California Nursing Home Abuse
Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which residents of California nursing homes experience an elevated risk of a number of ailments. These issues can occur because of a lack of appropriate care, neglect, or they can simply result from the declining physical state that accompanies old age and created a need for long-term care in the first place. What follows is a listing of the most common ailments and nursing home neglect issues associated with California nursing home care.
The most frequent and potentially severe cause of injury in the elderly, especially in California Nursing Homes is a fall that results in a bone fracture. It is interesting to note that while many hip injuries occur from falls, in the female population it is far more likely that the hip actually breaks first, resulting in a fall. This can be the result of osteoporosis or malnutrition. Making sure that the elderly resident is observed regularly will prevent the fall from turning into something more serious. In a facility without proper observation, it is possible that a resident could lie on the floor for hours, exacerbating any additional trauma that he or she may have experienced due to the fall.
Bed-Related Strangulation and Suffocation
As older people find themselves in bed for longer periods at California nursing homes, the chances of an injury increase. Compounded by other issues such as malnutrition and dementia, the possibility that a resident will become trapped between hospital bed rails is increased. According to the federal government, 20 to 30 deaths occur in nursing homes each year because of strangulation or suffocation associated with bed rails or falling between a poorly sized mattress and the bed frame.
In addition to the mechanical injuries associated with the bed and frame, a patient who spends extended periods of time in bed may also be subject to bedsores. Also known as pressure ulcers, a bedsore can range in severity from very mild to lethal. In its most mild form, a bedsore is a red irritation that is quickly relieved. In its most severe form, it can result in a wound that penetrates the skin and muscle and can, in extreme instances, introduce infection into the bone. This latter scenario is attributable to a lack of appropriate care and sure indicator of neglect. Bedsores have been the source of many fines and citations by the federal and state regulatory agencies (due to individuals who filed a complaint). A bedsore results from pressure that is unrelieved and persists for hours and even days, which means that appropriate attention is not being given to the resident. Nursing home neglect and abuse is all to common, and nursing homes should be held accountable for their lack of action concerning a patient's health.
A result of poor care or of dementia that prevents the individual from responding to normal bodily needs, dehydration can be lethal. It can be avoided by maintaining a rigid schedule and assuring that staff regularly addresses the dietary and hydration needs of the resident.
In a nursing home facility without appropriate, individualized nutritional plans for its residents, malnutrition is a real danger. Improper nutrition can result in the kind of weakness or fragility of bones that results in falls and fractures, as well as creating a compromised immune system that might not be able to cope with the infection caused by bedsores or other trauma. Every patient should be evaluated regularly to make sure that all of his or her nutritional needs are being met.
Just because your loved one is showing signs of nursing home neglect, doesn't mean that he/she is just suffering from neglect. The signs for nursing home abuse are similar to neglect. Often times the line where nursing home neglect meets nursing home abuse is hard to distinguish. It is always best to contact a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer who can discuss your situation with you and your options going forward.
Elder Abuse in California Nursing Homes
Watching our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles grow older has its own set of stresses. As those we love fall victim to the ailments of aging, we worry about our lives without them, all the while learning to provide care for them. We look to medicines, doctors, diets, vitaminsanything we can findin hopes of keeping them healthy and happy and able to live as independently as they wish to. When finally the complications get too great, we turn to an assisted living, nursing home, or other long-term care facility to continue the thoughtful and conscientious care we are no longer able to provide.
Many of these facilities provide excellent care, however, far too many do not. Often understaffed with underpaid and poorly trained employees, many nursing homes push the bottom line so far that they endanger the lives of their patients.
Neglected, abused, and threatened, nursing home residents may suffer physically and emotionally. Painful bedsores, broken bones, or even premature death can result from neglectful and outright abusive treatment. This is why it is imperative for victims of nursing home abuse to contact a skilled, experienced nursing home abuse attorney. They will be able to help determine whether or not you have a case, and if you do, can detail the next steps in the process.
All nursing homes and long-term care facilities that receive federal funds must comply with certain federal regulations and laws. These regulations and laws set out in detail the type and quality of care that residents in these facilities must receive. Are your family members receiving the appropriate standard of care?
This year, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day, 1 in 4 of whom is at risk of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, many do not know the risks they face or the tools at their disposal. Many of the institutions that provide long-term care for the elderly are owned by for-profit corporations. In an effort to maximize profits, many institutions have cut back on staff or hired less qualified workers for lower salaries in an attempt to decrease costs. As a result residents can not receive the best care that they should be receiving. Some incidents can lead to medical errors, neglect, abuse, the results of which can even be premature death.
Too often, elderly or disabled residents of long-term care facilities are not getting the attention they require and sometimes have to compete with dozens of other residents for the attention of too few staff. As a result, all too often residents who require assistance in activities of daily living (ADL) such as feeding, bathing, toileting, walking, etc., are not receiving adequate care. Such neglect can lead to disastrous consequences such as debilitating falls, the development of painful and immobilizing decubitus ulcers, malnutrition and sometimes death.
If you suspect that a loved one (or yourself for that matter) is suffering at the hands of abusive or neglectful elder care people or facilities, contact us at once at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP at 800.561.4887 or BestAttorney.com
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