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Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Nursing home and neglect have specific signs that might overlap

In one of our blog posts last week, we discussed how nursing home residents are at an increased risk of hip fractures because of falls. If you recall, we discussed some of the reasons why these falls are more common in the elderly population. All of those reasons highlight the need for nursing homes to have very strong anti-fall practices for their residents.

When you learn that your loved one was injured in a fall, even if the injury wasn't a hip fracture, you might wonder what you can do about it. We can help you learn your options to deal with improper care in a nursing home. Our previous blog post discussed some of the differences between types of nursing home abuse. It is important that we look into your loved ones injuries and other factors that might clue us into exactly what is going on.

What are the signs of elder abuse?

Elderly individuals are easy prey for abusers. Because they are physically weaker and some suffer memory loss and/or dementia, a number of different types of abuse unfortunately are often unloaded on these individuals. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, this problem does not appear to be going away.

Abuse of the elderly can include physical or mental abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment and exploitation of finances or property. There is help out there for elderly individuals who are being abused. The biggest neglect though, is in not reporting it, which is what abusers are counting on. Since most elderly persons do not report their own abuse, it is up to us to recognize the signs and take action. What are those signs?

What should I know about hip fractures?

Nursing homes have a duty to keep the residents safe from harm. One of the ways they are required to do that is to minimize the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. Nursing home residents are often prone to falls, so special precautions must be taken. Sadly, a nursing home resident who falls might suffer from a broken bone because of a lack of bone density. If the hip is fractured in the fall, the resident faces a long road to recovery.

How is a hip fracture diagnosed?

Nursing home resident died after lighting herself on fire

A 57-year-old woman, who died last year after lighting herself on fire, is now the basis of a lawsuit filed by her family. The woman was allegedly known to have mental issues, which included anxiety disorder, schizophrenia and suicidal tendencies. Yet she was allowed by the staff to leave the home unsupervised.

The Los Angeles nursing home facility seemed to be more like a halfway house than a nursing home facility. According to the family, their loved one was not treated for her mental health issues while there and was allowed to spend her days watching TV and smoking cigarettes. When her fatal incident occurred, she was allowed to leave the home on an unsupervised "pass." The lawsuit alleges that the sign-out sheet at the home falsely shows the woman as returning to the facility at 9:30 a.m. the morning she attempted the suicide. Although the woman was rushed to the hospital after the incident, she passed away the following day.

No nursing home resident should be neglected by staff members

Nursing home residents depend on the nursing home staff members to meet certain needs. It is vital that the staff members meet those needs in a proper and prompt manner. Delays when meeting certain needs or disregarding those needs can endanger the life of the nursing home resident. We know that no nursing home resident ever deserves to fall victim to reckless neglect.

There are several indications that a nursing home resident is being neglected. Each of these indications is a sign that prompt action is needed to stop the neglect and protect the nursing home resident. We can help you learn your options for putting a stop to the neglect. We can also help you to explore the available options for seeking compensation for the results of the neglect.

Staph infections and the elderly

Staph infections are the result of a germ that gets in the nose or on the skin of an individual. The germ creates a staphylococcus bacteria, which in turn can create an infection. Staph infections can be as insignificant as a slight skin infection or they can be extensive, moving into other parts of the body. The infections can attack major organs such as the lungs or heart, or get in the joints, bones or bloodstream. When they invade a person's body, they can turn deadly.

What are the symptoms of a staph infection? Skin infections from a staph infection can include boils, impetigo, cellulitis or staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. These types of infections usually include pus-like sores that my ooze or burst. Rashes may also appear.

Patient chokes to death in nursing home

When you have to put a loved one in a nursing home, you experience a combination of different emotions. Included with the pain and guilt one feels, you might also experience a sense of relief. The nursing home should be able to care for your loved one better than you, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

One family probably disagrees completely with that statement after a patient choked to death in a private nursing home in Fremont, California, last year. The patient was known to have problems while eating, such as eating too fast, not chewing food thoroughly and trouble swallowing. In addition to the eating problems, a history of head trauma probably compounded the resident's need for close supervision.

What is a subdural hematoma?

We have discussed the fact that nursing homes must take appropriate actions to ensure that residents don't fall. The sad truth is that falls in nursing homes can sometimes lead to life-threatening injuries. One of those injuries is a subdural hematoma.

What is a subdural hematoma?

Should I deposit my funds directly into a nursing home account?

If you move into a nursing home or elderly living facility, how you pay for it matters. Many people put their finances in the hands of the facility's administration to manage and deduct funds for their care. Is this a good idea?

If you have a close relative or friend that you trust, having them manage your funds is probably a better idea. Why? Because you know them and trust them, and more than likely, you can't say that about the facility's administration until you have built relationships there.

Memory loss might be a sign of medication issues

As people age, they are sometimes subjected to having to take a variety of medications. In most cases, these medications serve an important function; however, there are cases in which medications might lead to memory loss. While having memory lapses might not seem like a big deal, they are a very big deal for nursing home residents because of the risk of not remembering important interactions or events that might occur.

Antihistamines, incontinence drugs, sleep aids, blood pressure medications, Parkinson's medications, narcotics, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, cholesterol drugs and antianxiety drugs are the 10 types of drugs that can lead to memory loss. As you read through that list, you can probably see that just stopping the medications because they are causing memory difficulties isn't possible.

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Kevin P. Kane, Esq.

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