How to Pick the Best Nursing Home

Our parents spent the first part of our lives making sure we had everything we could possibly need to succeed. They put countless hours into our lives, showing up to our baseball games and staying up late helping with our homework. But now, it’s time we repay them.

Once your parent hits a certain age, they may need to go into a nursing home. If you decide to put them in one, here are the most important factors in choosing a nursing home that’s right for them.

  • Consider their needs as well as yours.

Do you want to be as close to them as possible, and if so, is the closest nursing home well-prepared for your parents’ unique needs? Some nursing homes are well-equipped for residents with dementia and other neurological needs, and others specialize in physical ailments.

While every home should be able to deal with whatever comes their way, but it’s still important to decide whether you want the best care for your parents, even if it’s a bit farther away from you

  • Visit the potential nursing homes, and often.

You should always schedule a one-on-one consultation with the nursing staff. That way, you have ample time to ask any questions, as well as get a tour of the facility. On top of this, you can see if it seems like a good fit for your parents- a good facility isn’t always the right facility.

On top of this, pop up unexpectedly at the nursing home from time to time. When you plan a visit, the staff knows to make sure everything is in top form. This doesn’t mean that they’re not a negligent nursing facility (if this happens, there are options to sue for compensation and damages, according to Russo, Russo, & Slania P.C.) A last-minute visit can help you see the facility in its normal state, which may be miles off from what you were initially shown.

  • Ask around.

Aside from the staff, the residents and their families are the number one source of information. Don’t be afraid to ask a resident’s family to speak with you. They can often answer questions that the staff cannot. On top of this, they can offer advice on how to deal with the transition into a nursing home. This isn’t a decision that only affects your parents, so having a friend can help you through the process.

  • Ask your parents what they want.

This is something that we often forget to do. We might assume that we know what’s best for our parents, and not even think about what they want.

Did your parents like the facility, or did it give them a bad vibe? If it did, consider continuing your search. After all, they’re the ones that are going to be living there.

Granted, dementia and other health issues can make this one a bit difficult. Even if they may not fully understand what is going on, try to make sure that they feel safe and cared for. Also, don’t forget to visit regularly! A surprise visit from you can mean the world to them.

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The Vast Variety of Lawn Services

A few weeks ago, my neighbor asked me if I knew or recommended any good lawn care services. I told him that my landlord took care of my lawn care and that I actually didn’t even know the name of the people who came to cut my lawn every couple of weeks. But when my aunt asked me a similar question the next day, I realized that I needed to have a company I could recommend to people.

I did some online research into lawn care services for Chesterfield. Because there were quite a few results, I realized I needed a company that had a good reputation and results that I could see for myself. Surprisingly, there are a few lawn care providers that don’t even post examples of their landscaping or freshly-cut lawns! But this one company, Midwest Lawn Co, posts pictures of their work on the front page of their website so you can see the quality of their efforts.

Looking into testimonials and satisfied customers on their website, I became confident that Midwest Lawn Co was the exact match I was looking for, in my search for a company I could give to my friends.

Even greater was that Midwest Lawn Co offers commercial services! So now I have a recommendation for friends needing their lawns cut, but I also have a company to name if my business-owner friends need someone for landscaping or commercial lawn care. What I did not know until my research was that lawn care services like Midwest Lawn Co offer landscaping services. I always just assumed that those who cut normal lawns were separate from companies who undertake huge projects to put in fresh mulch, beautiful flowers, or transplanted grass.

However, Midwest Lawn Co does both. If you click on their website’s landscaping section, it lists out all of the features and services that they offer, including walking paths and outdoor kitchens. What a concept! I’ve never had something as awesome as an outdoor kitchen in my home. But if I did, I’m confident I’d cook in it more often than my actual kitchen! Especially if I had a beautiful lawn to look at as I cooked.

While my landlord takes care of my lawn at the moment, my lease is up soon. I plan to move to a bigger place and perhaps even buy my first home. Though it can be expensive to move from renting to owning a home, I think it may be worth it for different reasons. One factor definitely, though, is that I would get more control over who cuts my lawn. I will definitely use Midwest Lawn Co, just like my neighbor and aunt do now. It’s not as convenient as my landlord taking care of my lawn through a business I don’t even know, but will definitely be reassuring to actually know who is cutting my lawn. And it will be a greater benefit to know that I am getting the best lawn care service our area has to offer!

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Progress: Same-Sex Divorce Is Just as Messy as Heterosexual Divorces

When gay marriage became the law of the land in 2015, there was some concern among opponents about how it would influence the marriage process overall. The good news for all parties is that same-sex marriage has been going strong for three years now, and it looks like it’s going to be exactly the same as heterosexual marriage: which means it’s frequent, messy, and often leads to difficult divorces.

Same-sex divorce is, as you might assume, an increasingly common event across the country now. It’s lead to many lawyers focusing specifically on those divorces. Take, for instance, the Law Offices of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., which devote significant time and energy to the process and the needs of same-sex marriages that are approaching divorce.

In general, though, the concerns for those involved in a same-sex divorce are the same as those for heterosexual divorces. Namely, people are worried about how their stuff will be divided up, who will get the kids, and if either party needs to provide support to the other.

Scratch under the surface, and you’ll find that any marriage that breaks up really comes down to the same issues. In the same way, divorces of all sorts come down to who gets the house, who needs alimony or child support, and how the kids are going to spend their time between two households.

That doesn’t mean gay marriages have it exactly the same as heterosexual marriages. After all, children in same-sex marriages can only have one biological parent within that marriage, by definition, which makes custody a bit sloppier than it would be otherwise. Still, in general, the issues are overall the same.

In some ways, despite how upsetting divorce can be when witnessed up-close, there’s a lot to feel positive about with this information. After all, same-sex marriage has so quickly become so normalized that it is becoming just like any other kind of marriage in America. It’s prone to being entered into by people who haven’t put enough thought into it. It has the same kind of people who often have trouble getting along because of kids, expenses, and long-term disagreements. And it has the same kind of people who often break up and fight about the same issues. In other words, after just three years, it’s not really about same-sex marriage at all. It’s about marriage, period.

I think it’s fair to call that progress. As we normalize same-sex relationships in the culture, there is bound to be some merging of that distinct identity into the traditional paths families take in America, and that is a good thing.

Now, as for divorce in general, that’s a much more complex question, and I don’t know if we ought to do more to try to heal same-sex marriages, or heterosexual marriages, or both. Perhaps it’s best to let people go their own way, or perhaps not.

Regardless, this is increasingly becoming a question that can be debated as a general topic, not one that needs to divide everyone into groups.

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Young Drivers are the Ones most Guilty of Speeding and Aggressive Driving

One scary thing about driving is the irresponsibility of many drivers on the road. Car crashes continue to injure millions of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users every year. More than 30,000 also continue to lose their lives in fatal crashes which, if only drivers were more careful and concerned about safety, then road crashes would have been avoided.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one major cause of car crashes is speeding. With 33% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes being due to speeding (this translates to about 13,000 lives lost every year), it has now become the third leading cause of accidental death on the road.

Speeding , or driving at excessive speed, can either mean driving above the set speed limit or driving too fast for certain road conditions, like a wet and slippery road, a road covered in mist or fog, or when there is road construction going on. The ones most guilty of speeding, as shown through different crash analyses, are young drivers – those aged between 17 and 24 years old.

Another study reveals that many of those guilty of speeding do not suppose that driving at fast speed is dangerous; neither do they think that speeding is a serious traffic violation. And while other speedsters may be aware of the risk of accident speeding causes, the excuse they give for their bad road behavior is their being insured anyway so that, in the event of an accident, damages will be taken care of by their insurance providers.

Driving faster increases the possibility of a driver losing control of his/her vehicle. It also increases the force of impact in a crash, resulting to more serious injuries, probably even death.

Aggressive drivers often exceed the speed limit as they weave in traffic, cut others off, zoom up on other cars from behind, and tailgate. This type of driving is often accompanied by other types of rude and dangerous behavior, such as cursing, using obscene gestures, and failing to signal.

If you have been seriously hurt in a car crash or have lost a family member in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries against the person who caused the accident, the company or government entity responsible for causing or failing to repair a hazardous road condition, or a manufacturer of a defective vehicle or one of its parts.

Some of the damages that may potentially be recovered include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost earnings and earning potential
  • Expenses for household services you can no longer perform
  • Cost of transportation and childcare for medical appointments
  • Cost of assistive devices
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Mental anguish
  • Psychological disturbance
  • Loss of affection, companionship, or marital consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases)


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Severity of Burn Injuries

A burn occurs when the skin is damaged, typically by hot materials. This kind of injury is often associated with fire, but fire is not always the cause of burns. The following are just as devastating:

  • Chemicals and other strong liquids
  • Electricity, such as those from wiring systems
  • Hot liquids like boiling water
  • Hot materials like heated metal and glass
  • Radiation
  • Sunlight
  • Ultraviolet light

Burns are probably one of the worst injuries a person can sustain. It becomes worse if the accident that has caused the injury has been triggered by another person. According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, those who have suffered from burn injuries may have legal options, such as trying to get compensation from the damages they have sustained.

For example, if a drunk driver suddenly swerved into oncoming traffic, crashed into your vehicle, and your vehicle caught fire, the drunk driver may be held liable for the burns you may sustain.
Burn injuries can be classified according to their severity.

  1. First-degree burns – These burns affect the outer layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. This usually occurs in simple incidents, such as when you accidentally touch a curling iron and sunburn. The affected areas are typically red and dry.
  2. Second-degree burns – This kind of burn injury is sustained if the outer layer of the skin and part of the next layer, called the dermis, are affected. Liquids that are hot enough can inflict this kind of burn. The affected areas will have a red and blistered appearance.
  3. Third-degree burns – Third-degree burns occur if both the epidermis and dermis are affected, and the damage may be deep enough to reach the subcutaneous tissues. Severe burn injuries such as these can be sustained from direct fires. The affected areas can have a white or charred appearance.
  4. Fourth-degree burns – These are the worst kinds of burn injuries victims may sustain. They occur if even the bones and muscles are damaged. Large fires and high-voltage electricity are the main causes of fourth-degree burns. The affected areas are usually impaired and amputated.
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Common Causes of Medication Errors

An adverse drug event (ADE), which refers to harm a patient may experience due to use of medication, is the cause of close to 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services . The AHRQ also says, “ADEs affect nearly 5% of hospitalized patients, making them one of the most common types of inpatient errors; ambulatory patients may experience ADEs at even higher rates.” (

The bigger concern that the government faces, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, is the fact that these overdose problems are not caused by illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, but by medicinal pills that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and prescribed by doctors, sometimes even for off-label use (or for use not approved by the FDA).

The purpose of prescription drugs is to maintain health and sustain life. To serve their real purpose these will have to be taken in accordance with medical guidelines because if abused or used much longer or more often than instructed by doctors or used in ways other than medically directed, then these can very well cause not only harmful side effects, but even death.

Not all prescription drugs pose harm. The ones that do are those that people tend to use every day, like opiate-based pain relievers, anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants, despite their addictive and very strong effects.

Problems concerning medication overdose is just one side of the coin. More serious than this is medication error which refers to “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

“Medication errors, as discussed in the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States. Medication mishaps can occur anywhere in the distribution system: prescribing, repackaging, dispensing, administering, or monitoring.

Common causes of such errors include: poor communication, ambiguities in product names, directions for use, medical abbreviations or writing, poor procedures or techniques, or patient misuse because of poor understanding of the directions for use of the product.

In addition, job stress, lack of product knowledge or training, or similar labeling or packaging of a product may be the cause of, or contribute to, an actual or potential error.” (

In the website of the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C. ®, it is said that “Numerous studies have shown that as many as 10 percent of medical prescriptions are erroneously filled. Obviously, receiving the wrong medication can have serious medical effects, even including serious illness, organ failure, or death. Prescription medication errors fall into two main categories —wrong medication or wrong dosage. In other cases, pharmacists may also fail to consider known drug allergies or dangerous drug interactions with other medications the patient is also taking.

In pursuing damages for pharmacy errors, pharmacy error attorneys collect and interpret all of the needed medical records and consult with expert pharmacology professionals who can testify about the toxicity of the specific drug or dosage received. Pharmacy malpractice lawyers also confer with experts who can show that the pharmacist made an error from a clearly written prescription.”

If you think that you have been injured by a pharmacy error, it will be wise to get experienced legal help immediately.

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Fair Labor Standards Act: Filing a Claim for Unpaid Overtime

Fair Labor Standards Act: Filing a Claim for Unpaid Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act, commonly abbreviated as FLSA, entitles most employees working in the U.S. to unbiased and non-discriminatory labor practices that include the federal-wide regulation of wages. Unfortunately, there are many employers that commit wage policy violations in order to cut corners and save revenue. As an employee, if this happens to you, there are several legal options you can consider. One of them is to file a claim for unpaid overtime wages within the appointed statute of limitations.

In order to receive the unpaid wages owed to you, a claim must be filed to the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor within two years from the date of your employer’s violation. However, the FLSA extends this 2-year period and gives employees an extra year if it can be found that the employer had willfully withheld overtime wages. In some states, the basic statute of limitations is at three years.

Filing an overtime claim requires you to provide details regarding your employer and the details of the position you hold with them. They will need information on your job title and the duties that come with it, as well as the particulars of how you are paid and at what rate. They might also ask about certain deductions that are made in your paycheck for things like taxes, social security, and health insurance.  In order to provide accurate information, you must be able to keep track of all the irregularities between your paycheck and the hours you’ve worked.

Take note that filing a claim with the Department of Labor is completely different from pursuing a lawsuit against your employer, although you can enlist the help of an overtime pay lawyer to help you accomplish both. In most instances, taking your claim to court is the best course of action after your original petition has been denied.


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Standards Observed by Austin Courts when Determining Child Conservatorship

In determining the issue of child custody during a divorce case state courts have the same primary consideration: the best interest of the child. In Title 5 Sec. 153.002 of the Texas Family Code, this same consideration is stipulated: “The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.”

A child’s best interest, according to the court, however, does not mean what the child wants, it is rather what the court deems is best for him/her.

When determining conservatorship or custodianship (of a child), the overarching standards of Austin courts include: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provision of a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encouragement of parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child (even after the parents have separated or have had their marriage dissolved).

Due to the fact that the issue of conservatorship, when settled in court, can be emotionally draining, besides being contentious (between the spouses) and legally complex, courts, therefore, encourage divorcing spouses to find ways that will allow them to work together in order for them to arrive at an amicable agreement regarding child custody. Failure to come to agreeable terms will result to their divorce case needing to be filed in court. If this happens, settling the conservatorship issue will be left to the family court judge whose decision on who will be the child’s custodian, will be legal and binding whether this decision is acceptable to all concerned (the spouses and the child himself/herself).

While a child, upon reaching the age of 12, can sign a “Choice of Managing Conservator” document to petition the courts to make or alter its original decision regarding conservatorship, this does not mean that the courts will grant his/her preferred living arrangements as this may be contrary to what the courts see to be in his/her best interest.

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Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Entrusting care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You will be sending your aged relative to an unfamiliar territory. When you do decide to entrust them to such facility, you always have the assumption that they will be treated with dignity and compassion. This is not happening, unfortunately. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, nursing home abuse is quite prevalent even under unlikely circumstances.

Nursing home abuse can be a difficult problem. It is something that is hard to define and identify. If there are indications of abuse, seldom is it reported to authorities. According to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home violations occur in 30-percent of US nursing homes. Most of them are unreported and if reported, proving it can still be a challenge. Here are the steps in reporting nursing home abuse:

Pre-suit Investigation

Right at the onset of filing the case, the complexity of nursing home abuse becomes evident. You will have to acquire medical records for the elderly. These documents will then need to be reviewed not only for the time the elderly was residing in the facility but also 5 to 10 years prior to admission. Likewise, you will have to look for any signs of abuse such as bedsores, bruises, behavioral changes, and others.


Once abuse has been confirmed, you will then have to file an incident report. If the caretaker of the facility is a doctor, social worker, or other government employees, they are required by law to report nursing home abuse. Citizens can also report suspected nursing home abuse. Make sure to include important details of the abuse when reporting.


There are several ways to file a nursing home abuse report

  • Through the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
  • The state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to locate the proper authorities for reporting nursing home abuse in the state. There may be several hotlines you need to call.
  • Through the elderly’s primary health care doctor, social worker, elder care advocate, or their immediate health care term provided they are not part of those who are being reported.
  • For severe cases of nursing home abuse, call 911

The elderly people are on the twilight of their lives. As they count down to their last days, they expect utmost care and attention and not the other way around.

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Worst Case Scenarios: Amusement Park Edition

Nothing bad ever happens at amusement parks, right? When you think about them, only pictures and maybe memories of fun times with friends and family are the pictures that come to mind. From the phrase itself, “amusement parks” are places where people smile, laugh, and have a good time and so it’s easy to momentarily suspend your disbelief for a moment and genuinely think that nothing bad could ever happen to you when you’re at an amusement park.

Unfortunately, as according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, this is far from the actual truth.

Though there are people within the management of amusement parks who are held accountable to deliver on their duty of care towards their audiences, sometimes there are just some instances that slip through the cracks.

People expect some thrills from certain attractions at certain parks, after all, but they don’t agree to allow themselves to be barely strapped into a metal contraption that goes who knows how fast through metal hoops, fifty feet in the air, unless they knew that the attraction itself was safe. They want the adrenaline and the adventure but with the promise of safety, which is exactly what amusement parks are expected to deliver.

For example, a roller coaster car could accidentally stop in the middle of a loop or a car of a ferris wheel could suddenly break while it’s at the top of its ascent. These are dangerous situations that may not seem plausible but are definitely possible if the management does not care for the attractions appropriately or enough.

Amusement parks need to be equipped and prepared for worst case scenarios and that includes preventing them in the first place. Each and every attraction must first be inspected and tested before it is opened to the public, and even then—they must be regularly inspected for any damage so that necessary repairs or safety upgrades could be installed. If they fail to abide by this standard of care then they would be held legally accountable to all the damages done by their negligence. Click here for more information on personal injury statistics within the US workforce.

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