Articles Posted in Defining Elder Abuse

shutterstock_680112613-300x163Pressure ulcers are severe and in some cases life-threatening medical conditions. Unfortunately, bed sores and pressure ulcers affect a high number of residents and patients living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. As per studies, as many as 1 in 5 residents in these facilities suffer signs of pressure ulcers at one point. The fact is most pressure ulcers and bed sores are a form of elder abuse and neglect.

Regardless of what the nursing home tells you, these are most often caused when a resident does not have their basic needs taken care of. These injuries don’t occur overnight. You should speak with an experienced nursing home attorney if you believe your loved one suffered such type of neglect.

What are Pressure Ulcers?

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2020/07/shutterstock_1422187700-20.07.14-300x200.jpgIt can be difficult choosing the right nursing home for your loved ones. You should seek information about previous safety violations and nursing home ratings and reputation before making a decision. With that said, recent reports suggest that the information you find online may sometimes be misleading, incorrect, or incomplete. Moreover, it is not possible to identify whether a certain facility will pose any risks to the residents in the future – simply by looking at its history

Reputable nursing homes with excellent past records have been known to place elderly residents at risk of life-threatening injuries. Correlating with this, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore their safety track record. Instead, on top of regular checks, you should look out for the following red flags when it comes to nursing homes. This should help you find a safe and dependable nursing facility for your loved ones. 
Red Flag 1: High rate of Covid-19 deaths and infections nursing homes with a high percentage of Covid-19 infections and deaths may not be taking the life and health needs of their residents seriously. They may not want to pay for proper disinfection and sanitization measures. They may be failing at infection control measures and implementing safety protocols. They may not even ensure that their staff members are fully vaccinated.

Falls are among the most common injuries in nursing homes among the elderly. Statistics show that nearly thousands of California and Washington residents succumb to fatal injuries because of fall-related injuries. Elderly people are at a greater risk of severe injuries because of osteoporosis, which can make the bones very fragile. This makes the injuries longer to heal and leaves them open to infections. https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2022/01/Screen-Shot-2022-01-26-at-3.30.32-PM-300x195.png

Most Nursing Home Falls Go Unreported

The majority of nursing homes and care facilities don’t report fall accidents, even to the resident’s loved ones. On average, most accidents can be prevented with the right measures. However, short staffing and other measures of cutting costs prevent nursing home facilities from protecting their residents. Wandering is a leading cause of slip and fall accidents in nursing homes. Older individuals find it difficult to be conscious of their physical abilities. They may attempt to stand up and walk without knowing their capabilities. Medication plays another major role in fall accidents. There are certain psychotropic drugs and other medications that can impact normal brain functioning. These medications cause confusion, drowsiness, and sedation. Fall accidents because of medications are particularly common in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

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?

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