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Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

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.

Why should nursing homes avoid using restraints on residents?

The use of restraints in nursing homes is something that dates back generations. In recent times, the use of restraints in nursing homes has come under fire with good reason. Restraints can demoralize, upset and harm nursing home residents. Generally speaking, restraint use in nursing homes should be very rare and only used as a last resort.

What harm can restraints do?

No patient left behind: fire safety in nursing homes

When you have to put a loved one in a nursing home, it can be very difficult. The decision alone can be painful and stressful. But once the decision has been made, finding the right place is the next step of unfinished business. There are numerous things to look for when evaluating nursing homes or elderly care facilities. Here's one more that you don't want to neglect: fire safety.

Is sounds like a "no-brainer," right? You might be surprised to know that one out of seven nursing homes across the country experience fires each year. That is according to the National Fire Protection Association. For nursing homes with the proper fire safety protocol in place, the majority of the fires are quickly extinguished.

Protect senior citizens from financial ruin

The elderly population should be a treasured asset for the rest of us. These individuals have lived through many hardships and lived to tell the stories. Sadly, some people see these senior citizens as nothing more than a payday. These people prey on the elderly in a way that can lead senior citizens into something nightmarish. We don't want to see senior citizens fall victim to these scammers. Instead, we want to see the scammers stopped and held accountable for what they are doing.

There are a variety of scams that the elderly have to be on the lookout for. We discussed some of those consumer scams in one of our blog posts last week. As we mentioned, these scams are often disguised as programs for investing or charity. It is vital that we help senior citizens to learn how to tell a real opportunity from a scam.

Who is preying on the elderly?

Elder abuse takes many forms, and scams are high on the list. What are some of the biggest scams affecting the elderly today?

IRS scam: People posing as IRS employees contact senior citizens and inform them that they owe back taxes. They then threaten them with severe consequences if they don't pay the taxes. A former IRS agent claims that over $5 million has been acquired by these scammers.

Bed rails are a good safety tool but can also be dangerous

Nursing home residents often use bed rails on their beds. While these rails are meant to be a primary safety measure against falls, they can also lead to injuries or death if they aren't properly used. In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration notes that from 1985 until Jan. 1, 2009, 480 people died from bed rail incidents.

It is vital that nursing homes take the time to assess residents for safety issues, such as uncontrolled movements, getting out of bed but being unable to walk unassisted, memory issues, incontinence or sleep issues. When these problems or other safety risks are present, the nursing home staff have to come up with a suitable way to keep the resident safe.

Nursing home neglect is sometimes tied to medication issues

In our previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the ways that medications are misused in nursing homes. These problems are often one of the primary warning signs of nursing home neglect or abuse. Think of it this way: overuse of antibiotics can lead to hard-to-treat infections. In nursing home residents, virulent infections are a sign of neglect. When you couple that with the overuse of antibiotics, you end up with a situation that can be devastating to the nursing home resident.

We want you to know that we are ready to stand by your side as you fight for the rights of your loved one in the nursing home. It doesn't matter why you think your loved one is being abused or neglected. We can still help you to ensure your loved one gets the level of care that you expect from the nursing home.

Antibiotics prescribed in nursing homes

It is a common practice for doctors to hesitate to prescribe antibiotics unless they feel they are really necessary. This is because research shows that bacterial infections can become immune to antibiotics when used too often. However, it appears that this policy is not often followed when it comes to elderly patients in nursing homes.

When antibiotic drugs are inappropriately prescribed, according to JAMA Internal Medicine, they increase the risk of side effects such as diarrhea, allergies, antibiotic-resistant infections and other medication allergies. However, approximately two-thirds of residents in nursing homes are prescribed antibiotics each year.

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Kevin P. Kane, Esq.

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