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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is a Problem that Affects Us All
Some of us may have elderly parents under the care of a nursing home facility. And while you may have gone through great lengths in choosing the right place, the truth is we can't be there all the time. Despite our best efforts to check in on our loved ones as often as we can, we're not there to witness everything that happens. And it's during those times that they are the most vulnerable to being victims of neglect and abuse.
Victims of nursing home abuse are our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other members of our family. They may be too sick or helpless to speak up and complain. It is up to us, members of their family, to be on the lookout for any signs that something may not be right.
If you suspect that your loved one has been experiencing mistreatment or neglect, contact a Pasadena nursing home abuse attorney for help. We can make sure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions and that your family member never has to endure mistreatment at the hands of abusive or incompetent staff.
The Facts on Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and negligence is a widespread problem across the country. Residents suffer acute injuries and in some cases even die as a result of poor quality care. More than 3.5 million people live in nursing homes, and as baby boomers continue to age, the number is growing. About 44% of nursing home residents have complained at one time or another about being victims while 95% have witnessed at least one incident of abuse or neglect.
Many of the facilities are that are supposed to care for your loved ones are understaffed or have employees that lack sufficient training. Many nursing home staff feel they are poorly compensated for the job that they do. A lack of pay, inadequate training, and long hours leads to low morale among nursing home employees. While this is not an excuse to take it out on the helpless victims, it is no wonder why nursing home abuse is a common and systemic problem.
What are Some Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Falls and Fractures
Falls and fractures make up one of the most common injuries that occur in long-term facilities. Even though nursing homes have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their premises, they still neglect to take care of minor details that lead to an unsafe environment.
Bedsores are another arguably common injury from which 1 out of 10 residents have been victims. It might be frustrating for you to learn that there is no other injury that is more easily preventable, and yet, it keeps happening. Bedsores can be deadly in cases when they aren't properly treated.
Assault, Battery, and other Violent Crime
We don't have to tell you that any violent act in a nursing home is against the law, but it happens more often than you think. If you suspect that your family member has been a victim of a violent crime, we urge you to contact the police so they can complete an investigation. There is no excuse for a crime against an older adult. The perpetrator (or perpetrators) should be punished to the full extent of the law.
Lack of Care
If your family member goes into a nursing facility, it's because you want the best care for them, not a lack of it. If their nutritional, medical, or mental well-being needs are not getting met, it constitutes utter negligence on behalf of the nursing home.
Malnutrition does not necessarily mean being underfed. It can happen when a patient is made to consume too much of a particular food or meals that aren't nutritionally balanced. Your loved one's medical problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, could be worsening as a result of the meals that the nursing home is feeding to them.
Mental abuse can take many forms, including:
- Verbal Abuse
- Sarcastic Remarks
The signs of mental abuse can be hard to detect, but if you notice depression, isolation, low self-esteem, or any other emotional symptoms, it may be time to find out more about their treatment.
Many reasons can result in wrongful death including malnutrition, dehydration, sepsis, abuse, wrong diagnosis or failure to provide a diagnosis for a medical condition.
Signs of Mistreatment
Even if you have full confidence in the nursing home, never let your guard down. Be sure to keep an eye the treatment of your family member.
The following is a list of some warning signs that abuse is taking place:
- Injuries that require emergency services
- Heavy medication
- Frequent sickness
- Inexplicable injuries
- Reluctance to speak in front of staff
- Broken bones
- Nursing home residents who harm other residents
- Unreported illnesses
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Behavioral changes
Nursing Home Residents Rights
California law mandates every healthcare facility to be licensed, inspected, regulated, and certified. Nursing homes and healthcare facilities involved in federally sponsored or managed programs must meet additional standards. Generally, staff members have to be certified by the California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification program.
Any form of abuse or mistreatment can mean a violation of any of these standards.
What a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Do
A nursing home abuse attorney can help in many forms, but one of the first things an attorney would do is meet with the family of the victim to gather additional information and determine whether it should be litigated. An attorney might attempt to reach reconciliation between both parties, but if that's not possible, then the next step would be litigation. Going to court means several things including preparing for discovery and preparing for trial.
How the Law Offices of Raul G. Lomas Can Help With Your Case
There is nothing more painful than to see a member of your own family be victimized, mistreated, or forgotten at the hands of the people that are supposed to care for them. You may feel angry and helpless, but you're not alone.
Our attorneys are here to listen to your concerns and take legal action against those responsible. We want to assure you that we will go to great lengths in getting you a successful case resolution. At the same time, we want to ensure that neither your loved one or any other nursing home resident has to endure negligence or mistreatment ever again.
Contact our law offices today for a free and confidential consultation.
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