Local Officials Say a Nursing Home Dumped Residents to Die at Hospitals

by Joe Sexton and Joaquin Sapien: For Entire Post, Go Here…

ngd- In the early ’70s, state institutions facing the coming of deinstitutionalization, used a similar tactic. Since they had to report deaths in the facilities, they sent home people who they thought would die soon, so they would die at home and not have to be reported…

The deaths of 18 residents of a New York nursing home highlight the continuing controversy over the Cuomo administration’s decision not to count deaths in hospitals as nursing home deaths. The home denies the allegations.

The nurse with the Columbia County Health Department recorded the COVID-19 deaths at nearby hospitals — two at Albany Medical Center on May 4, another at the same hospital two days later; one at Columbia Memorial Hospital on May 17, and another there two days later — and, along with her boss, concluded there was a pattern.

The people dying at the hospitals had been residents of a local nursing home, the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell in the tiny town of Valatie, New York. In all, the nurse counted 18 deaths of residents over five weeks. She didn’t have detailed medical records for the patients, but she noted that all had arrived at the hospital with orders saying no extraordinary measures were to be taken to keep them alive. As a result, she and the Columbia County health director developed a theory: “For me,” said Jack Mabb, the health director, “it appeared they were sending people to the hospital so they wouldn’t die in the facility.”

A change in the way New York tabulated nursing home deaths could have incentivized such behavior, he said, making homes’ records on COVID-19 containment appear better than they were.

Michigan budget outlook is brighter, but cuts still loom

By Allison Donahue: For Entire Post, Go Here…

The estimated outlook for the state budget over the next two years is more optimistic than it was back in May.

But revenues for Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2020 are still down $926 million and they’ve dropped $2.47 billion for FY 2021, according to economists.  The news comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders are primed to hash out a new budget before the Oct. 1 beginning of the 2021 fiscal year against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a presidential election.

State budget experts met Monday afternoon for a rare August Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC), where top officials from the Treasury Department and the nonpartisan House and Senate fiscal agencies agree to economic and revenue forecasts. CRECs are typically only held in January and May, but leaders felt that because of the economic downturn another summer conference was necessary.

Chris Harkins, director of the Senate Fiscal Agency, said the estimates from the latest conference leave him “cautiously optimistic.”

Next Avenue: Can family caregivers get paid? Here are some financial resources if you’re taking care of a loved one

From NextAvenue.org: For Entire Post, Go Here…

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

As any family caregiver will tell you, caregiving is hard. In addition to the stress involved, family caregivers often take a financial hit. But there are ways to get a hand paying for the care you provide, including some new ones created because of the pandemic.

In the recent Caregiving in the United States 2020 study from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, almost one in five survey respondents said they experienced “high financial strain due to family caregiving.” Family caregivers spent an average of $7,000 a year out of their own pockets, according to a previous AARP study.

These studies were completed before the pandemic, though, and the financial impact of family caregiving has gotten worse since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The new family caregiving costs due to the pandemic

“We’ve seen instances where people had been receiving home care services prior to the outbreak and providers who weren’t willing or able to offer care during the pandemic,” says Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of the Aging and Adult Services Agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Teen vowed to take his life if Michigan psych hospital released him. The next day, he did.

By Ross Jones: For Entire Post, Go Here…

ngd- This is what happens when support systems orient themselves to bureaucratic denial and capping of services…

Michelle Burt followed the ambulance closely.

Last October, the mother of three was headed west on I-96, behind an emergency vehicle carrying her her 15-year-old son Johnathan, who had just left an appointment with his therapist.

“He told her that he put a gun barrel to his head,” Burt recalled. He said: ‘I’m angry, I’m sad, I don’t know why. I just don’t want to live.’”

The family lived in Clarklake, a small town just outside of Jackson. But on this October day in 2019, they were making an urgent, two-hour trip to hospital in Grand Rapids. It was the nearest psychiatric bed available in the state.

At an age when obtaining a learner’s permit is normally a teen’s biggest challenge, Johnathan’s struggles were far greater.

Earlier that year, he had been diagnosed with manic depressive disorder. Two years before that, he began suffering from epileptic seizures. Later that month, Johnathan would be charged with a misdemeanor stemming from an incident at school.

“I’m not ready to go home.”

He was admitted to Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids on October 24. It wasn’t long before he made friends with another patient there, 17-year-old Aly Stid.

But over the course of his admission, Stid said Johnathan seemed to get worse.

“I could see it in his face, I could hear it in his voice. I knew he was hurting himself,” she said. “He wasn’t hiding that from anyone.”

A police officer is not the best person to help someone in psychosis

By REBECCAH LOVE: For Entire Post, Go Here…

A person with severe mental illness is considered the ultimate unreliable narrator.

She tells you a story about a horrible thing that happened to her, and you ask:

“Yes, but did this actually happen? Are you sure you remember correctly?” “Yes, but what did you do to provoke this?” ”Yes, but were you not a threat to other people?“ ”Yes, but you were sick, you deserved this treatment.”

In June of 2008, I graduated as valedictorian of a well-known Toronto private school. I was ambitious, highly motivated and excited for my future.

A year later, I would be experiencing my first episode of psychosis, admitted into St. Michael’s Hospital Emergency Room. I would spend the next four years going in and out of psychiatric wards in states of serious mania and psychosis.

The thing you have to remember about a person experiencing psychosis is that they do not interpret their surroundings in a normal way: in my episodes during these years, all things and people around me became metaphors. Police officers or paramedics or hospital security guards were not just people to me: they represented force, harm and danger.

At those times in my life I was suffering from an undiagnosed eating disorder, purposefully starving myself. During my hospitalizations, I was very weak and underweight. I was never a violent patient: a little stubborn and eccentric, maybe, but mostly just terrified, not in any kind of position to do anyone any harm. So when the men in uniform grabbed me, or slammed me against a wall, wrestling me to the floor, in my delusional state, they were not just hurting me, they were killing me. I screamed out for my brother to come save me. It was not just a little jostling: in those moments, it felt very much like my life was coming to an end.

The Recession Is About to Slam Cities. Not Just the Blue-State Ones.

By Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui: For Entire Post, Go Here…

Those with budgets that rely heavily on tourism, sales taxes or direct state assistance will face particular distress.

The coronavirus recession will erode city budgets in many insidious ways. It will slash the casino revenues that Detroit relies on. It will squeeze the state aid that is a lifeblood to Rochester and Buffalo in upstate New York. It will cut the sales tax revenue in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where a healthy government depends on people buying things.

The crisis has arrived faster than the damage from the Great Recession ever did. And it will cut deep in the fiscal year ahead, with many communities likely to lose 10 percent or more of the revenue they would have seen without the pandemic, according to a new analysis. That’s enough for residents to experience short-staffed libraries, strained parks departments and fewer road projects. The hardest-hit cities like Rochester and Buffalo could face 20 percent losses.

“The Great Recession was a story of long, drawn-out fiscal pain — this is sharper,” said Howard Chernick, a professor emeritus of economics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, who worked on the new analysis estimating revenue shortfalls for 150 major cities across the nation.


The Legacy of Disability Rights & Lived Experience at Penn State

From UP: For Entire Post, Go Here…


Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy of Disability Rights & Lived Experience at Penn State is a digital exhibition that explores the first 100 years of national disability rights legislation and movements’ impact on the Pennsylvania State University community. This exhibition is the result of a February 2020 conversation between University Libraries and Student Disability Resources, seeking to enhance cross-campus collaboration in building awareness and providing support to the Penn State community through the recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2020. The global spread of COVID-19 and transition to a remote work environment made producing a physical exhibition impossible, so a shift was made to an online environment. This virtual exhibition features digitized student newspaper articles gathered from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive and digitized materials from the Eberly Family Special Collections Library to highlight the University community’s awareness and efforts towards accessibility.

In June 1920, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Smith Fess Act” (also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act), which expanded vocational rehabilitation opportunities and services to include, in addition to World War I Veterans, all Americans with disabilities. In the 70 years following the Smith Fess Act, a multitude of legislative actions were adopted that focused on recognition of the civil and employment rights of those with disabilities. The passage of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 criminalized discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The ADA is a civil rights law intended to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as any other individual. The civil rights protections of the ADA for individuals with disabilities are similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. Learn more about ADA here.

How I Got Approved for Disability After My Work Credits Expired

From How To Get On: For Entire Post, Go Here…

If you have not worked in a long time, there is a chance you are no longer eligible for Social Security Disability. This is called “expired work credits” or passing your “Date Last Insured.” If you are wondering when your Date Last Insured is, please check the link at the bottom of this page.

That’s what happened to Michelle. After Michelle applied, she discovered that her work credits had expired three years ago. To make things worse, she didn’t even have a diagnosis back when they expired.

Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. Michelle found a brilliant way to solve all these problems.

How I Got Approved with Expired Work Credits
– Guest post by Michelle Hernandez

It took me a long time to get a most of my diagnoses, so I didn’t apply for disability for several years. My main diagnoses were Lyme Disease and Narcolepsy.

I applied for disability in 2014. Then I found out my Date Last Insured was 2011. To be eligible, I had to prove I became ill before that date.

When I first applied, I didn’t have a clue about Date Last Insured, and my initial application did not have most of the things I needed to get approved. Too many Social Security resources state generalizations. Many places simply say that you are still eligible if you have worked in the past five years.

When I found out that wasn’t true, I had to change my focus. I had to focus on past medical records and proving I became sick before 2011. I started trying to make the case that my current illness started before 2011, even if I didn’t know it. It wasn’t a strategy; it was just the truth, and I had nothing else.

154: Hearing Loss in Nursing Home Residents


Aug 17, 2020

Hearing loss in nursing home residents may have a critical impact on quality of life. As such, facility staff should be encouraged to embarrass more comprehensive hearing assessments. On this week’s episode, we welcome Dr. Kathy Dowd, AuD to talk about hearing assessments, care plans, and the “hearing standard of care” for nursing home residents.

How I Got Approved for Disability from Toxic Mold

From How To Get On: For Entire Post, Go Here…

I was exposed to toxic black mold in an enclosed apartment that I rarely left for years. I got approved for Social Security disability with a Fully Favorable Decision at age 39 and I wanted to share what I learned.

Even though I hired an attorney, she was useless and told me often: “I will get to it when I can.”

So, I began researching The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability. I wouldn’t have gotten disability benefits without this site. Words cannot express how much I appreciate all the writing and stories here. I found the following tips helpful:


 I requested that my primary care doctor fill out a Physical RFC Form on my behalf. How to Get a Great RFC Function Form

 I also requested that my psychologist fill out a Mental RFC Form on my behalf. Sample Physical & Mental RFC forms


I asked my attorney if it would help my case if I made a dire needs request. She told me, “no.” I did it anyway.

After I made these requests, I got a quick response and my hearing was scheduled faster. In my approval letter, the judge wrote: “This is a case is of Congressional Interest and is considered a Dire Need Critical Case”