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Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Know the signs of elder abuse and neglect

In our previous post, we discussed how important it is for anyone who suspects that an elderly person is being abused to report the abuse. We want our readers to know some of the signs of neglect and abuse so that they can be ready to speak up if they see those signs.

Elder neglect can often have signs like virulent infections, soiled clothing, bedsores, foul odors, medication issues, social isolation, an unclean environment, malnourishment, or dehydration. In some cases, lack of assistive devices and finding your loved one unattended can signal neglect.

Reporting elderly abuse

Elderly abuse can take many different forms. It can be physical abuse, emotional or verbal abuse, neglect, financial abuse, or consumer fraud or scamming, and can occur in a nursing home or a private home.

If you suspect any type of elderly abuse, you should report it. Don't second guess yourself -- you may save someone's life. You can report it anonymously if you prefer; the worst that will happen is that it will be investigated.

Backlog of nursing home complaints growing smaller in California

When you learn that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you are probably ready to do whatever it takes to hold someone accountable for that abuse. For people in California, filing a complaint about the abuse with the Department of Public Health is one of the steps you can take to hold the responsible parties accountable. Sadly, some people are finding that when they file complaints, they aren't necessarily handled in a timely manner.

There is a backlog of complaints about nursing homes. According to the director of the Center for Health Care Quality within the DPH, significant steps are being taken to work through the backlog.

Identifying nursing home or elderly abuse

Could you identify nursing home abuse, or would you be hesitant on what exactly constitutes abuse or mistreatment if you have a loved one in a nursing home? Identifying the rights of nursing home residents is a good placed to start.

All residents in nursing home facilities have a right to their dignity, meaning they should be treated with respect at all times. They have a right to live securely without the threat of mental, verbal, physical or sexual abuse. They have a right to proper care absent of any neglect. They have a right to privacy and security for their personal possessions. They have a right to file or verbalize a complaint without fear of repercussions. Anything that threatens these rights is mistreatment.

Know the differences between elder abuse and elder neglect

When your loved one is in a nursing home, you expect that they will be cared for in accordance with their needs. While many nursing home caregivers do care for the patients in an appropriate manner, some don't. When your loved one suffers because of nursing home abuse or neglect, you might decide to take action. One of the first things you will have to do is to determine if the action was neglect or abuse.

We can help you to go through evidence and uncover facts that can let you know if your loved one was abused or was the victim of neglect. In some cases, the cause of your loved one's suffering is easy to determine. In other cases, it isn't necessarily so easy.

Nursing Home 'Hospital Dumping' -- What You Need To Know About This Alarming Form Of Elder Abuse

Seniors in nursing homes deserve the highest level of care and stability. For that reason, the law imposes limits on how -- and when -- nursing homes can evict residents. It also grants seniors important bed hold rights when they're admitted to a hospital or ER.

Increasingly, however, nursing homes are skirting the law by refusing to readmit elders after a hospital or ER visit. This growing practice, called "hospital dumping," often results in a downward spiral, damaging the physical and emotional stability of already vulnerable elders.

How common is nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse: a human rights issue. When it comes to human rights, few people will disagree that elderly abuse of any kind violates one's individual rights as a human.

It may be surprising to learn that physical, financial or emotional abuse is imposed on 11 percent of elderly individuals each year. This was per a 2010 study, in which a former director of the Justice and Nursing Home Initiative said errs on the low side, probably missing a majority of the most vulnerable. A more recent study, made public in November, 2014, done by Cornell University, showed that one in five nursing home residents are abused, and usually within the first four weeks of their stay.

Elder abuse charges for 2 workers in California

Back in 2013, a California assisted living center was the focus of reports of elder abuse, as 14 people living at the center had been abandoned when they were sick and in need. The court case has now progressed, and the administrator of that facility and the facility's owner have been charged. Each will get 14 counts—one for each person involved—of elder abuse. The crime is a felony, and they may end up behind bars when they are sentenced.

The case is being heard in the Alameda County Superior Court.

When you must move a loved one into a nursing home

For Los Angeles residents, it can be a scary, stressful time when you finally make a decision to move Mom or Dad into a nursing home. It is not only scary for you but for your loved one. This will be their home.

With nursing home abuse and neglect at the front of your mind, there are some things you might want to have on your checklist when looking for the right nursing home. From the staff to the buildings, rooms, environment, food, activities and cost, there is a lot to consider. Making a checklist will help keep you from leaving out an important requirement.

Lawsuit alleges elder abuse at California nursing home

The daughter of a woman who died last year in a Clovis, California, nursing home has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court. The suit alleges that Willow Creek Nursing Home was negligent in the treatment of the 88-year-old woman during her two-week stay, leading to her death due to sepsis and cardiac arrest. In addition to making allegations of the failure to provide proper care, the suit alleges that the nursing home kept inaccurate and incomplete records of the woman's treatment.

The woman had lived independently at home using a walker but landed in a hospital emergency room after a fall. In addition to minor injuries from the fall, she was diagnosed with an infection, early-stage pneumonia and an irregular heartbeat. After her condition was stabilized with antibiotics and fluids, doctors recommended that she recuperate in a nursing home, where she could receive 24-hour care, with the ultimate goal of returning home.

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Kevin P. Kane, Esq.

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