Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you need a skilled Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyer, Our Elder Neglect Attorneys are not only skilled but we are passionate when it comes to fighting for the rights of nursing home residents. We work with attorneys in our network that specialize in nursing home abuse cases and have the resources to fight for you. We've recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Please call 323-238-4683 for a free confidential consultation.
The elderly are among the most vulnerable sections of our population. To take undue advantage of an elderly or disabled individual is an egregious violation and must be punished. Nursing homes that foster a hostile, unhealthy environment in their facilities in order to boost their profits must be made to pay for their wrongdoing. Nursing home abuse and neglect, in our book, are inexcusable acts.
Often referred to as medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and abuse is a sad reality in our communities today. Los Angeles nursing homes are no exception. Even the best-looking nursing homes in Los Angeles may have incidents of abuse and neglect. Elder abuse in long-term facilities is grossly underreported. The California Department of Public Health, which monitors nursing homes, is terribly short-staffed and hardly diligent about keeping an eye on these facilities.
Under staffing in Los Angeles nursing homes is a serious issue, which creates an environment that is ripe for neglect and abuse. If your loved one is being neglected or abused at a Los Angeles nursing home, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics in Los Angeles
Here are a few eye-opening statistics relating to nursing home abuse and neglect, compiled by the American Association for Justice (AAJ):
- 1.4 million people are currently living in U.S. nursing homes.
- There were 20,673 complaints of abuse, gross neglect and exploitation on behalf of nursing home residents in 2003. That number has only been increasing over the last decade with more and more of our elderly residents getting admitted into nursing homes.
- One in 14 incidents of elder abuse is actually reported to the authorities.
- 90 percent of U.S. nursing homes have staffing levels that are too low to provide adequate care.
- The nursing home industry received $75 billion in state and federal funding in 2006.
- Nursing home residents and their families contributed $34 billion to the nursing home industry in 2001.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Often Seen in LA
There are several types of abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes throughout California and it is important for family members to be able to identify them and recognize the red flags.
Neglect: This is the most common form of nursing home abuse. Nursing home neglect is when a caregiver does not follow the standard of reasonable care. Neglect may include failing to provide residents with food, water, hygiene, medication, security and supervision. Symptoms of neglect may include malnourishment, dehydration, unkempt appearance and smell of urine or feces in the resident's room.
Physical abuse: When caregivers use excessive force that causes bodily injury to a resident, it is physical abuse. Examples of physical abuse include pushing, shoving or hitting, burning, kicking, using physical restraints, depriving residents of food or drinks and forcing residents to eat or drink.
Sexual abuse: Nursing home sexual abuse occurs when a visitor, employee or resident of the facility engages in non-consensual sexual act with the victim. There are cases in nursing homes where individuals with dementia and other debilitating conditions become victims of sexual abuse. Any incidents of sexual assault or abuse should be reported to local law enforcement authorities right away.
Emotional abuse: Although we don't talk much about emotional abuse, it can still cause significant harm and affect the health and well-being of elderly residents. Common examples of emotional abuse may include verbal abuse, bullying, intimidation, harassment, isolation and silent treatment.
What Can You Do to Prevent Neglect and Abuse?
There are simple steps that family members can take to ensure that their loved ones receive quality care in Los Angeles nursing homes.
- Make your visits count. Visit at different times and shifts or on different days of the week. The unpredictability of your visits can keep the facility on its toes. Also, visiting at different times of day and the week is important for you to get a complete picture of the patterns of care in the facility. It will also help you assess the performance and attitude of caregivers at different shifts.
- Build relationships with the staff. Get to know key staff members on a first-name basis. When you develop a rapport with the staff and administrators, it becomes much easier for you to communicate and interact with them. When they know you well, any questions you ask or concerns you may raise will not be viewed as complaints or intrusions. Be generous with your praise when it is warranted.
- Participate in care plan meetings. Your loved one's care plan is critical to his her physical and psychological well-being. Be there when your loved one's care plan is being reviewed or updated to ensure that the patient's needs are being met.
- Monitor the care of your loved one. Make sure that the facility is carrying out your loved one's care plan. You can do so by keeping notes, checking records, getting copies of violations or complaints and making a physical inspection of your loved one.
- Look actively for signs of abuse and neglect. If you find any, report them to the administrator. If the administrator fails to take action, report your complaint to a state ombudsman and contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to help protect your loved one's rights.
We all have a legal duty to report nursing home abuse or senior neglect. The state of California's Department of Justice has outlined factors in many elder abuse and neglect cases including the all too common problem of nursing homes allowing its residents to suffer bedsores and dehydration.
Video: Your legal duty to report elder abuse and dependent adult abuse.
Hiring A Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been neglected or abused in a Los Angeles nursing home or think you may even have a wrongful death case, please contact our Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyers at 323-238-4683 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.