Ridgecrest Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
According to the California Association of Health Facilities, the Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Division inspects all licensed long-term care facilities on a yearly basis. While these inspections are in-depth, often lasting three days with multiple surveyors, it does not mean they will catch everything that occurs at the nursing facility on the other 362 days of the year.
Generally, nursing homes provide a safe, stable environment with medical care, meals, and activities for all of their residents. However, there are a rising number of cases in the United States of elder abuse and neglect. The National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys reports that 90% of U.S. nursing homes are understaffed, which means they cannot provide adequate care to residents. This problem is likely to grow worse as more baby boomers retire and move into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. If you have a loved one in a Ridgecrest long-term care facility and are concerned about abuse or neglect, it is time to speak with The Southern California Nursing Home Law Group.You can File a Personal Injury Claim or Wrongful Death Suit
If a staff member at the nursing home engages in illegal behavior, such as physical assault, then criminal charges can be filed. If convicted, that staff member may be required to pay restitution to the injured party. However, it is usually in the victim’s best interest to still file a nursing home personal injury claim in civil court. Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows the victim to receive compensation for their injuries. Compensation can help pay for medical expenses required to recover, moving to a different nursing home, and pain and suffering. If a person dies as the result of abuse or neglect, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit, which will take into account loss of consortium, funeral costs, and more.What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents are a vulnerable population because they are physically less mobile, can be experiencing cognitive decline, and often are socially isolated. Abuse can take many forms and be physical, psychological, or sexual in nature. Example include:
- Yelling, making fun of, or belittling a patient;
- Physically harming a patient by slapping, punching, hitting, or throwing them around;
- Intentionally withholding basic needs such as food, water, or clean sheets to “punish them”;
- Unnecessary use of restraints;
- Sexual intercourse, or any other sexual advances; and
Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for their residents. Should they fail to meet their duty to care for the residents and injuries result, it is a case of neglect. Examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Failing to see medical concerns and transfer a patient to a hospital for further care;
- Failing to prevent falls;
- Unsanitary room conditions;
- Failing to provide adequate nutrition;
- Not changing bandages or attending to current injuries;
- Not helping patients move, which can lead to bedsores;
- Improper medication dosing or failing to give medication at the correct times; and
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes is often hard to spot, but there will likely be clues in the environment that can help you. If you notice any of the following, it is important you start asking you loved one and the staff more questions:
- Sudden weight loss;
- Unsanitary living conditions;
- A decline in your loved one’s personal appearance;
- Unexplainable bruising, welts, broken bones, or lacerations;
- Symptoms that signify your loved one may not be getting their medicine;
- Staff is obviously overtasked and seems spread thin.
Simply finding an appropriate nursing care facility in the right location and with the right services can be difficult enough. To then suddenly have to be concerned your loved one’s health is in jeopardy because of abuse and neglect can be overwhelming to think about. However, it is important that you follow through with any concerns you may have because it will protect your loved one from further harm and can also protect others in the same nursing facility from experiencing similar mistreatment. The Ridgecrest nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group are here to help you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 866-607-1325.