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A Cleveland woman who worked as a nursing assistant at a nursing home has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for abusing an Alzheimer’s patient.

The abuse was captured by the patient’s son through a video camera hidden in an air purifier. The video showed the nursing assistant, “roughly transferring [the patient] to a wheelchair and tossing her on a bed.”

As a Chicago area attorney with extensive nursing home experience, I feel that unfortunate events like this are far too prevalent and demonstrate the pressing need for greater supervision of nursing home employees. Nursing homes must implement improved systems of employee surveillance to protect their vulnerable residents and immediately put a stop to abuse when it occurs.

As a Chicago area attorney with extensive nursing home experience, I too am discouraged by the latest disappointment in Alzheimer’s research. Although omega-3 fatty acid pills were thought to promote memory, researchers are reporting the disappointing news that the pills did not “slow mental and physical decline in older patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease. (L. Tanner, Chicago AP, 11/2).

Those results are the result of a “multimillion-dollar government-funded study released Tuesday in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.” Laurie Ryan, the president of Alzheimer’s studies at the National Institute on Aging calls the results discouraging, but notes that “the institute is spending millions of dollars on research into other possible treatments. Those include lifestyle changes, drugs and biomarkers that might lead to more targeted drug treatment.”

The Loyola Elder Law Initiative Presents the 2009 Hurley, McKenna & Mertz Lecture Series Event: Tips and Trends in Long-Term Care. Hurley, McKenna & Mertz, P.C. is a partnership of trial lawyers in Chicago dedicated to the representation of persons whose lives have been destroyed by the negligence of others. The firm's practice includes representation of nursing home residents and their families in cases of abuse, neglect, and fraud.

Eric M. Carlson, J.D. the Director of the Long-Term Care Project of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) will present on July 16, 2009. The Lecture will be held at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law located at 25 East Pearson Street in room 1103 at 6:00 p.m. The lecture is free and is open to the public; a reception will follow.

Mr. Carlson advises attorneys all across the country on long-term care issues. He co-counsels litigation on the behalf of long-term care residents, and is the author of numerous publications including Long-Term Care Advocacy and Long-Term Care Law Reporter.

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