Fountain Valley Nursing Home Attorneys
Nursing home abuse, neglect and exploitation is a tragic reality in Fountain Valley and throughout Orange County.
If you worry that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, please call us at 949-203-3814 and talk to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.
There are many forms of wrongdoing that can occur at a nursing home and all of them are unacceptable.
Elder Abuse Statistics
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that it is impossible to know precisely how many elder Americans are mistreated in nursing homes. There is no comprehensive way to review the actual number of injured and exploited elderly, and a large number of cases go unreported. Many elderly victims don't speak up for themselves. Some do not have the ability or opportunity to report wrongdoing. The NCEA reports that there are five cases of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect for every one reported issue.
The NCEA does, however, provide some general statistics that are worth noting:
Between one and two million people age 65 or older have been exploited, injured or have been otherwise mistreated by a care provider. Studies have shown that anywhere between 2 and 10 percent of elderly patients suffer from some form of mistreatment. Estimates suggest that there are approximately 5 million elderly victims of financial abuse each year. Approximately one in 14 incidents of elder abuse come to the attention of the authorities.
Types of Abuse and their Warning Signs
There are several types of abuse and neglect that could occur in a nursing home. Here are a few examples:
- Physical abuse: This is when a patient is physically mistreated, harmed and injured. The victim may have pressure marks, abrasions, broken bones or burns. Unexplained bruises and injuries may be warning signs that abuse and a possible cover-up may be taking place.
- Sexual abuse: This is when a caregiver or fellow resident takes advantage of the victim sexually. Bruises around the breasts or genital area may occur from sexual abuse. Sexually transmitted diseases may also be indicative of sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse: This is when a resident is continually put-down, insulted or threatened. This form of abuse may not leave a physical mark, but it can be extremely traumatic for the victim. Elderly victims of emotional abuse may become withdrawn, depressed or angry.
- Neglect: This is when a facility fails to provide adequate care. Victims of neglect may be unkempt, malnourished or dehydrated. Some facilities even overmedicate their residents to keep them sedated. Other victims of neglect may have painful and potentially fatal bedsores.
- Financial exploitation: This is when an elderly patient is taken advantage of for financial gain. Items may be stolen from their room. Checks and credit cards may go missing. Their wills and other legal documents may be altered without the family's approval. These are just a few examples of financially abusive situations that may occur.
Protecting Your Loved One
There are a number of steps you can take if you worry that your loved one has been hurt.
In California, you are legally obligated to report your concerns regarding elder abuse. If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, relay your concerns to the local adult protective services, the police or a long-term care ombudsman.
You can also call an Eldercare locator who can help you locate a local agency in or near Fountain Valley.
The experienced nursing home lawyers at Bisnar|Chase have helped numerous victims and their families hold unethical nursing homes accountable. Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide quality care to their residents. Abusing or neglecting vulnerable, frail individuals who are unable to care for themselves, is simply unacceptable.
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