Bakersfield Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
Elder abuse and neglect happens all over the country, especially in Kern County. The Bisnar Chase Bakersfield Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers are here to help you set things right and get you the compensation you or your relative deserve.
Victims and their families deserve justice for the injuries and damages suffered as a result of such negligence and wrongdoing.
If your elderly loved one has experienced elder abuse or neglect, the law offices of Bisnar Chase will earn the recovery for the losses that your loved one has faced. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have gained over $500 Million in case results for injury victims or families who have experienced a wrongful death.
Contact the law firm of Bisnar Chase at 949-203-3814 for a Free Consultation.
Bakersfield Nursing Home Statistics & Facts
Operation Guardians, a multi-agency task force performed surprise inspections in several California nursing homes, which involved looking for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. What the task force found in a Bakersfield Healthcare Center nursing home, was several nursing home violations. Violations exposed the facility of not providing adequate care to all of its residents.
Victims are afraid to speak out about the abuse they are experiencing because perpetrators most of the time are not held accountable for the harm they have caused the elderly. The fear of voicing abuse has also led to experts to lack evidence of the violence against elderly people in nursing homes.
The statistics and facts that have been obtained though have reported that over two million people have suffered severe injuries from abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Reports have also concluded that the accumulated cost for medical bills stemming from elder abuse is $5.3 billion dollars.
Medical Concerns in Bakersfield Nursing Homes
Elder care facilities are for many, a place to provide round-the-clock care for a loved one. For Bakersfield nursing home residents that live the remainder of their lives needing 24-hour supervision for their health rely deeply on the nursing home staff for help. The types of aid that a nursing home resident would need can involve using the restroom, eating or help with any physical activity.
Nursing homes that do not provide proper care for their clients can come against numerous problems.
One problem that can arise if a nursing home does not maintain elder care or upkeep on their facility can be an array of infections.
Millions of elderly community facilities have contracted infections because of the lack of maintenance a nursing home has acquired. Infections usually stem from an elderly patient being released recently from a hospital. The infection grows and spreads towards other residents if the client is not monitored or given the necessary antibiotics by staff members. Common infections that spread can be the outcome of soft tissue infections, urinary tract infections or respiratory infections.
Deficient Care in Nursing Homes
The task force's report cited numerous examples of deficient care. The medical doctor who performed the inspection as part of the task force said:
"The chaos in facility operation was apparent."
She suggested that one of the reasons why the facility was in chaos was because of the excessive turnover of administrative personnel. At the end of the report, she recommended that immediate steps be taken to fix the multitude of care problems at the facility.
Examples of deficient care found by the professionals who inspected the facility include:
- Licensed nurses at the Bakersfield facility failed to comply with basic job requirements and physicians' orders..
- Many patients were transferred to acute care hospitals without valid reasons.
- The nursing staff did not follow care plans.
- There were not enough nurses on staff to meet the needs of the residents.
- Much of the care was provided by licensed vocational nurses who were not being properly supervised by registered nurses. Licensed vocational nurses can only gather data. They are not allowed to perform resident assessments.
- At least one of the residents was suffering from dehydration.
- Another patient was suffered from a pressure ulcer that was avoidable.
- There was not an adequate pain management plan in place for a patient who was clearly suffering. Additionally, she was allegedly receiving hospice care, but there were no hospice notes found in her records.
- The notes given by the regularly visiting physicians were illegible or "devoid of meaningful content."
- One patient had a blank Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) directive form signed by a doctor. The medical director of the facility was the physician who signed the blank form.
More on Bakersfield Nursing Home Facilities
There were many other serious issues at Bakersfield Healthcare Center.
For example, the surprise inspection team found the following concerns with one of the patients who had the head of his bed laid flat while receiving gastronomy tube feedings that require a bed elevation of 30 to 40 degrees. The raised elevation can help prevent aspiration.
Additionally, the patient had a gown saturated with urine. The resident's heels had pressure ulcers akin to a deep tissue injury that could have been prevented by placing a pillow under the patient’s calves. Additionally, his care plan was not specific to his needs. He was not receiving range of motion exercises, nor was he given dental services.
Also, the nursing summary makes a mention of the patient speaking when the resident is physically unable to speak.
Health and Safety Issues With Nursing Homes
Debris from the ceiling in the lobby was apparently falling onto draped fabric. The exit doors were also blocked by equipment.
Wheelchairs blocked hallway rooms. There was an exposed area around the exhaust fan that could allow rodents to enter the building. Hand sanitizer dispensers were either broken or empty.
Some rooms had debris on the floor and the shower rooms were unsanitary.
In summation, the overall condition of the building was described as "deplorable."
Protecting Loved Ones Against Elder Abuse
If you believe that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse you must report the incident immediately. Your father, mother or grandparent depend on the senior care staff to take care of them. Any action that causes physical or psychological abuse should not be tolerated. There are ways in which you can make sure your loved one is receiving not only the best care but also is remains safe in a nursing home.
3 ways you can protect your loved one from nursing home neglect or abuse:
Establish a close relationship with your loved one: If your elderly relative feels like they can trust you, there is an increased possibility that they are willing to tell you any information regarding mistreatment at the facility. Visit them often and make sure to also call daily to observe their behavior and see how they are doing.
Secure any personal or financial information: Never call and communicate any personal information such as addresses or phone numbers over the phone to your loved one. It is also extremely important that you do not exchange any financial information over the phone such as account numbers. You never know who is listening and information that is freely stated can be robbed. Hiring an accountant and financial advisor is primarily to ensure that their assets are in order.
Compile a team of people to protect your loved one: Your loved one not only needs emotional support from physical or mental abuse, but they also should have legal support just in case any disturbing experiences emerge. The Bakersfield Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers of Bisnar Chase can earn you the finances your loved one needs so they may recover from their injuries. Our attorneys guarantee that if there is no win there is no fee. Connect with us today at 949-203-3814.
Choosing an Elderly Home for Your Loved One
At times your loved one may not be able to communicate what they need or require from the nursing home staff. As a relative, you need to be an advocate for your loved one. Finding the best senior living facility that caters to your elderly loved one's needs is significant. There are several key elements that you should look for when you and your relative are shopping for nursing homes.
- Taste and Food: Testing out the food in the nursing home cafeteria will give you insight on what food will be served to your loved one. It also important not to only take taste and flavor into account but nutritional value as well. It is important that your relative maintains a healthy diet at their facility.
- Sound: A living facility where seniors are heard, is key. When you walk into the facility are there elders moaning in pain and asking constantly for help? It is also essential that you listen to the way the staff communicates to the senior residents. The nursing home staff should ask how the senior client would like to be addressed instead of calling them by an inappropriate or informal term such as "grandpa" or "grandma".
- Smell: A nursing home that exudes the odor of urine and feces is not a well-maintained nursing home. When a resident soils themselves, the staff should immediately clean the resident but also double check to confirm the area is sanitary and smells clean. Former nursing home administrator, Maryglenn Boals, gave insight that if cleaning is not done often by the staff it can cause permanent damage to the facility. "Urine can penetrate into floor wax, and if someone is having a lot of accidents on the floor a room can get a very intensive smell if they’re not stripping and rewaxing the floors regularly," shared Boals.
- Overworked Staff: Nursing home staff that appears to be exhausted or stressed means that there are not enough workers to care for the residents. The best avenue to take when collecting information on the workload and amount of nursing staff working is to just ask a staff member on site. An overworked staff can indicate that not every senior client is being attended to and most likely being the elderly residents are being neglected.
- Activity: How the senior residents spend their days is vital so they do not fall ill to conditions such as bedsores and so they will not fall into a deep depression. A nursing home that holds a high standard of living has a calendar full of activities for clients. When residents are seen walking around this is a good sign that they are not bed bound or stuck in their room.
Additional Elder Abuse Resources
California nursing homes are required to abide by California Law, Title 22 which states the specifications that senior living centers need to abide by. Some of the standards include providing a safe space for seniors, proper medical attention and supervision for senior residents.
If numerous problems present themselves and violate many of the requirements stated by California Law, Title 22, take legal action. There are resources that are available that will help you and your loved one gain justice for the wrongdoings of the nursing home facility.
Helpful senior living resources that are accessible include:
Brian Chase speaks about how you can help your loved one.
Holding Wrongdoers Accountable
If you believe that your loved one has suffered emotionally, physically or financially as a result of elder abuse or nursing home neglect, please contact the Bakersfield Nursing home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers. Our attorneys have over forty years of experience winning compensation for victims of senior living abuse.
Nursing home abuse and neglect happens to millions of senior citizens in the United States. You can put a stop to the abuse that your loved one is experiencing though.
Call 949-203-3814 today for a Free Comprehensive Case Evaluation.