Nursing Home Lawyers Newport Beach
If you are a Newport Beach resident you know that many Newport Beach residents of all ages enjoy a lot of activities. With the beautiful weather nearly year round, close proximity to the beach, nearby parks and canyons, bike trails, restaurants and of course the pier, people here tend to stay relatively healthy.
However, there may come a time when we have to make decisions for our loved ones that we might not like. Watching our grandparents and parents 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, vitamins--anything we can find--in 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.
Choosing the Right Nursing Home for your Loved Ones
Choosing which nursing home will care for your loved one can be a traumatizing decision. 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.
Once you choose a nursing home for a family member, you expect that facility to provide quality care to your loved one. Unfortunately, there are cases every year involving facilities that not only neglect their patients but also allow physical and emotional abuse. Families worried that their loved one is being mistreated, abused or neglected in a nursing home would be well advised to take the necessary steps to protect their loved one and to hold the facility accountable for their actions.
Types of Elder Abuse
There are a number of ways in which a facility may abuse or neglect their residents. A few common examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: Violent acts against the elderly are unacceptable and need to be reported immediately. Signs of physical abuse include bleeding, bruises, changes in personality, nervousness and broken bones.
- Financial abuse: Some staff members may attempt to con or steal from residents. This may involve stealing checks or jewelry, convincing a resident to modify a will or deed or charging false fees.
- Neglect: Care facilities have a legal responsibility to keep their patients clean and well fed. Victims of neglect may be malnourished, dehydrated or in some cases, be unnecessarily medicated or sedated.
- False imprisonment: This is when a care facility locks a resident in his or her room or a wing of the facility.
- Sexual abuse: Care facilities must perform proper background checks to ensure that their employees do not have a criminal record. Allowing convicted sex offenders to reside in the facility or hiring employees without proper background checks can put residents in harm's way.
Elder Abuse Statistics
Elder abuse in nursing care facilities may be more prevalent than the numbers show. Many incidents go unreported. In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has stated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, about five more go unreported. According to The National Research Council Panel, between one and two million Americans 65 or older have been exploited, injured or otherwise mistreated by someone they depend on for care.
When you Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
First, you will need to verify your suspicions.
- Are there signs of abuse or neglect?
- What is your loved one telling you regarding their treatment at the facility?
- Are other residents complaining about similar issues?
Gather medical records and take photos of recent injuries. If after conducting a little research you are still worried about the care of your loved one, you should consider moving him or her to another facility. It is at this time that you must contact the authorities. California law requires families to report incidents of abuse and neglect. You may then file a complaint to adult protective services, elder protective services or California's Department of Social Services.
Damages in a Nursing Home Case
Nursing homes that foster abuse and neglect may be held financially liable for their actions in addition to facing citations or criminal charges. Victims and/or their families can pursue compensation for financial losses such as medical bills and non-financial losses including physical pain, mental anguish and punitive damages against the care facility to penalize the wrongdoers and deter such behavior in the future.
The knowledgeable Newport Beach nursing home lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have a long and successful track record of obtaining fair compensation for victims of abuse and neglect. If a nursing home resident has died while under the care of a facility due to neglect or abuse, the family of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.
Please contact us so we can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Call 949-203-3814 for a No-Hassle, No-Obligation
Free Case Consultation.