Articles Posted in Defining Elder Abuse

shutterstock_75930872294-300x200It is no secret that many people have difficulty asking others for help. Elders living in Southern California are no different. Even though physical and mental capabilities may start to diminish with aging, it is still not easy for many seniors to let others know they are struggling.

That is why it is up to all of us to keep an eye on aging family members or friends. Here is a list of warning signs that a senior you love may need help from family members or professionals.

  1. Abnormal or repeated phone calls If your grandmother, mother, father, or other elder family members begin making phone calls to you repeatedly, or at peculiar times of day, it may indicate confusion. It may also be a sign of memory loss, or could indicate that the elder is feeling lonely or depressed. If you notice these types of calls, try scheduling set calls with your loved one every day to see if they stick to those times and calls. If they don’t, it may be indicative of cognitive decline.

One of the largest generations in American history is beginning to transition into the elderly stage of human life.  In this stage, many people become less independent and, as a result, require assisted living and clinical care.  As aging individuals become dependents, they tend to lose their mobility.  Pressure ulcers are a direct result of the inability of a person to reposition their body unassisted.  In nursing homes and hospitals, elderly people are too often neglected and the price they pay can be severe.

Pressure Ulcers and Their Stages

Pressure ulcers (often referred to as bedsores, decubitus ulcers, and pressure sores) are a form of breakdown of the skin caused by prolonged and unalleviated pressure, incontinence, dirty or untidy bedsheets, and more.  Typically, they form in areas such as the heels, hips, buttocks, tailbone, shoulder blades, and elbows.  They are categorized based on severity:

shutterstock_1741881821-300x199According to the World Health Organization, dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people. Dementia, which is a syndrome in which there is a deterioration in memory, behavior, and thinking, causes many who suffer from it to lose the ability to perform their regular activities.

Elders are stricken with dementia far more than any other age group. In many cases, dementia is the reason an elder moves into a nursing home. Dementia is also often to blame for what is known as “elopement” or in layman’s terms, wandering. Elders with dementia may develop wandering tendencies, wherein due to cognitive impairment, they begin to wander around their nursing home unsupervised and without an escort.

Wandering may lead to serious injury as the result of falling. In some cases, wandering has even led to death, in cases where residents have wandered outside of their residential facility. Though rare, wandering is dangerous enough that lawmakers included provisions to protect against it in the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. The law required that nursing homes must provide residents with adequate supervision to prevent elderly patients from wandering. That means, of course, that nursing homes must be properly staffed.

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/02/Screen-Shot-2022-02-16-at-1.57.43-PM-300x198.pngIn a previous post, we suggested tips for confirming that a potential skilled nursing facility or residential nursing home has the appropriate staff to address the needs of elders with dementia. To recap, dementia is a syndrome with deterioration in memory, behavior, and thinking. This causes many who suffer from dementia to lose the ability to perform their regular activities. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, though there are multiple types of dementia.

Elders suffering from dementia need special care when they move into a long-term care facility such as a California nursing home. If you are considering helping to move a loved one with dementia into a nursing home, there are specific questions you will want to ask about the services provided for your loved one.

Questions should include:

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/02/Screen-Shot-2022-02-16-at-1.57.43-PM-300x198.pngDeciding to place your parent or loved one into a nursing home requires a lot of thought and preparation. After that decision, one major area of concern is adjusting from living at home to living in a nursing home. Make sure that the nursing home staff is not only aware of these transitions but that they are well-equipped to help residents manage these changes.

Higher than Expected Expenses

In preparing to make a transition to nursing home life, you have to anticipate the difference in the cost of living. Generally, it’s less expensive to live at home than at the facility. This is something that must be taken into consideration. Although some expenses are covered by private insurance providers, such as Medicare, the monthly charges can add up quickly.

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/02/Screen-Shot-2022-02-23-at-3.08.42-PM-300x198.pngElder abuse typically refers to the knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a custodial care provider, caregiver, or any other person that causes harm to a vulnerable adult. In California, anyone aged 65 and older is protected by the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. The laws are designed to help prevent neglect and abuse of California seniors. Unfortunately, these laws alone are not always enough to protect our elders while they are in a long-term care facility such as a California nursing home.

Elder abuse in California can take many forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and a form of abuse known as chemical restraint (over-drugging). These forms of abuse may result in pain, suffering, and even the death of elders. That’s why it is so important to talk with a nursing home abuse attorney if you believe that an elder is being abused or neglected while in a California nursing home.

Nursing home abuse cases in California may be very complex. However, this should not deter you from speaking with a California elder abuse attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases. All consultations at Walton Law, APC are free of charge. During that time, we will sit down with you and discuss your concerns, your suspicions, and your fears regarding filing a lawsuit against a California nursing home. We will answer any and all of your questions in regards to nursing home abuse in California.

shutterstock_1317668966-300x200If your parent or loved one lives in a nursing home, you need to check in with them to make sure that they are being treated well by the staff. Unfortunately, residents can be subject to abuse and neglect by the very caregivers that are hired to help them. Other times, these caregivers aren’t committing the abuse themselves, but aren’t adequately protecting them from other resident abusers. This raises the question of how nursing home caregivers are responsible when other parties abuse the residents.

While much attention is concentrated on the nursing home staff abusing residents, there are also instances of the residents suffering abuse at the hands of other residents. According to a 2014 study at Cornell University, one in every five nursing home residents had been impacted by a form of resident-on-resident mistreatment during a four-week span. The mistreatment mostly consisted of verbal abuse, but there were also instances of physical and sexual abuse as well.

 What Contributes to Resident-on-Resident Abuse?

shutterstock_1814268452-300x200Communication is key to any relationship. It is no different when it’s the relationship between nursing home residents and their caregivers. When you place your parent, spouse, or other loved one into a nursing home, you send them there with the expectation that they are in good hands. It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure that their needs are met. A big part of that has to do with talking to the resident; good communication will help put them at ease. This is true for all nursing home residents, but it’s especially critical for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nursing home staffers who interact with residents who have cognitive impairments should have special training in dealing with patients with these types of medical issues. This includes special knowledge of communication techniques because the residents function better with someone who can comprehend their mental limitations. Read on for helpful communication tips that you can use. You can also use this as a guide to watch nursing home staff and whether they are adequately communicating with your loved one.

Communication Tips for Caregivers in Nursing Homes

shutterstock_16983095711-300x200Placing a loved one in a nursing home can feel like a great solution. You don’t have to worry about them being home alone where they can’t do things for themselves. However, there are many issues to worry about when they do make the transition to a nursing home. One of the unfortunate things that accompanies these living conditions is the high risk of infection. Read on to learn about why this is such a hazardous environment and what nursing homes should be doing to prevent infections.

Risk Factors for Infections in Nursing Homes

There are various reasons why nursing home residents are likely to get infections, including the following:

shutterstock_1698309571-300x200Nursing home abuse takes place when caregivers harm residents of the facilities. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it’s still considered abuse and the consequences can be dire, with the end result of distress, physical pain, medical injuries, or even death in extreme cases. Certain groups are more vulnerable than others when it comes to abuse; like many other types of abuse, victims of nursing home abuse are more likely to be women.

Women are More Likely to be Elder Abuse Victims

For elder abuse in general, studies have shown that individual-level factors which may increase the risk of abuse include the gender of the victim. Women likely have a higher risk of more constant and severe forms of injury and abuse.

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