During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been difficult and often impossible for family members to visit with elderly loved ones at Orange County nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. As more seniors in these facilities are vaccinated, and family members are vaccinated, too, visits are becoming possible again. For anyone who is visiting with an elderly loved one in a skilled nursing facility in Southern California, it is critical to know that the pandemic, while it has indeed drawn attention to problematic issues surrounding infection-control measures, has not lessened the effects of other forms of nursing home abuse and neglect. As such, it will be essential to remain vigilant when you visit the facility.
If you do suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in an Orange County facility, you should know the steps to take.
Make Sure You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Since there are so many different types of nursing home abuse and neglect, it can be difficult to know for certain if you are seeing signs or symptoms in a skilled nursing facility. In general, however, any of the following should be cause for concern:
- Unexplained physical injuries, such as bruises, cuts, abrasions, fractures, burns, or restraint marks;
- Signs of sexual trauma, such as torn clothing or underwear, blood on these items of clothing, or unexplained sexually transmitted infections;
- Indications of psychological or emotional abuse, such as unexplained withdrawal from or interest in hobbies or activities, agitation, or depression; or
- Passive neglect indications, such as bed sores, untreated infections, malnutrition, unexplained weight loss, or a generally unkempt appearance.
Put the Senior’s Health and Safety First
Given that the pandemic can result in some of the signs commonly associated with psychological or emotional abuse, you might be unsure about whether to report your concerns. Even if the signs you are seeing turn out to be unrelated to abuse or neglect, it is always better to take action in the event that it could put an end to abuse and allow a senior to get appropriate treatment. To be sure, you should always put the senior’s health and safety first, even if it means you make a report for a situation that was not actually cause for alarm.
You should know the options available for putting an elderly loved one’s health and safety first, which may include one or more of the following:
- Contact Adult Protective Services in California to make a report, either online or by phoning at 1-833-401-0832 (you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week);
- Contact law enforcement if your concerns are particularly urgent and the senior’s health or safety appears to be at immediate risk;
- Contact your elderly loved one’s healthcare provider outside the nursing home or assisted-living facility; and/or
- Contact an experienced Orange County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who can help.
Contact Our Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys About Your Concerns
If you have questions or concerns about nursing home abuse in Orange County or elsewhere in Southern California, our Orange County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can speak with you today. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can help you and your elderly loved ones.
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