Was Your Loved One A Victim Of Nursing Home Abuse?

Updated: Apr 22

Filing Civil Claims For Nursing Home Abuse In California

As our population ages, more people will be faced with difficult long-term care choices, such as whether or not to join a nursing home. While the majority of skilled nursing facilities offer excellent care to their patients, nursing home neglect can result in serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a nursing home's negligence, you have the right to file a complaint to recover damages with the help of a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney.

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Nursing home abuse is becoming more common as America's population ages. In several ways, older people are vulnerable, and they are often exploited and abused by caregivers, including family members. When caring for elderly parents and loved ones at home becomes too difficult to handle, many families look to nursing homes. People have faith in nursing homes to provide their loved ones with caring, kind, and consistent treatment. Unfortunately, an increasing issue of nursing home abuse of elderly residents is due to a variety of factors.

Half of the nursing homes in the United States are understaffed, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). As a result, these nursing homes are unable to fulfill their residents' needs while still maintaining their facilities. Unfortunately, understaffed nursing homes and overworked workers can lead to violence and neglect, which is still a significant problem around the country.

About 100,000 people live in nursing homes in California. Despite the fact that the state has stringent standards for nursing home treatment, there are still a troubling number of recorded cases of nursing home violence in California.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer if you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse. These attorneys specialize in nursing home abuse and neglect litigation, so they have the expertise and training to help you win your case. They will assist you in obtaining the justice and financial compensation that you are entitled to. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.

Statistics on nursing homes and eldercare

According to the CDC, approximately 13% of people aged 85 and up (1 in 8) live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, compared to 1% of people aged 65 to 74. According to the most recent CDC survey, about 1.4 million people were living in nursing homes across the country.

  • At some point in their lives, 52 percent of people aged 65 and up would need long-term care. Long-term care is expected to be needed by 47 percent of men and 58 percent of women aged 65 and up.

  • Senior men need long-term care on average for 1.5 years, while women require treatment on average for 2.5 years.

  • Long-term care is needed by 14% of people for more than 5 years.

  • 8% of people in their forties and fifties have a condition that necessitates the use of long-term care facilities.

  • Only about 7% of cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities, according to estimates.

California's nursing home occupancy rates

There are approximately 1,250 licensed long-term care nursing facilities in California, with a total population of 400,000 residents. California has an 87 percent nursing home utilization rate.

Assisted living facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly are licensed by the state of California (RCFEs). Every five years, these facilities are inspected, and most tenants stay for an average of 28 months.

With life expectancies that every decade, it's no surprise that a growing number of people would need to live in a nursing home at some point in their lives. If you're in charge of a loved one's treatment, there are a few things you can look out for at their nursing home or other facilities to ensure they've been well looked after.

What is nursing home abuse?

Abuse in nursing homes can take several forms, and it's not always clear when it's happening.

The following are examples of nursing home abuse:

1. Physical Abuse/Harm

Any incident or condition that causes physical injury or damage qualifies as physical assault. It may be done on purpose, such as with rough handling. Neglect, such as a lack of physical treatment or the overuse of restraints, may also cause it.

  • Unknown injuries, such as bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they occur symmetrically on both sides of the body.

  • Restraint signs, such as rope marks on the wrists

  • The caretaker is unable to properly clarify the situation.

  • Broken bones, sprains, and dislocations are all common injuries.

  • Frames or glasses that have been broken

  • Use of a physical or chemical restriction or psychotropic medication for any reason other than that which the physician has approved

  • The reluctance of the caregiver to let you see the elder alone

  • Injuries that necessitate immediate medical attention or hospitalization

  • Any accident or death that occurs during or shortly after a wandering episode

  • Without informing your doctor or family, you can experience rapid weight loss or gain.

  • A death that is unexplained or unforeseen

  • Illnesses that aren't reported to a doctor or family member in a timely manner

  • Deprivation of food or water for an extended period of time

  • Medication dosing that isn't right (too much or too little)

  • The elder claims to have been slapped or mistreated.

2. Sexual Abuse

Unwanted sexual attention or exploitation is referred to as sexual assault. It also has to do with consent. A patient with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or another cognitive impairment that prevents them from understanding what's going on or expressing their wishes is unable to agree.

  • Breasts or genitals bruised

  • Undiagnosed genital diseases or venereal disease

  • Vaginal or anal bleeding that isn't clarified

  • Underwear that is torn, stained, or bloody

3. Negligence

It's possible the neglect is unintentional. It also occurs when a facility is understaffed to properly care for residents' needs. Failure to provide personal hygiene, food, clothes, or water is considered neglect.

  • Bedsores, dehydration, and malnutrition

  • Food, clothes, or shelter are not given

  • Conditions that are unsanitary, unclean, or dangerous

  • Viruses and Infections

  • Weight loss that is unusual

  • Clothing that isn't appropriate for the season

  • Desertion is a term used to describe a state

  • a lack of medical attention

  • Health and safety risks are not adequately protected.

4. Financial Exploitation

If a caregiver takes advantage of a patient's financial condition, this is known as financial abuse. This may include stealing personal property from a citizen, as well as stealing from a bank account, using the patient's personal details to apply for credit and other forms of identity fraud for personal gain.

  • Withdrawals from accounts that are rare or important

  • Money or valuables were missing from the elder's house

  • Changes in financial and legal records, such as wills and powers of attorney that are suspicious

  • If it's unpaid bills or a lack of concern for financially secure elders,

  • Suspicious financial conduct, such as a bedridden account manager withdrawing money from an ATM

  • Purchases that aren't required

5. Emotional Abuse

The most difficult form of abuse to detect is psychological or emotional abuse. A caregiver can scream, criticize, shame, or humiliate a patient, causing anxiety, upset, or behavioral changes in the patient.

  • The caregiver's threatening, belittling, or controlling actions

  • Senior is irritated or agitated mentally

  • Suckering, chewing, and rocking are examples of odd activities that may indicate dementia

  • Withdrawal and non-communicative behavior are two examples of non-communicative behavior

  • Atypical senior behavior, such as withdrawal and non-communication, as well as humiliating, degrading, terrifying, or threatening behavior

  • Isolation

  • Being confined to a single room

6. Violence amongst residents

Abuse between residents is also a problem. Not all forms of violence are perpetrated by caregivers. This can be physical, psychological, or sexual in nature. It is the caregiver's duty to keep all patients safe and free from harm from others, regardless of who they are.

7. Healthcare Fraud

Financial exploitation may also take the form of healthcare fraud. It may be a factor if you accuse a member of your family of:

  • Taking too much or not enough drugs

  • Receiving substandard treatment despite the fact that services have been paid for in full

  • Receiving several bills for the same facilities, drugs, or assistive devices is a common occurrence.

  • Staffing shortages or a lack of preparation may also be indicators of fraud

Neglect Symptoms

Staff at nursing homes must ensure that the patients in their care have clean bedding and clothing, daily meals, clean water, and proper medical attention. When visiting an elderly relative or acquaintance in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs that the staff isn't offering proper treatment. The following are some of the most common symptoms of nursing home neglect:

  • Clothing and bedding that has been soiled. Residents in nursing homes are often unable to clean or change their own clothing. Staff must ensure that their residents have clean sheets and garments, and soiled clothes and sheets must be removed and replaced as soon as possible. These are red flags for neglect if you find your loved one's clothing is dirty or if he or she does not seem to have had a bath recently.

  • Floors that are filthy and resident rooms that are filthy. Ascertain that your loved one has a clean living environment. If the open areas are filthy or badly maintained, it poses a health risk to all people.

  • Hallways that are clogged. Staff must ensure that their work environments are secure. If a nursing home looks cluttered or disorganized, it can indicate that staff is not performing their responsibilities.

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  • Malnutrition and dehydration are two of the most common causes of death. Severe neglect may include failing to provide food and water on a regular basis or failing to provide residents with food and water at all. If you find that your elderly loved one has lost a lot of weight after moving into a nursing home, it may be a sign that he or she isn't getting enough nutrients.

  • Sores on the bed. Some nursing home residents are confined to their beds or have limited mobility. To avoid bedsores, nursing home staff must reposition these patients