San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Susan Handel, San Diego Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer – Serving All of San Diego

California Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer

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. San Diego nursing home abuse and neglect 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
  • Dehydration
  • 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
  • Paranoia

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.

ed for our clients, but if it is in your best interest to take your case to trial, Susan Handel has the resources, knowledge, and experience, to do so.


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.

Short staffing

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 San Diego nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer Susan Handel today. She will get your loved one the compensation they deserve.

What Should You Do?

If you believe a loved one may be the victim of abuse, there are a number of steps you can take to protect their welfare and guard their legal rights. Be sure to document injuries or changes in behavior with photographs or detailed notes, and report your suspicions to the nursing home. Request a copy of the report for your personal records. Making an effort to visit the resident’s home more frequently can help protect your loved one from ongoing elder abuse or negligence. Finally, if you suspect elder abuse or nursing home abuse, don’t delay. Let Susan Handel look further into your case. Susan Handel will thoroughly investigate your nursing home abuse claim and determine the best course of action to protect the health and legal rights of you or your loved one.

Signs of elder abuse

  • Unexplained bruises, sprains, broken eye glasses or bone fractures may be signs of physical abuse.
  • Unreasonable restraint often leaves rope burns or other marks placed symmetrically on both sides of the body.
  • If the elderly person experiences sudden, drastic weight loss or extreme hunger, the caregivers may be neglecting to provide him or her with enough food and water.
  • Improper medication is difficult to detect without witnessing the effects personally, but lab tests can be used to check for chemical misuse in some cases.
  • Injuries to the genitals, anus, or mouth often accompany sexual abuse.
  • Lastly, financial exploitation is often present when the elderly person has been adding new people to accounts, writing checks to strange parties, making odd withdrawals or making financial transactions that are inconsistent with a person’s ability, habits and schedule.

Nursing home negligence is a broad category of claims relating to the mistreatment or poor treatment of nursing home residents. By California law, elder abuse is defined as the perpetration of any of the above acts on a person aged 65 years or older. Because of the horrible consequences and frequency of this crime, strong civil penalties have been written into the law that allow for greater damage awards in the case of successful claims. Both the victim of elder abuse and the victim’s family have the right to bring suit against parties.  Damages are available for economic loss, pain and suffering and punitive considerations.  Unlike normal wrongful death cases, should the victim die as a result of the abuse, damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering may still be awarded up to a cap of $250,000.00.

Some general symptoms can occur in the presence of any type of elder abuse. If the elderly person exhibits a sudden change in behavior and attitude, it may indicate that abuse has caused him or her to become stressed or afraid of outside contact. Extremely commanding and controlling care givers who sometimes restrict access to the elderly person or begin handling all communication, are often engaged in some form of ongoing abuse. If an elderly person ever tells you of any inappropriate incidents or abusive behavior, seek help immediately, don’t wait. If you have seen any of these signs in an elderly person you love please do not hesitate to contact Susan Handel, one of the finest elder abuse attorneys in the Southern California area.