Many people assume that the term nursing home abuse in Los Angeles County refers to situations in which staff members intentionally inflict physical harm upon residents through unnecessary physical restraints, burning, kicking, hitting, slapping, and other forms of physical violence. However, it is essential to know that there are many different forms of nursing home abuse, and the signs or symptoms of certain types of neglect may cause significant damage to a senior’s mental health. What should you know about the various forms of nursing home abuse that can occur and how they can impact an older adult’s mental health?

Physical Abuse Can Affect Mental Health

Physical abuse does not just cause physical harm — it can affect a nursing home resident’s mental health and well-being, as well. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, forms of physical abuse can result in depression and other mental health consequences.

When most of us think about nursing home abuse in San Bernardino County, we think about instances of physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, or even sexual abuse. Many people also know that passive neglect, which can result in serious resident harm, can lead to a nursing home abuse and neglect claim. Yet discussions about resident-to-resident abuse are less common. What should you know about resident-to-resident abuse in Southern California? The most important thing to know is that nursing homes have a duty to protect patients from injuries and to appropriately handle instances of abuse and neglect, even when the perpetrator is another resident. As such, similar to cases involving other forms of abuse, nursing homes may be liable for resident-to-resident abuse. Our San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorneys can provide you with more information.

Resident-to-Resident Mistreatment Can Take Many Forms

Resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment is a form of nursing home abuse or neglect that is often overlooked. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment can be defined as “negative, often aggressive, interactions between residents in long-term care communities.” This type of abuse or mistreatment may include “physical, verbal, and sexual abuse,” and the NCEA emphasizes that it is “likely to cause emotional and/or physical harm.”

Depending upon the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case, the rights of nursing home residents in Orange County could become devastatingly limited. The Supreme Court recently heard the case of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, a case that concerns the right of individual nursing home residents to file lawsuits for elder abuse and negligence. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this case “raises the issue of whether Medicaid beneficiaries can seek relief in federal court when they believe their rights are being violated by state officials, or whether enforcement of state compliance with federal Medicaid rules should be left solely to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).” 

Ultimately, the case could have reverberations far beyond nursing home resident rights. Our Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers can provide you with more information.

Getting the Facts About Talevski

Nursing home abuse can take many different forms in San Diego County, including sexual abuse. In Southern California, nursing home residents can be victims of sexual abuse and assault perpetrated by other residents, as well as by staff members. According to a recent report from KPBS, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is supposed to be transparent in providing information about nursing homes and histories of abuse, yet a recent investigation suggests that records of sexual abuse contain “inaccuracies and omissions.” It is important to be able to recognize signs of nursing home sexual abuse and to consider filing a claim against the negligent facility where the abuse occurred. 

California Department of Public Health’s Reporting of Sexual Abuse

The KPBS report discusses various incidents of sexual abuse in California nursing homes that have been identified as “enforcement actions” with findings of nursing home negligence. For example, the report discusses a case in which a woman in a nursing home alleged that she was raped by her caregiver. The investigation report, which can be found in the Cal Health Find Database, concludes that the nursing home where the sexual assault is alleged to have occurred “failed to provide a safe environment” for the resident. However, as the KPBS report points out, “one has to dig deep into what is known as CDPH’s ‘transparency website’ to find it.” Indeed, as the report underscores, the “main complaint page describes the attack as simply employee-to-resident abuse that was substantiated.”

Nobody wants to think about the risks of injury that an elderly loved one could face in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Riverside County. Yet nursing home negligence and elder abuse and neglect are more common than you might expect. As a result, seniors in nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) sustain injuries that could have been avoided with proper care. How can you prove that the facility is responsible for a resident’s injuries? And what type of evidence can be used in a Southern California nursing home negligence lawsuit? Our experienced Riverside County nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm can provide you with more information.

Understanding the Elements of a Nursing Home Negligence Case

First, in order to prove liability in a nursing home negligence lawsuit, you should know that you will need to prove the elements of a negligence claim. While the specific and detailed elements of your case will be based on the circumstances and facts surrounding your elderly loved one’s injuries, the following are the general elements of a negligence claim in California:

It can be difficult to know what to do when you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a nursing home in Los Angeles County or elsewhere in Southern California. Whether you are visiting a family member in a nursing home or you have other reasons for suspecting abuse or neglect after talking to a loved one or speaking with a healthcare provider, it is important to know what steps you should take. Consider the following tips from our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers.

Do Not Second Guess Your Instincts

If you have concerns about a senior’s health or well-being in a nursing home, and especially if you have concerns about elder abuse or neglect at a facility, it is critical that you trust yourself and that you do not second-guess your instincts. Many family members feel uncertain about reporting abuse or taking action when they have concerns about an elderly resident. Indeed, some people feel concerned about erroneously making a report about abuse or neglect concerns or moving forward with a complaint against a facility. You should trust yourself, and you should remember that the most important thing is ensuring that a senior you love is not being harmed because of abuse or neglect. As such, making a report or filing a complaint may often be necessary.

Nursing home neglect can take many different forms in San Diego County. In some cases, a senior in a nursing home or assisted living facility might be harmed as a result of willful deprivation, where a staff member refuses to provide the senior with the medications, medical devices, or care they need. Under most circumstances, however, nursing home neglect is not intentional. Rather, injuries arising out of neglect in Southern California result from issues like understaffing, lack of appropriate training for staff members, and ultimately, a failure for an elderly nursing home resident to receive the care they need without any intention by the facility to cause harm. Yet just because a nursing home or assisted living facility in San Diego County does not intend to cause injuries or any other type of harm does not mean that the facility cannot be held accountable.

Infections are one type of harm for which nursing homes and assisted living facilities in San Diego County can be liable if any infection results from negligence. Our San Diego County nursing home negligence attorneys can provide you with more information.

Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Prevent Infections

Older adults in San Bernardino County nursing homes are at greater risk of severe injuries from falls than younger adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls among adults aged 65 and older result in about 34,000 deaths yearly and three million emergency department visits. In terms of the economic costs of senior falls, the CDC reports that falls among older adults cost approximately $50 billion annually in medical care. There are many different reasons that older adults are more likely to fall and that those falls are more likely to result in severe injuries. Older adults are more likely to be on medications that make balancing difficult. Physical conditions can make it more challenging to get out of bed or shower without falling. In addition, older adults — and women in particular — may have bone density issues that can make a severe fracture more likely when a fall does occur.

When falls happen at nursing homes, is the nursing home liable? To determine liability, it will be important to have an experienced San Bernardino nursing home negligence lawyer assess your case. In the meantime, the following are some questions you can ask yourself to consider whether the nursing home could be responsible for damages resulting from a fall.

Did the Fall Result From a Hazard on the Nursing Home Premises?

Southern California experiences year-round high temperatures, but the summer months can be particularly intense in Orange County. People of all ages can experience heat-related injuries due to exposure, but older adults can be particularly susceptible to heat-related injuries as a result of their increased susceptibility to dehydration and health complications. It is critical for nursing homes to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries, monitor patients for signs of heat-related illnesses and injuries, and take immediate action when a resident shows signs of a heat-related illness or injury. When a nursing home resident does experience an injury as a result of the heat, the nursing home could be negligent. You should get in touch with an experienced Orange County nursing home neglect lawyer who can help you with your case.

Recognizing the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses and Injuries

Heat-related illnesses and injuries can range from mild to severe, and they can affect older adults in serious ways. As the Mayo Clinic explains, dehydration is especially common among the elderly when they do not drink enough water or experience exposure to high temperatures. There are a few reasons for increased susceptibility to dehydration and heat-related illnesses among seniors, including the fact that “older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies,” and older nursing home residents frequently take medications that place them at greater risk of dehydration and heat-related illness during heat waves. 

When you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a nursing home, it can be difficult to identify signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse. Under some circumstances, it might seem as though there are logical explanations for certain indicators of abuse or neglect, while in other situations, the signs and symptoms of abuse simply might not be obvious. While it is critical for friends and family members of nursing home residents to know how to spot indicators of abuse, it is also important to remember that residents may be able to provide key information about neglect or negligence taking place at the nursing home. Although seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia may not be able to voice their concerns directly, certain questions may be able to provide helpful information.

When you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should learn about the types of questions you can ask to identify indications of abuse. The following types of questions may be able to reveal abuse or neglect.

Questions Concerning Daily Activities

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