Articles Tagged with nursing home

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Several months ago, I wrote a post discussing fire ant attacks in Alabama nursing facilities. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be safe places for our elderly. Yet, over the last decade, fire ants have injured and killed elderly residents in numerous facilities across the southeastern United States.

Recently, three nursing home employees in Alabama were criminally convicted for elder abuse following a vicious fire ant attack on an elderly patient. That attack made the news but so many others go unreported.

A few years ago, we worked on a case involving a vicious fire ant attack at an assisted living facility in Huntsville, Alabama. The injuries were devastating to a sweet elderly patient and her family.

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Copy-of-Add-a-little-bit-o-text-3-300x300Assisted living facility? Decisions concerning elderly relatives can be some of the most difficult for families. When the time comes to consider driving, safety or living independently, it is traumatic. We want to honor our relatives and make the best decisions. Our elders are a true treasure. I’m reminded of the verse that says “Gray hair is a crown of glory.” (Proverbs 16:31).

How should we treat our elders? In a recent talk, Pope Francis said, “where there is no honor to the elderly, there is no future for the young.” That is very true.

Earlier this week I read of a recent incident where fire ants attacked an elderly Air Force veteran in a VA assisted living facility. A single fire ant attack in an assisted living facility, is unacceptable. Yet, here, we are not talking about a single attack but rather repeated attacks over the course of two days. Is this an isolated event in a single facility? No. Fire ants present a horrible danger that too many facilities ignore.

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A couple weeks ago, a young lady in south Alabama tragically lost her life after a fire ant attack. Although young and seemingly healthy, she suffered an allergic attack and died.

Fire ants present a danger to young and old. While deaths among young and healthy people are much more rare, they do occur.

In my practice, I’ve seen the special danger swarming fire ants present for elderly or immobile people. Several years ago, I worked on a case in Huntsville involving an elderly nursing home patient viciously attacked over the course of two separate nights. On the morning of the second night of attacks, our client’s daughter arrived for a visit. She walked into one of the most horrible scenes imaginable. She saw thousands upon thousands of ants swarming her elderly mother’s bed. She then heard her elderly mother screaming from the bathroom. When she entered the bathroom, she found a nursing home attendant desperately trying to clean ants from her mother. The injuries were horrible. Yet, the attacks should never have occurred. They could have easily been prevented by the nursing home.