Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
While most Anaheim nursing homes are safe, clean and reputable, there are homes that fail to prevent abusive and neglectful situations. Families who discover that their loved ones are being treated wrongfully do not know who to turn to.
That's when you need to contact your Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys.
Our Anaheim injury attorneys will discuss your legal rights during your free consultation. The lawyers of Bisnar Chase have had a 96% success rate and have had up to $650 million dollars worth of wins for our clients.
If you are currently worried that a loved one is being neglected, mistreated or abused in a nursing home call us now at 949-203-3814.
Physical Elder Abuse
Physical abuse against the elderly may involve violence or unnecessary restraints. Reputed facilities do not use wrist or ankle restraints and they are always careful when moving and helping their elderly residents. If this is not the case with the nursing home that is caring for your loved one, this should be a major warning sign and you should act accordingly. Victims affected by elder abuse may have:
- Broken bones
- Changes in personality (Anxiety, nervousness, feeling "on-edge")
- Overall poor hygiene
Attorney Brian Chase explains what you should do if you suspect elder abuse
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
If you witness an elderly person with poor hygiene or malnourished, it's more than likely they are not being properly cared for and quite possibly abused.
One of the most common forms of nursing home abuse is neglect.
Facilities that are understaffed are particularly prone to neglecting their residents. Victims of neglect may be malnourished, dehydrated or lacking in personal hygiene.
Neglecting someone who needs care can result in devastating illnesses, injuries and even death.
The cause of the neglect correlates with the stress level of the caretaker. The caretaker, if a family member or close friend, usually experiences the stress due to lack of support.
As a result of being solely responsible for the elderly person, the caretaker easily feels isolated, helpless and does not know how to properly cope. When taking care of an elderly person good self-care is necessary.
The National Center of Caregiving recommends self-care actions such as asking for help, setting boundaries and most importantly utilizing stress techniques.
Sexual Abuse Against the Elderly
It is the unfortunate truth that these incidents happen and occur more often than we would like to think. The National Institute of Justice reported that the older the individual the less likely the crime is accounted for.
The abuser is also closer than you think. A majority of the abusers are nursing home staff, friends and even family members. An estimated 67% of sexual abusers of the elderly were reported to be family members in 1998.
If an elderly person displays signs of sexual abuse such as anal/genital bleeding, trouble walking or pelvic injuries it is advised to report these conditions immediately.
Sexual abuse is a serious crime and must be promptly reported to law enforcement authorities.
It is the responsibility of all nursing homes to properly supervise their employees and to screen applicants for mental health issues and sex crime convictions.
Emotional Abuse of the Elderly
Over 2.5 million elderly persons are victims are abuse. Of that amount 67 percent of abused individuals are elderly women.
Emotional abuse can be as damaging, if not more, as physical abuse.
In some cases, victims of emotional abuse may become shy or withdrawn in the presence of the staff members who emotionally abuse them and others may experience a complete change in personality.
There are specific behaviors that could signal that an elderly person is being emotionally abused.
- Withdrawn or isolated from social groups
- Abnormal mood swings
- Fearful or jumpy
Elderly Persons Experiencing Financial Abuse
Financial elderly abuse takes on many forms whether it be taking cash
without consent or even forging a signature. Family members such as sons,
daughters or grandchildren can take advantage of an elderly loved one when
they are vulnerable.
Elder abuse is most likely to happen to elderly people who are isolated, lonely, have mental or physical disabilities or do not know the full value of their assets.
Falsification of Medical Records Among the Elderly
In many states, California being one of them, the falsification of medical records is not something that is uncommon. There has been reports upwards to 150 cases of suspected falsification of records in California.
In 2011, a woman in a convalescent home who had been re-injured obtained a string a false medical entries done by nurses who do not exist. Immediately after her death non-existent nurses and bogus medical entries had been written up to cover up the neglect she endured at that facility.
Nurses involved in these suits usually try to hide the fact that they missed medicines, were overworked or lacked enthusiasm towards caring for an elderly patient.
Nursing homes are fearful of being served with a lawsuit and chief of prosecutions for the attorney general's Bureau of Med-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, Mark Zahara says that this kind of behavior in elderly residences is all too habitual.
"The idea that they chart things before they happen or make things up way after the fact if something hits the fan – those are things that we're familiar with," said Zahara.
In California, altering medical records is a misdemeanor, but rarely do the nursing home caretakers face any consequences.
Preventing Elderly Abuse
Every year in the United States the rates of elderly persons being abused increases. With facilities that are understaffed or holding one family member the sole caretaker for the elderly can lead to numerous problems.
There are ways to lessen the chance of your elderly loved one being hurt.
The following measures can aid you with protecting your elderly loved one:
Abstain from leaving family members alone. If the elderly individual is isolated it can lead them to be withdrawn and depressed. Being in this state will heighten their chances to be neglected. Visit or connect with your elderly family member as much as possible.
Know exactly who is taking care of your loved one. Doing a background check on a care taker may seem over the top, but in the long run it can save their life. Extensively look into how much experience a prospective care taker has had and also how well they have done with past clients.
Make sure elders have an understanding of their financial standing. Elderly persons need to have someone who is trust-worthy to manage their assets. In the end though they should be the only ones to have control over their financial affairs.
Taking Care of an Elderly Individual
Taking an elderly individual to a nursing home is no easy task. From the physical to emotional separation, if not done with care and compassion, can go terribly wrong. Some elderly persons do not find it attractive or even considerable to live in a nursing home.
Most resort to staying home and depending on a family member for care. There are steps and actions a caretaker can benefit from in order to properly care for their elderly family member.
Consider hiring a specialist
Although it may be costly in the beginning, in the long run paying for
someone to take care of your elderly friend or family member will be worth
it. If you put your loved one in the care of a certified expert, your
family member can gain a friend and you can gain peace of mind.
Collaborate with the pharmacy that your loved one receives medication
Organizing and making sure that the elderly individual has the correct
amount, dosage and type of prescription is crucial. Another tip is to know
the exact side effects of a medication just in case your elderly loved one
falls ill suddenly. Consult with their primary doctor to make sure these
symptoms of a particular medication are normal.
Immerse Your Elderly Loved One in Social Events
Mental Health America conducted a study that found that 34 million people over the age of 65 suffer from depression. An elderly person who suffers from depression is more apt to experience cardiac arrest. The solution is to have them out and about instead of being isolated. Experts suggest that volunteer opportunities are the best type of social activity an elderly person can get involved in.
Important Factors When Searching For a Nursing Home
Shopping for a nursing home can be complicated and hard to navigate through. There are significant elements to keep in mind when trying to find a nursing home for your loved one.
Taste the food: Tasting the food is important because you will get a sense of what your loved one will be eating. Also it is good to pay attention to the nutritional factor of the food options provided.
The odor of the facility: It may seem small, but the smell of a nursing home does matter. The odor can determine whether or not the facility is keeping up with their cleanliness.
Interactions between the staff and the patients: Is the staff friendly? Another critical question is "are they patient?" It is a huge responsibility caring for an adult and it's crucial that your elderly loved one receive the support they need for their stay there.
Activities for adults: Sitting around all day and watching television is not the ideal way for any person to spend their time. Check if the elderly persons at the facility are being stimulated mentally and physically. Physical activity can aid with balance and stability.
This is increasingly important since slip and falls are a common injury amongst the elderly.
Safety Regulations: Are there procedures put in place in case of a fire? Do showers contain handle bars for the elderly? Is there a separate room for individuals who smoke? These are key aspects that should be kept in consideration when inquiring for senior living.
What You Should Do If You Suspect Theft from the Elderly
Individuals who prey on the elderly for profit should be held accountable for their actions.
It is morally wrong and also illegal for workers to steal or otherwise manipulate the elderly for financial gain.
Some of the telling signs of financial abuse includes mysterious charges in bank statements, bounced and missing checks, and changes in documentation's such as wills or stolen credit cards. Many financial abuse cases involve scams such as investment scams or identity theft scams.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home you should report it right away. The reporting process varies from state to state but in California it is recommended that you contact your county's Adult Protective Services department for immediate help.
How to Take Legal Action Against a Nursing Home
It is important to talk with your loved one about their living situation.
Many victims of abuse do not share what has happened to them out of embarrassment so it may be difficult to know if they are being abused or neglected. It may be in your best interest to visit your loved ones often and at different times of day so that the workers from every shift know that you are checking on them.
You should also get to know the workers and the residents living near your family member. If you do suspect that they are being neglected or abused, there are steps you can take to hold the at-fault worker or facility accountable.
We can review the circumstances of your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected.
We work with investigators, witnesses and medical professionals to determine what kind of abuse took place and who was responsible for it. Nursing homes that put profits before the people they serve must be held accountable.
For 39 years, the skilled Anaheim nursing home abuse attorneys at Bisnar Chase have fought for the compensation we think our clients so rightfully deserve.
Bisnar Chase will be there for you every step of the way.
Call us today at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation.