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Articles Tagged with San Diego elder abuse lawyers

obed-hernandez-592136-unsplash-copy-212x300Whether you have an elderly loved one at a nursing home or assisted-living facility in San Bernardino County or elsewhere in California, you may have had concerns about elder abuse risks. It can be difficult for older adults and their family members to know whether a nursing home or assisted-living facility is more likely than another to engage in nursing home abuse or neglect, especially when the facility has no history of abuse or safety violations. What may be a deciding factor, according to a recent article in The New York Times, is the resident-to-staff ratio, or the patient-to-staff ratio at the facility. 

Class Action Lawsuit Raises Issues About Understaffing

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities with poor staffing ratios may have higher rates of neglect. Indeed, as that article explains, a class action lawsuit in California against a chain of assisted-living facilities contends that, “when staff members [at these facilities] conduct periodic assessments—to determine whether a resident needs help bathing or dressing, for example, or suffers from dementia—the facilities don’t use the results to determine an adequate number of staff members.” Rather, the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit contend, staffing decisions are based on the nursing home’s economic well-being. Accordingly, facilities like those named in the class action are routinely understaffed.

How, exactly, do elder abuse investigations work? After national news that Harper Lee, the famous author of To Kill A Mockingbird, might have been the victim of elder abuse, an article in Slate provided an in-depth look into investigations concerning reports of elder abuse and neglect. While each state has its own methods for looking into reports of nursing home abuse and other violations, it’s important for Californians with elderly parents and loved ones to understand the basics of an elder abuse inquiry.

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The Allegedly “Murky Field” of Elder Abuse and Competence

What does elder abuse look like, and how can we be certain when we see it? According to Rosalie Kane, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota, “the concept of elder abuse is a murky field.” Kane explained that “sometimes there’s too much branding of older people as incompetent,” and that can complicate conceptions of elder abuse. In other words, Kane believes that investigations into elder abuse allegations often aren’t taken seriously because of suspicions about the victim’s mental capacity.

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