This sad (but all too common) case report comes to us from the great state of Texas.
Emilio Gonzalez, 76, lived at the Living Centers of Texas Nursing Home for several years. He was subsequently admitted to a local hospital where he was diagnosed as having pneumonia, Stage IV pressure sores on his hip, and dehydration. He required multiple debridements (a gruesome process of cutting away dead and necrotic tissue) and later died of his condition. He was survived by his five adult children.
Gonzalez’s daughter, on behalf of his estate, sued the nursing home, alleging that it failed to provide proper medical and nursing care to Gonzalez and prevent his pressure sores during the six months preceding his death. Among other things, the plaintiff claimed that nursing home staff failed to turn Gonzalez frequently, provide adequate nourishment, properly evaluate his fluid intake, and take other measures to protect his skin’s integrity.
The Result: A jury awarded $592,400 to the estate. Maybe the jury’s award will get some attention. Too many nursing homes act like they are just warehouses for the elderly…just a “holding cell” waiting for the end of life. The last days of our loved ones need to be much better.