Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Elder Abuse Lawyer – Serving All of California
It can be difficult enough to watch your loved ones grow old and even worse, when the people in charge of their care mistreat them. Nursing home abuse cases are quite common, especially in California. Nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer Susan Handel is familiar with the many laws mandating certain levels of care for residents of elderly care facilities. If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected at a nursing home, Susan Handel will work diligently to see that those responsible are held accountable.
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect
If you have a loved one who is staying in a nursing home, you expect him or her to be receiving the most professional, compassionate care possible. In some instances, this does not always occur. Here are some tell-tale signs of nursing home negligence and abuse you can look for if you suspect your loved one is not being treated properly:
- Skin lesions and bedsores
- Unexplained falls
- Repeated or unyielding infections
- Physical and emotional abuse
- Poor hygiene care
Subtle signs linked to mental or sexual abuse or neglect include:
- Social isolation or withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Changes in thought patterns
Ulcers and bedsores are a serious medical problem which can affect bedridden patients due to negligence. Some elderly patients are particularly vulnerable if they are not repositioned regularly. Prolonged pressure of body weight on a bony area, with only a thin layer of cushioning, can cause extremely painful sores to develop. Residents may suffer from ulcers or bedsores due to the improper care by the nursing home staff. These injuries are preventable if the workers at the nursing home provide the proper standards of care.
Elderly residents of nursing care facilities sustain a substantial number of injuries due to falls each year. Often, many falls go unreported. Serious or chronic falls can rob a resident of confidence, and negatively impact a resident’s quality of life. Elderly residents of nursing homes require proper and conscientious supervision in a nursing home environment. The elderly residents are often susceptible to falls that may result in immediate injury or health complications in the future, including broken bones, surgeries and other risks.
Wandering is the act of an elderly person in the care of the nursing facility to move about the home unsupervised. Federal nursing home law requires an assessment of the patient upon entering the nursing facility. This assessment will determine the elderly person’s plan of care, and how much supervision he or she needs while under the care of the home. Wandering is one of the aspects covered in that assessment.
Under the individual’s plan of care, it is the nursing home’s responsibility to ensure the safety and supervision of its residents with enough steps towards those individual plans. If someone is injured while wandering within a long term care facility, then the nursing home has been negligent in protecting its residents.
Nursing home negligence can also be related to their failure to hire enough staff, or properly train the staff to supervise the residents.
The mistreatment of the elderly is a heart wrenching experience for both the victims and family members. Nursing home abuse and negligence can be defined as the failure to provide essential health and safety services, as well as the act of compromising the resident’s quality of life.
Abuse can take many forms. Patients can be the victims of devastating physical or sexual abuse that can lead to deep emotional scars. Whether intentional or not, improperly restraining a resident also constitutes abuse. Improper restraints include anything that is not a doctor-approved restraining device such as leg and arm restraints, wheelchair bars and restrictive hand mittens. Withholding food and medical care definitely constitutes abuse and could cause a rapid deterioration of health and possibly even long-term damage to the patient’s health. Additionally, without the opportunity to exercise and socialize, the mental and physical state of a senior could also quickly decline. Depression, mental disorders, or death could result if long-term care providers do not take proper care of residents.
You should be able to trust long-term care facilities with your loved one’s health. If someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact Susan Handel today. She will get your loved one the compensation they deserve.