Although the Bill of Rights for Nursing Home Residents offers some protection against retaliation against elderly patients, state facilities continue to be fined for negligence and other lapses in care.

According to a recent report from the Hartford Courant, the state Department of Public Health fined five more nursing homes for various instances of negligence. All fell at $1,000 or more per location.

A common theme for this report was not following a doctor’s or therapist’s orders regarding a resident’s care. At one location in Tolland, residents weren’t given the prescribed medication, or the aides administered an incorrect dosage. In another location, staff members failed to follow a therapist’s orders regarding special dietary restrictions for a resident.

In another group of violations, looking away, not following proper procedures, or physical mishandling resulted in actual or potential injuries or residents wandering off premises. As a result, some residents ended up with broken bones or other fall injuries.

Along with these, the facilities themselves were not equipped to provide proper care. This often included not having assistance devices near toilets, causing residents to fall and become injured.

Instances from this report occurred at Woodlake at Tolland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Aurora Senior Living of New Britain, Portland Care and Rehabilitation Center, Aurora Senior Living of East Hartford, and Middlesex Healthcare Center.

This report follows a similar assessment the Courant ran at the end of 2013, alleging a similar combination of negligence, abuse, and resulting injuries.

However, even with these reports highlighting the issue of nursing home negligence in Connecticut, facilities across the country face several challenges. Corporatization in recent years cuts staff while adding more residents and requiring higher retention rates. Recent reports, as well, reveal growing numbers of sex offenders housed in nursing facilities – often without the staff’s and family members’ knowledge.