It is critical for families and friends of older adults in Riverside County and throughout Southern California to recognize that nursing home abuse is not simply intentional physical or emotional abuse. To be sure, many serious and fatal injuries in nursing homes result from passive neglect, and caregivers can be responsible. According to a recent press release from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a registered nurse (RN) is facing charges related to nursing home neglect and abuse following the death of a 69-year-old female resident at an assisted-living facility in Riverside, California.
The case underscores that the unintentional failure to provide care in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities can have deadly consequences, and emphasizes the need for families to hold facilities and individual caregivers accountable when their inaction causes serious harm.
Details of the Assisted-Living Facility Death
The details in the press release explain that Emily Jones, an RN who has been working for VITAS hospice care in Riverside, had been assigned as the case manager to the 69-year-old resident at Brookdale Senior Living. According to the press release, Jones “allegedly failed to record the discovery of open ulcers in the patient’s medical records,” and she “failed to notify a medical doctor and the resident’s family of the resident’s deteriorating condition.” The press release indicates that, “as a consequence of this lack of care, the resident’s condition worsened, ultimately resulting in the resident’s death.” The RN is now facing felony elder abuse charges in Riverside County Superior Court. She could also face civil charges from the family, seeking damages.
In a nursing home or assisted-living facility setting, nurses are required to provide a certain level of care to patients and residents. They must develop a Plan of Care that must also involve proper assessment of serious medical conditions such as ulcers that can worsen. In the recent case involving Jones and the 69-year-old resident, the California Board of Registered Nursing determined that Jones failed to assess an ulcer on the resident’s foot, which ultimately required emergency surgery after it had “become septic and gangrenous.” Since Jones did not properly assess the ulcer, the resident never had a Plan of Care. The felony complaint against Jones alleges that the improper assessment of the ulcer, and the lack of a Plan of Care, ultimately led to the 69-year-old resident’s death.
Elder Abuse Can Include Passive Neglect
This case highlights how nursing home abuse and neglect injuries often result from unintentional harm, or passive neglect. Just because a nurse or another staff member has not intended to cause harm does not mean that the nurse or staff member is not responsible.
Indeed, the press release cites Attorney General Becerra, who emphasized that “elder abuse does not always come in the form of a physical attack,” and certainly “Can result from utter neglect and lack of proper care.”
Seek Advice From a Riverside County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you need assistance filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit after your elderly loved one suffered harm due to neglect, one of our experienced Riverside County nursing home abuse lawyers can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about the services we provide to seniors and their families in Southern California.
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