Miriam Sodowsky enjoyed caring for other people so much that, even while she was in the grips of dementia and confined to a wheelchair, she'd wheel over to try to help other residents in the Morningside Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center in Little Rock. Sodowsky had been placed there by Lisa Sanders, her youngest daughter, after a family friend found the then-80-year-old lying on the floor of her home in Magnolia, Arkansas, on January 18, 2012. Sodowsky, a former certified nursing assistant who won awards for perfect attendance, had been lying there overnight. Sanders agreed with her mother's doctor that Irvin could no longer take care of herself. She decided to move her mother to Little Rock and, after a couple of months, into the Chenal Heights home. The daughter assumed that the staffing levels and care her mother was to receive there would match the neighborhood’s attractiveness. After just one week Irvin was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction. Sanders said she arrived at the home to find her mother sitting in her own feces. The nursing home, which has since been renamed as part of an ownership change, declined to comment. On the public website where facilities post their daily staffing levels, Chenal Heights said it provided .19 hours, or about 11 minutes, of registered nurse care each day for its residents in 2012. But harder-to-find federal financial documents examined by the Center for Public Integrity reported average daily staffing levels at the home that were lower. Much lower. A systematic problem Nursing homes across the country had...

New York, N.Y. -- June 15, 2015 – Every year, more than two million cases of elder abuse occur. National franchisor My Elder Advocate works to prevent abuse by advocating for elders’ rights. In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15, the company’s founder, Jack Halpern, a leading elder abuse advocate and champion of elder care rights, is sharing common signs of potential elder abuse. 1. Understaffed Nursing Homes: More than 75 percent of all U.S. nursing homes are understaffed. This is the number one factor in preventable nursing home falls. Residents of understaffed facilities often receive less attention from qualified caregivers. 2. Weight Loss: Sudden weight loss can be a sign of being starved, underfed or malnourished. A good indicator is loose clothes that once fit properly. 3. Bruises, Bed Sores, Broken Bones: These are all indicators of serious neglect or physical abuse. It’s important to routinely visit with elders and examine them for these signs. 4. Overmedicating: More than 35 percent of nursing home patients receive antipsychotic drugs. Although necessary for some patients, one in five is given the drug solely as a way to control them. Dizziness, depression, lack of interest or appearing “out of it” can be signs of overmedication. 5. Refusal to Speak: If an elder refuses to speak in front of a caregiver, it could indicate he/she fears them. This can be a sign that physical or emotional abuse is happening when no one else is present. Halpern has personally helped thousands of elders gain the best care...

At age 65, former nursing home executive Jack Halpern has seen the horrors of America’s elder care structure first hand. CHECK OUT LINK TO ARTICLE: http://www.franchisetimes.com/news/May-2015/Q-A-with-Jack-and-Claudine-Halpern-of-My-Elder-Advocate/...