Summertime brings even hotter temperatures to Southern California than the Los Angeles County region experiences in other parts of the year, and seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities can suffer harm if these facilities do not take additional precautions. Moreover, the summer months do not have any reduced likelihood of common nursing home abuse and neglect injuries that are unrelated to higher temperatures, and it is important to be on the lookout for those harms, as well. As recent research reported in Science News highlights, rising temperatures can also make people more aggressive, which might result in shorter fuses for nursing home employees who are providing care for residents and patients. Indeed, humans have difficulty “coping with extreme heat,” and during heat waves, in particular, employees could be more likely to behave aggressively.
What do you need to know if you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Southern California? Our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers have some key things to keep in mind.
Hot Temperatures Can Result in Distinct Injuries Due to Neglect
Older adults are particularly susceptible to certain health risks during the summer and on warm days. To be sure, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlights how “as we age, our ability to adequately respond to summer heat can become a serious problem.” For older adults in nursing homes with poor air circulation and air conditioning in Southern California, or when seniors are left outside for recreation without proper monitoring, they can experience heat-related illnesses much more quickly and in more severe ways than younger people. In particular, older adults can experience:
- Heat stroke;
- Heat edema;
- Heat syncope;
- Heat cramps; and
- Heat exhaustion.
The possibility of a heat-related illness can become more likely for seniors with certain underlying conditions like heart or lung diseases, high blood pressure, and the use of certain medications. In short, if you have a loved one who has experienced a heat-related illness, the facility or one of its employees could be liable as a result of neglect.
Other Common Abuse and Neglect Injuries Can Occur in the Summer
Risks of injuries caused by physical abuse, emotional abuse, willful deprivation, and passive neglect do not decrease during the summer, and in fact, these types of harm might also be more likely in heat waves and during particularly hot stretches. As we noted, high heat can result in human aggression, and employees at facilities could potentially be more likely to behave aggressively toward a patient who is frustrating them or to a patient in general as a result of heat-related belligerence.
In addition to any heat-related illnesses, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) reminds loved ones of older adults to look for any signs of abuse or neglect, such as:
- Bruises, burns, abrasions, cuts, pressure marks, or any other signs of physical abuse;
- Changes in behavior, unexplained depression, aggression, or any other signs of emotional abuse; and
- Broken bones, bed sores, and other indications of passive neglect.
Contact a Los Angeles County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If you have any concerns about heat-related illnesses or other signs of neglect at a facility in Southern California, you should get in touch with one of our experienced Los Angeles County nursing home neglect attorneys today. Contact the Walton Law Firm to find out more about how we can help you.
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