Wasco Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
The costs of long-term care for elderly adults is staggering. According to SkilledNursingFacilities.org, senior Californians pay an average of $7,450 per month for a semi-private room in a skilled nursing home. With such high costs, one would anticipate the best care for nursing home residents but with the baby boomer population retiring and requiring more assistance, there has also been an increase in nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has moved into a nursing home, it is important you look out for signs of mistreatment during your visits. Even a nursing home that is initially ideal can become an elderly person’s nightmare with just one change in staffing. Should you see any signs of abuse or neglect, contact the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group. We can guide you through what steps to take and help you file a personal injury claim or wrongful death suit.Why File a Personal Injury Claim or Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Abuse and neglect cause physical and emotional injuries and recovery costs money. A victim may require surgery, medical treatments, physical therapy, and psychological therapy to bounce back after mistreatment. Furthermore, they may need to incur the costs of moving to a different nursing home. All of these costs, along with pain and suffering, are taken into consideration in a personal injury lawsuit.
If the victim died, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit, which will pay damages for loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and more. Unlike criminal charges, where a person must commit an illegal act to be charged, personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits can be filed even if the action that led to injury, such as neglect, was unintentional. Not only does filing a lawsuit help compensate a victim for damages, it also raises awareness and could prevent further abuse to other nursing home residents.Signs of Nursing Home or Assisted Living Abuse
Nursing home residents are an at-risk population when it comes to abuse because they are physically weakened, can suffer from cognitive issues, and are socially isolated. Abuse is deliberate and can result in physical harm or mental anguish. Examples of abuse include:
- Withholding assistance such as food, water, or help maneuvering around;
- Yelling or ridiculing a residnet;
- Degrading or humiliating a patient;
- Punching, slapping, pushing, or grabbing a resident;
- Unnecessarily using chemical or physical restraints;
- Engaging in sexual intercourse or requiring resident to witness sexual acts; and
While neglect is often unintentional, the consequences can be just as severe as nursing home abuse. The Nursing Home Abuse Center reported that 21% of nursing home residents were neglected at least once during a 12-month period in 2011. Neglect can quickly lead to severe medical issues. For instance, if a patient is not given their medication on time, they could have organ complications. Or a patient who is not helped out of bed may try to move on their own, fall, and break their pelvis. Other examples of neglect include:
- Unsanitary living conditions;
- Failing to meet a resident’s nutritional needs;
- Failure to attend to resident’s basic hygiene such as showering or changing clothes;
- Failing to notice the need for medical attention or failing to change bandages of current wounds;
- Missing medication doses or mis-medicating patients; and
Abuse and neglect may not be obvious when you first visit your loved one. However, if you start to notice any of the following issues, you should investigate further and seek assistance from a qualified nursing home attorney:
- Weight loss;
- A dirty smelling or looking room;
- A decline in your loved one’s appearance;
- Depression or withdrawal symptoms;
- Your loved one has a long list of requests that should be met on a regular basis by staff;
- Unexplainable injuries such as lacerations, broken bones, or bruising; and
- Fear of being touched or fear of a specific staff member.
Chances are, in their younger years, your loved one would have been better able to stand up for themselves in the face of abuse or neglect. However, as seniors age they become more reliant on others to care for them, and that includes the nursing home facility staff. If a staff member is mistreating your loved one, then your loved one may need your help to get to a safe environment. Do not hesitate to speak up if you notice any signs that could be indicative of abuse or neglect. The Wasco nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group can help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 866-607-1325.