Articles Tagged with Los Angeles nursing home neglect

Whether an older adult with a chronic health condition is residing in a skilled nursing facility, assisted-living facility, memory-care facility, or other location in Los Angeles County, studies have shown that these seniors tend to be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. In particular, older adults with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment are often targets of elder abuse in nursing homes and related facilities, and their conditions frequently prevent them from recognizing or reporting the abuse themselves. Yet, according to a recent article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, a new study focused on the Comprehensive Older Adult and Caregiver Help (COACH) method might be able to reduce the likelihood of physical and emotional abuse. 

Could this method also be applicable to caregivers who are employed by nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Southern California? Our Los Angeles County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can say more.  

Learning About the COACH Method

If you have an elderly parent or other loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Los Angeles County, you should always pay close attention so that you can identify possible signs of elder abuse or neglect. In Los Angeles County and across the state of California, protections for elderly adults are far behind those available to seniors in other states, according to a recent report from KTLA news. Indeed, that report cites a recent study conducted by WalletHub that shows California ranking at the very bottom — number 51 — in terms of protections against elder abuse and neglect. 

Our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers can tell you more and can speak with you today about any concerns you have.

Study Addresses California’s Poor Record Concerning Elder Abuse Protections

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Los Angeles County can provide necessary care and supervision to older adults, but these locations can also be places where elderly loved ones sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. According to data from Becker’s Hospital Review, the highest rate of elderly injuries occurs in skilled nursing facilities, followed by assisted-living facilities and other types of residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). Nursing homes are distinct from assisted-living facilities or RCFEs because they provide medical care, and residents usually need more supervision and health care. 

What causes most of the injuries that older adults sustain in nursing homes? The following are some of the leading causes of nursing home injuries due to abuse and neglect in Los Angeles County.

Inadequate Supervision

Do nursing homes in Los Angeles County have the capacity to provide appropriate care to residents with mental illnesses, or are facilities that house large populations of residents with mental illnesses more likely to be sites where injuries arise out of nursing home negligence? According to a recent KQED podcast, while nursing homes are typically thought of as spaces for older adults who need assistance with care due to physical incapacitation or cognitive impairment, “a new LAist investigation finds that thousands of people with serious mental illness are living in California’s nursing homes,” and it could potentially be a violation of federal law. In addition, nursing homes with high rates of residents with mental illness could put other residents at risk of abuse or could take necessary care time away from residents who need assistance with various activities of daily living (ADLs).

What should you know about mental illness and nursing home negligence in Southern California? Our Los Angeles nursing home neglect lawyers can tell you more. 

Nursing Homes Not Designed to Care for Residents With Serious Mental Illness

If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Los Angeles County, you might have learned at some point that your loved one developed a bed sore. When bed sores are identified very early on, they are treatable and do not often have long-term or severe consequences. However, when bed sores are not properly identified and treated, they can become so serious that they can actually result in life-threatening medical emergencies. You might be wondering: is the presence of a bed sore always a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse, or are there situations in which a relatively minor bed sore can occur and be treated without the presence of abuse or neglect? And are all serious bed sores the result of abuse or neglect? These are critical questions to consider, and our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers are here to help.

Understanding Bed Sores

In order to understand when bed sores can be a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is essential to be clear about what bed sores are and how they form. According to the Cleveland Clinic, bed sores are, quite simply, “wounds that occur from prolonged pressure on your skin.” They occur most frequently among “people who are immobile for long periods, such as those who are bedridden or use a wheelchair.” They can be extremely painful and can result in significant and life-threatening infections if untreated. Bed sores are staged according to severity, with Stage 1 bed sores being the least severe and Stage 4 bed sores being the most severe.

When a senior in a Los Angeles County nursing home suffers an injury because of the facility’s negligence or because of an intentional act committed by a staff member, it may be possible to file a claim against the facility in order to seek compensation and to hold the facility accountable. Yet it can be difficult to know when a facility should be sued, especially since there are so many different types of injuries and harm that an older adult can experience. One type of harm that may not be discussed as often as physical abuse in nursing homes but that can cause serious psychological injuries is harm to a person’s dignity. What rights does a nursing home resident have in California concerning rights to dignity and the right to be free from psychological or emotional harm? Our Los Angeles County nursing home abuse attorneys can provide you with more information.

Harm to a Person’s Dignity Can Be a Form of Nursing Home Abuse

It is critical to know that nursing home abuse is a term that can refer to many different types of harm — not just physical abuse. Indeed, there are many kinds of elder abuse and neglect that can occur at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Southern California. In some cases, a staff member at a nursing home might not even intend to cause harm but may be so busy or overwhelmed that they cannot fully perform the requirements of their job, which results in a nursing home resident suffering an injury. In other cases, various forms of intentional abuse, including physical abuse, psychological abuse, and willful deprivation, may result in harm to a person’s dignity.

Many people assume that the term nursing home abuse in Los Angeles County refers to situations in which staff members intentionally inflict physical harm upon residents through unnecessary physical restraints, burning, kicking, hitting, slapping, and other forms of physical violence. However, it is essential to know that there are many different forms of nursing home abuse, and the signs or symptoms of certain types of neglect may cause significant damage to a senior’s mental health. What should you know about the various forms of nursing home abuse that can occur and how they can impact an older adult’s mental health?

Physical Abuse Can Affect Mental Health

Physical abuse does not just cause physical harm — it can affect a nursing home resident’s mental health and well-being, as well. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, forms of physical abuse can result in depression and other mental health consequences.

It can be difficult to know what to do when you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a nursing home in Los Angeles County or elsewhere in Southern California. Whether you are visiting a family member in a nursing home or you have other reasons for suspecting abuse or neglect after talking to a loved one or speaking with a healthcare provider, it is important to know what steps you should take. Consider the following tips from our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers.

Do Not Second Guess Your Instincts

If you have concerns about a senior’s health or well-being in a nursing home, and especially if you have concerns about elder abuse or neglect at a facility, it is critical that you trust yourself and that you do not second-guess your instincts. Many family members feel uncertain about reporting abuse or taking action when they have concerns about an elderly resident. Indeed, some people feel concerned about erroneously making a report about abuse or neglect concerns or moving forward with a complaint against a facility. You should trust yourself, and you should remember that the most important thing is ensuring that a senior you love is not being harmed because of abuse or neglect. As such, making a report or filing a complaint may often be necessary.

When nursing homes in San Bernardino County fail to provide adequate care to residents who are confined to their beds or have trouble with mobility, those residents can develop bed sores. While early stage bed sores can usually be treated effectively, bed sores that worsen can result in debilitating and life-threatening harm. In fact, in some cases, bed sores can result in fatal infections. What causes bed sores in Southern California nursing homes, and what should you do if you have an elderly loved one who developed bed sores under a nursing home’s watch? Our San Bernardino nursing home abuse lawyers can assist you.

Learning About the Causes of Bed Sores in Nursing Homes

What usually causes bed sores in nursing homes in San Bernardino County? According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores result from “pressure against the skin that limits blood flow to the skin.” There are major contributing factors that often involve nursing home negligence, as well as risk factors for certain residents. The Mayo Clinic identifies the following as the three major contributing factors to bed sore injuries:

Nobody should ever have to fear that an elderly parent or relative is being subjected to physical or emotional abuse in a nursing home, or that a loved one is experiencing pain and suffering because of neglect in a skilled nursing facility. Given that nursing homes want to make money and want to keep patients at their facilities, it can often be difficult to get a straight answer from a facility when you have concerns about abuse or neglect. If you are concerned about abuse in your parent’s nursing home, what should you do?

Understand the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in its Varied Forms

First, be sure you know some of the common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, recognizing the nursing home negligence can take many different forms. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) cites some of the following as common indicators of abuse or neglect:

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