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.
Mental Health Issues
Seniors with mental health issues can be at greater risk of various types of nursing home abuse, particularly physical abuse and emotional or psychological abuse. In some cases, older adults with mental health conditions can be subject to chemical restraints and the off-label use of medications in ways that can be dangerous and harmful.
Disability and Dependence
Seniors with disabilities, especially those who are reliant on a caregiver for certain needs or assistance, may be at greater risk of suffering a serious injury as a result of elder abuse or neglect.
Elderly nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are at particularly high risk of suffering harm as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, various studies have suggested “overall rates of abuse of people with dementia by their caregivers ranging from 34% to 62%.” In a study centered on elderly dementia patients in the U.S., researchers found that more than 47% of those patients had been subject to a form of elder abuse. The most common forms of elder abuse affecting dementia patients and other seniors with cognitive impairments include verbal abuse, physical abuse, and passive neglect.
Contact an Experienced San Diego County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a Southern California nursing home, or if you need help filing a claim against a facility for nursing home abuse or neglect, one of our experienced San Diego County nursing home negligence attorneys can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in California.
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