Articles Posted in 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.

shutterstock_16983095711-300x200Nursing home residents have the right to be free from any form of elder abuse and be treated with respect. The use of restraints when unwarranted can form part of nursing home abuse. In some valid cases, restraints are required to prevent residents from harming themselves and others. Overuse of restraints without consent is abusive. You may be eligible for legal action if you suspect your loved one was abused in a nursing home facility.

Types of Restraints Used in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes can use two types of restraints on residents for restricting their movement –
chemical and physical. Unfortunately, these restraints are used by staff that is often understaffed, overworked, and unwilling to use other effective safety measures. This is why both chemical and physical restraints can be considered nursing home abuse.

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_1741881821-300x199Pressure ulcers affect a high number of residents and patients living in assisted living and nursing home facilities. This severe condition can affect 1 in 5 residents and patients in these facilities. Pressure ulcers are often caused when nursing home staff fails in caring for the basic needs of a resident. This is a form of elder abuse and neglect that happens over some time.

What Exactly is a Pressure Ulcer?

Pressure ulcers are also called bed sores or pressure sores. These are skin injuries that are caused by persistent friction and pressure in certain areas of the body. Buttocks, back, elbows, heels, hips, and ankles are the most common areas for these ulcers. Residents that have limited mobility, such as bed-bound or those in wheelchairs, are at a greater risk of developing pressure ulcers. This is because they spend long periods of time in a single position.

https://www.consumerattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/132/2020/07/shutterstock_616951802-20.07.21-300x200.jpgThe decision to entrust a loved one’s care to a nursing home or long-term care facility is never easy. Selecting the facility can be just as overwhelming as the initial decision itself. California has approximately 1,230 licensed long-term care nursing facilities that provide care for more than 400,000 patients each year – it’s no wonder selecting a single, high-quality facility can seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, the federal government has provided a tool that can make it easier to avoid facilities that may create an unsafe environment for your loved one.

Nursing Home Compare Site

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) helps set standards across the nation for long-term care facilities and administer Medicaid and Medicaid payments. They host a website called Nursing Home Compare, which provides data that can help families research facilities and find out information to help them decide on the right place for themselves or their loved one. Currently, nursing homes receive an overall rating, which is determined by combining the results of three categories:

shutterstock_75930872294-300x200It 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 the risk of life-threatening injuries. Obviously, 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 elderly loved ones in California.

Red Flag 1: High rate of Covid-19 deaths and infections

shutterstock_680112613-300x163Elder 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 to California seniors. Neglect falls within the definition of elder abuse, and unfortunately may have dire consequences to the victim.

In broadest terms, neglect is a type of elder abuse wherein a caregiver fails to provide the elder with basic needs including water, food, shelter, heat/air-conditioning, personal hygiene products and medical assistance. Failure to adequately move or reposition a bedridden elder, for example constitutes neglect, just as failing to keep elders properly nourished and hydrated constitutes neglect.

Neglect is particularly dangerous for elders, as it can lead to life-threatening consequences. Such consequences of neglect include:

shutterstock_16983095711-300x200Unfortunately, nursing home abuse occurs more often than you might think. While many forms of abuse leave physical marks (like a scratch or bruise), some forms of abuse leave invisible scars, which are no less harmful than physical abuse. Besides financial and emotional abuse, this is also the case of medication errors, which occur when someone makes a mistake in prescribing, dispensing, and giving medications.

Examples of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

While medication errors exist in many settings, our concern here is for the instances in nursing homes. Here are just a few specific ways that medication errors occur in these facilities:

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.

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