Attorney General: Golden Living Negligent in Providing Proper Hygiene, Health, Nursing Services

golden-livingSHIPPENVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office has brought new allegations against a number of Golden Living Center nursing homes across the state, including an accusation the company’s Shippenville and Clarion facilities provided inadequate care to residents.

An amended complaint filed on September 8 says the company’s marketing materials violated Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law in numerous ways.

A July suit filed by the Attorney General’s Office against parent company Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC originally charged 14 of the 36 Golden Living facilities in the state with providing inadequate care.

The amended complaint charges another 11 facilities, for a total of 25 across the state, and brings new charges based upon 350 complaints made to the Attorney General’s office.

It seeks $1,000 per violation or as much as $3,000 for each violation involving someone over the age of 60. It also seeks restitution for consumers and legal costs.

Alleged Marketing Violations

The amended complaint lists several alleged misrepresentations in Golden Living Center’s marketing materials, including:

  • “We have licensed nurses and nursing assistants to provide nursing care and help with activities of daily living. Whatever your needs are, we have the clinical staff to meet those needs.”
  • “Snacks and beverages of various types and consistencies are available at any time from your nurse or nursing assistant.”
  • “A container of fresh ice water is put right next to your bed every day, and your nursing assistant will be glad to refill or refresh it for you.”
  • “Clean linens are provided for you on a regular basis, so you do not need to bring your own.”

The complaint also alleges the marketing materials “omitted information that would be material to consumers.”

Shippenville Facility

At the Shippenville facility, a confidential witness said she and her husband regularly assisted her father-in-law with his daily activities, cleaning him and changing his clothes.

The witness said while he could have used the bathroom with assistance from staff, they instead gave him urine bottles to use in bed, and most of the time he had two or three completely full urine bottles sitting on his dresser when they came to visit him.

Later, the facility put him in diapers, the witness said, and when they visited he was often soaked from his mid-chest down to his toes, indicating to them he had been lying in wet briefs for a long time.

The woman also said the staff didn’t fill the man’s water mug, didn’t bathe him properly, and didn’t care for his dentures properly and “the build-up of material in his mouth was a half-inch thick.”

Another confidential witness said family members aided with her father’s care and on a few days when no one was able to visit, they found he was not shaved, his teeth had not been brushed, and his face was not washed. She also alleged it took staff members more than 30 minutes to respond to a call bell and they even had to wait after finding someone to help.

Inspectors from the Department of Health issued several findings at the Shippenville facility:

  • A deficiency for waking residents up between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. to perform skin assessments
  • A deficiency for failing to reassess a resident after a significant decline
  • A deficiency for failing to provide proper hygiene for a resident with an indwelling urinary catheter
  • A deficiency for not providing planned restorative nursing

Records in the amended complaint do not list total revenues or profits for the Shippenville facility.

Clarion Facility

At the Clarion facility, a confidential witness said she visited her mother and provided most of her basic care but sometimes staff members gave her mother food she could not eat, prompting the woman to “march down to the kitchen and get what she needed to feed her mother.”

The witness said staff members did not re-position her mother enough which caused her to choke and develop pneumonia, staff members were rougher with her mother during the evening hours, and did not check on her mother frequently enough.

Inspectors from the Department of Health found several issues at the Clarion facility:

  • A resident’s clinical record was filled out inaccurately, with staff initialing services were provided while the resident was in the hospital
  • A deficiency for failing to address residents’ grievances regarding being left alone in the bathroom
  • A deficiency for failing to assist a resident with an ordered restorative eating program
  • Certified Nursing Assistants waking residents before 5:00 a.m. to bathe them

Records in the amended complaint show between 2008 and 2014 the Clarion facility took in revenues totaling $36,338,881, with a total profit of $1,676,764.

The entire complaint can be viewed here.


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