Riverside Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Elderly neglect in nursing homes is a serious matter that shouldn't be taken lightly. When we put our elderly loved one in a nursing home, we except their staff to care of our family with the utmost love and patience. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes act or feel this way and because of this, many cases of elder abuse go unreported each year.
Contact the Riverside personal injury lawyers of Bisnar Chase now at 951-530-3711 for a FREE consultation concerning your case.
What is Elder Abuse?
Attorney Brian Chase defines what constitutes as elder abuse and why it's on the rise.
Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable older adult.
There are thousands of seniors who are neglected, abused and exploited each year. These victims are often frail, medicated and/or incapable of caring for or protecting themselves. Examples of nursing home abuse that can occur at any Riverside care facility include:
- Physical abuse: It is illegal to inflict injury or pain on an elderly patient. These types of cases may involve the slapping, pushing, hitting, restraining or kicking of seniors.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse cases include all forms of unwanted sexual contact. It is important that nursing homes run backgrounds checks on their potential employees to ensure residents' safety.
- Emotional abuse: It can be just as harmful to inflict emotional pain as physical pain. Emotional abuse may involve intimidation, threats and humiliation.
- Neglect: This refers to the failure to provide adequate care such as failing to provide food, water, shelter, protection, medications and a clean and safe environment.
- Exploitation: Financial abuse involves incidents such as stealing, credit card fraud, check fraud or illegally taking money from the victim's bank account. Altering financial documents such as wills is also a form of abuse.
Nursing Home Care in California
In a 2013 study by Families for Better Care, each state was given a grade for the level of care provided at their nursing homes. In that study, California received a "C" rating. There are a number of reasons why California received such an average grade.
For example, California ranked 36th in the country for the amount of time residents receive attention from care providers. California nursing home residents only receive about 43 minutes per day with professional nursing home staff. Furthermore, about nine out of 10 facilities statewide were cited for a deficiency. Only 10 percent, however, were cited for a severe deficiency.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
Brian Chase explains the warning signs of elder abuse.
There are many potential warning signs of abuse in nursing homes. If your loved one has bruises, pressure marks, abrasions or bone fractures that are not listed on his or her medical records, it could be a telltale sign of abuse. Other common warning signs include:
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities
- Change in alertness
- Bedsores, poor hygiene and weight loss
- Strained relationships and frequent arguments
- Strained relationships and frequent arguments
- Unhygienic conditions
- Sudden changes in finances or missing property
It is always advisable to look for signs of abuse when you visit your loved one. Attempt to visit during different times of the day so that you can meet the morning, afternoon and night shift workers. Ask about the health of your loved one and try to take an active role in their care.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
All suspected cases of physical or sexual abuse must be reported to law enforcement authorities. This is the duty of all nursing home staff and failure to do so is not only illegal, but is also negligence.
Call 911 or the local police if there is immediate danger. After you have reported your concerns, an investigation should take place. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are a number of organizations that may prove useful:
- Adult Protective Services can help you determine if wrongdoing has occurred.
- Local police may conduct an investigation if physical injuries have been suffered.
- A long-term care ombudsman can help you resolve your complaints with the nursing home.
- A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you pursue financial compensation from the party or parties responsible for the abuse.
If you choose to report an issue or file a lawsuit, you may be able to receive support for your loved one's losses. Your actions may also help prevent future incidents by exposing neglect and wrongdoing.
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Loved One
It is unacceptable for nursing homes to take advantage of one of the most vulnerable sections of our society. Families entrust their loved ones to the care of these facilities and it is simply wrong for nursing homes to violate that trust.
At Bisnar Chase we believe that negligent nursing homes should be held accountable. We have more than three decades of experience protecting the rights of injured victims and their families in Riverside and the Inland Empire.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse at a elderly care facility, please call our Riverside elder abuse attorneys at 951-530-3711 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.