.

Soundview Rehabilitation and Health Care Inc - Anacortes

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Soundview had an instance of severe neglect in 2019 when a resident was admitted after serious cardiac surgery. The standard of care is to monitor the surgical wound daily and to have a staff member clean it so that it can heal properly. But according to records -- or lack thereof --, nobody monitored the wound on a daily basis, and staff allowed the resident to wash the wound herself. 

The incision became so infected the resident needed to be admitted to the hospital. That led to a second surgery, a wound vacuum, and six weeks of antibiotic therapy. Had the staff simply followed the proper protocol, the wound would have healed properly, and none of the extra interventions would have been required.

Fir Lane Health and Rehab Center - Shelton

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Fir Lane is the site of many citations where residents were harmed in some way, but one in particular from March 2019 stands out. A resident with severe dementia consistently showed signs of aggression and the tendency to hit staff. It was noted that the resident was a threat to other residents for over several months, but that didn’t spur staff to take serious steps. 

Then one day, the resident became angry at her roommate -- for reasons unknown -- and was found ramming her walker into her. The attack caused a large bruise and cut the legs of the resident. Staff finally moved the resident to another room, but not in time to save that one resident from attack.

Aldercrest Health & Rehab Center - Edmonds

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

A scathing report from September 2019 alleges many instances of verbal abuse and neglect at Aldercrest, including an administrator threatening a resident with eviction if she didn’t write a check. But one instance is particularly dreadful: a resident with mobility issues also developed gastrointestinal problems. One afternoon she used her call signal to summon a nurse; she had diarrhea and needed her briefs changed. 

The nurse said she would go find help, as the care plan required two people to move the resident. But over an hour went by before she returned. The resident was found to have pressure ulcers and rawness from sitting in her own feces. This lapse was a serious deprivation of dignity for the resident -- and a source of serious pain, too.

Shoreline Health and Rehabilitation - Seattle

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Staff failures often stem from a lack of training. Such were two cases in Olympia Transitional Care and Rehabilitation. Government inspectors observed staff were improperly positioning two residents who required feeding tubes to survive. If a resident is lying too flat while being fed, he can breathe food into his lungs. This is called aspiration, a potentially deadly condition that requires serious intervention to prevent lung collapse, pneumonia, and other pulmonary complications. 

After interviewing staff, inspectors found that hardly anyone knew the correct way to position residents who required feeding tubes, and the few that did weren’t following the guidelines anyway. Unfortunately, one resident did aspirate food and had to be rushed to the hospital to receive emergency medical care, prompting this investigation.

Life Care Center Of Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Many nursing home residents are too weak or impaired to reposition themselves when lying in bed. If left by themselves, pressure ulcers can develop. That’s why staff must often reposition these residents and check common spots for pressure ulcers. 

Unfortunately for two residents at Life Care Center of Mount Vernon, the staff did not do this, resulting in some very severe wounds developing. One resident’s pressure ulcers were left untreated for so long that they became stage VI, meaning bone and tendons were exposed. 

This is a dangerous and painful condition that requires immediate medical attention. Had the staff been paying attention and doing their job, these two residents could have been spared these ghastly wounds.

Frontier Rehab & Extended Care - Longview

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Yet another instance of pressure ulcers. This nursing home admitted a resident in late December of 2018 who had just had surgery on his wrist. The doctor’s orders were that the surgical wound be reviewed twice a day to ensure it was healing properly, along with other care measures to ensure the wrist remained moving. Five days went by without staff, even bothering to change the wound dressing. 

They only noticed a problem when the wound started draining through the dressing. Upon removing the bandage, they discovered a stage IV pressure wound on the wrist where the tendons were exposed. It was obvious that they hadn’t even moved the resident’s wrist, let alone monitoring its progress.

Washington State Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

No matter their age or mental ability, nursing home residents are human beings with all the rights that come with that. Bed sores, abuse, falls, medication mishaps -- all of these things are easily prevented with good policies, proper training, and staff who care about following the rules. 

Yet as we can see here, for many nursing facilities, these basic requirements are hard to follow, resulting in severe injuries and even death. To learn more about what you can do about nursing home abuse and neglect, contact us. Consultations are always free, without obligation and confidential. 

Please contact online, by email [hidden email] or call us at 833-201-1555 to set up a time to talk. We or someone in our network will respond immediately. 

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