Articles Posted in San Diego Nursing Home

Having an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility in San Diego County can be stressful, especially when there is so much news coverage about abuse and neglect impacting residents at these types of facilities. There are also many different forms of elder abuse, which can make it difficult for family members and friends to have the information they need about a particular kind of abuse. Our San Diego nursing home neglect attorneys can give you more information. The following are some of the most important things to know about passive neglect.

Passive Neglect is Not Usually Intentional

The term “passive neglect” refers to a type of elder abuse where a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility does not receive the type or amount of care they need, but it is not usually intentional. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) defines passive neglect as “a caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.” Passive neglect frequently occurs when a nursing home is understaffed.

Elderly adults in San Diego County nursing homes and at facilities elsewhere in Southern California frequently are subjected to abuse and neglect. Yet as a recent study underscores, many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported, and the most common reason for the lack of reporting might be a fear of retaliation. Seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities and their families should be able to trust that all employees at the facility have their best interests in mind and that the facility is properly staffed to prevent injuries resulting from neglect. However, abuse and neglect injuries are much more common than many people think, and facilities do not always move quickly, if they move at all, to terminate employees who have caused harm.

What do you need to know about the recent study and its implications for addressing nursing home abuse in Southern California? Our San Diego nursing home abuse lawyers can tell you more.

Nursing Home Residents Fear Retaliation and Avoid Reporting Abuse 

Nursing homes must have enough employees to provide sufficient care to residents. When skilled nursing facilities do not have enough employees to attend to the needs of all residents, the nursing home may be understaffed. It is important to know that understaffing can result in resident injuries and can be the cause of nursing home neglect, for which the facility may be liable. A nursing home or its employees do not need to engage in intentional acts of abuse or neglect for the facility to be liable. Rather, “passive neglect,” or unintentional neglect resulting from understaffing that results in injuries, can mean that the facility is legally responsible. Our San Diego County nursing home neglect attorneys can say more.

Staffing Requirements at Nursing Homes

In Southern California and throughout the state, nursing homes have a duty to have sufficient employees to provide care to the residents at the facility. Skilled nursing facilities must employ enough people to ensure that residents receive the attention and care they need and to ensure that residents do not suffer harm as a result of a lack of necessary attention or care. 

Could “ownership transparency” help to prevent injuries and severe harm to patients in skilled nursing facilities in San Diego County? Nursing home abuse and neglect in Southern California have many causes, including issues of understaffing and failure to properly investigate staff members prior to employment. Commentators often argue that certain nursing homes put profits before patient well-being. According to a recent article in Skilled Nursing News, the Biden administration has been focusing on “ownership transparency,” or addressing who owns — or what entities own — skilled nursing facilities across the country. The idea is that nursing homes that are owned by real estate investment trusts (REITs) may not provide the same quality of care as other nursing homes.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a rule aimed at “ownership transparency,” or as the article describes it, “a rule requiring more ownership disclosures and floating definitions of private equity and real estate investment trusts.” Yet as the article reports, “providers are pushing back on elements of this proposal,” and commentators argue that “the proposed policy’s definitions of different ownership structures is still too vague.” What do you need to know about the proposed rule and its implications? Our San Diego County nursing home abuse lawyers can say more.

Proposed Rule is Part of Broader Ownership Transparency Plan

Are California nursing homes in San Diego County prepared to keep residents safe in the event of a wildfire? According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, nursing homes in California where wildfires are a risk or ill-prepared for these emergencies and for other emergency situations that may arise. More specifically, nursing homes in areas that are likely to be affected by wildfires are often out of compliance with the emergency preparedness standards required by Medicare, putting residents throughout the facilities at risk of a wide range of injuries in the event of an emergency situation. What do you need to know about the study and its implications for nursing home neglect and injuries in nursing homes in Southern California? Our San Diego nursing home neglect lawyers can say more. 

Details of the Recent Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Study

The article stems from an analysis conducted by researchers at Yale University. As background to the study, the authors indicated that they were interested in assessing the “relationship between the risk of exposure to environmental hazards and the emergency preparedness of nursing homes” since this relationship is not well known or well studied.

Elder abuse in nursing homes in San Diego County takes many different forms, and certain types of abuse or neglect can often be more difficult to identify than others. While physical abuse commonly produces signs of more obvious physical injuries, signs of sexual abuse may not be as apparent to a friend or family member visiting an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility. While it can be difficult to think about sexual abuse and sexual violence occurring in nursing home settings, it is critical to remember that sexual abuse of elderly nursing home residents occurs more often than many people suspect, and it can have physical and psychological consequences.

What are signs of sexual abuse to look for if you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a San Diego County nursing home? Consider some of the following signs and symptoms identified by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and be sure to contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer if you notice any of them when you visit an elderly relative at a skilled nursing facility or residential care facility for the elderly.

Understanding Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

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.”

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

Nursing home abuse injuries can affect any resident of a nursing home in San Diego County or elsewhere in Southern California, regardless of age, sex, or health condition. However, it is important to know that there are risk factors that can make it more likely that a nursing home resident will be subject to nursing home abuse or neglect. To be clear, the fact that a nursing home resident has one or more of the most common risk factors for abuse does not necessarily mean that the resident will be subject to abuse, but that they are at greater risk for harm from abuse or neglect. Consider some of the following risk factors that could make elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home more likely.

Physical Health Issues

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical health and mobility issues are common risk factors for nursing home abuse. When an older adult requires assistance with physical care, mobility, and activities of daily living (ADLs), that older adult is more likely to be subject to abuse or passive neglect. Activities of daily living can include dressing and eating, but they can also include bathing and bathroom assistance. Not only can these seniors be at greater risk for acts of intentional physical or emotional abuse, but they can also be more likely to suffer injuries if they do not receive the level of care they need.

While most residents of San Diego County who have loved ones in nursing homes are not thinking about risks of dehydration when they worry about elder abuse and neglect, it is important to know that dehydration is a serious issue that can lead to severe and life-threatening harm. Much too often, nursing home residents become dehydrated and suffer serious harm because employees at the facility failed to provide a reasonable level of care. Indeed, according to an article in Reuters, “people in nursing homes are more likely to be dehydrated than elderly people living in the community.” 

What do you need to know about dehydration risks in nursing homes in San Diego County? Consider the following when you are looking for a facility for a loved one or assessing a loved one’s risk of injuries in a skilled nursing facility in Southern California.

Common Causes of Dehydration in Nursing Homes

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