Articles Posted in Home Health Care

Walton Law Firm recently settled the case of A.Q., a 78-year-old woman who died tragically after acquiring multiple bedsores that developed and worsened while she was under the care and treatment of a San Diego home health care agency.  Ms. Q was survived by her three children who brought a legal action for both wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect, contending that the result of careless and reckless conduct committed by a license vocational nurse (LVN) who ignored the development and worsening of Ms. Q’s wounds, and failed to notify a physician of the severity of the wounds or make a request for Ms. Q to be sent to the hospital.

Walton Law Firm initially argued that the pressure sores suffered by Ms. Q were the result of negligence, and that such negligence was a substantial factor in her premature death. The home health provider, it was argued, failed Ms. Q when it 1.) failed to obtain an air mattress for Ms. Q as requested by caregivers, 2.) failed to obtain additional nursing care for her when it was obviously needed, 3.) failed to have Ms. Q seen by a registered nurse or mobile physician, and 4.) failing to have Ms. Q transferred to a hospital where she so obviously need to go. 

In addition, Mr. Walton also contended that the treatment of Ms. Q was so egregious, that it rose to the level of elder neglect under California law. In order to show neglect, Ms. Q (through Walton Law Firm) had to show that the home health agency either failed to use the degree of care a reasonable person would have and/or failed to protect Ms. Q from health and safety hazards.  It has had to show these failures were done with the conscious disregard for the rights and safety of Mr. Q.

If there is a shortage of home health aides in Vista and other areas of Southern California, how will such a shortage impact nursing home neglect in the state? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there is a rising shortage of home health aides in California and across the country. Such a shortage could result in more instances of elder neglect within the homes of seniors, and at the same time, it could result in more elderly patients moving into nursing homes that are already understaffed. As such, the shortage in home health aides could also lead to more instances of nursing home neglect in facilities throughout the country.

Why is there such a significant shortage of home health aides? What can families do to help prevent instances of elder neglect?

Low Wages and Lack of Incentive

As lawmakers in our state continue to think about elder abuse and the salient problems with California assisted living facilities, some of these residences are being ordered to pay damages for the harms they’ve inflicted on the elderly. According to a recent article in the Long Beach Press Telegram, a jury recently said that an assisted living facility in downtown Long Beach is liable for “hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages” connected to one resident’s spinal injury.

Has your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a California residential care facility? This is an important concern in our state, and juries take these cases very seriously. You should speak to an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney about filing a claim for compensation.

Details of the Residential Care Facility

Many Americans have heard that long-term care can be extremely expensive and that it’s important to begin saving, or alternately to invest in long-term care insurance, as soon as possible. But is long-term care insurance really all it’s said to be? Are there other options for elder care? A recent PBS interview with economics professor Lewis Mandell suggests that simply saving money, rather than investing in these insurance plans, may ultimately be a larger help to the elderly.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) explains that long-term care insurance is special in that it’s “designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.” These policies work by reimbursing policyholders with a pre-selected daily amount “for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating.”

Have you been urged to place your elderly parent in hospice care despite the fact that he or she is not terminally ill? Hospice care is intended for patients who are terminally ill and for whom there is no cure. So why are healthy older adults ending up in hospice? A recent article in the Washington Post revealed that this phenomenon might be a larger problem than we’d like to think. Indeed, over the 2000s, the newspaper reported that the “number of ‘hospice survivors’ in the United States has risen dramatically.” What’s going on? According to the article, “hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying,” since “healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.”

Hospice.jpgIf you have been pressured to move a parent into hospice care, your elderly loved one might not receive the kind of treatment she or he needs. For-profit companies shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of older adults. Indeed, we might think of these actions as another form of elder abuse. It’s important to speak to an experienced elder law attorney about your options.

Hospice Discharge Statistics

Does your elderly parent have dementia? Many California residents live with dementia, and their children and family members worry about what kind of care is best for a dementia patient. A recent article in U-T San Diego explained the different options for dementia care. According to Dr. Diane Darby Beach, the Director of Education and Outreach for the Vista Gardens Memory Care Community, there are basically three different kinds of providers who offer long-term care to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia: home care, assisted living, and adult day care.

Dementia%20Woman%20Credit.jpgAre some of these options better than others? Depending on your unique situation, there are many factors to consider when deciding what kind of care is best for someone who suffers from dementia. If you have questions or concerns about the level of care your elderly loved one has received or is currently receiving, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer. At the Walton Law Firm, we have years of experience dealing with elder law issues and can answer your questions today.

Options for Dementia Care

Have you considered elder in-home health care for one of your parents? Many families see the benefits of these in-home services, but they worry about the level of care that these agencies provide. Earlier this month, we told you about the important distinctions between in-home health care and home care—in short, the former provides medical services, while the latter simply acts as a non-medical caregiver and companion. If you hire a home care provider, you shouldn’t have to worry about elder abuse and neglect because of lackluster licensing laws.

House.jpgMany states have been tightening their oversight of home care agencies over the past several years, due to a general sense of inadequacy in the services provided by these companies. And now, California has joined that group. According to an article in the New York Times, “California has become the latest state to tighten oversight of home agencies that provide custodial care—help with bathing, dressing, toileting and other basic tasks—to older adults and people with disabilities.”

Are you concerned that your elderly loved one has been mistreated by a caregiver? Whether you’re dealing with an in-home agency or the services of a nursing home or assisted-living facility, the experienced California nursing home abuse lawyers at the Walton Law Firm today to discuss your case.

Do you have an elderly parent or loved one who worries about leaving home to live in a nursing home or assisted-living facility? According to a 2010 study conducted by AARP, nearly 90 percent of elderly adults hoped they’d be able to “age in place,” meaning that wanted to stay in their own homes and live independently, despite the complications that decreasing health and aging bring. In addition, in-home care may provide family members with more access to their loved ones, allowing them to keep an eye out for elder abuse or neglect.

Home.jpgA recent article in U-T San Diego reported that many seniors are able to remain in their homes, even when they require specialized care. Indeed, according to the U-T San Diego article, in-home health care can actually “serve as a less expensive and more personalized alternative to residential care facilities for seniors.”

What is In-Home Health Care, Exactly?

The Sacramento Business Journal reported today on a new website that the California Department of Insurance launched in order to help educate California seniors. The article highlights a few aspects of the new site called “Senior Gateway”, but once you visit the site, you see that it has a lot to offer to not only seniors, but their families, caregivers and representatives as well.

Here are a few bullet points outlined by the Sacramento Business Journal for what “Senior Gateway” offers:

*Avoiding and reporting abuse and neglect by in-home caregivers or in facilities

Two caregivers are charged with physically abusing a young autistic man inside his family’s home. This story emphasizes the serious issue of whether or not you can trust your in-home caregiver. The U-T San Diego recently reported that two men, Michael Dale Garritson, 61, and Matthew Alexander McDuffie, 27, were charged with abuse after a secret video showed them physically abusing the 23-year-old autistic man, Jamey Oakley – hundreds of times over a three-week period.

This latest news story screams several questions that anyone who employs in-home care must be dying to ask.

How Did This Abuse Happen?

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