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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect


nursing home abuseAs we watch our family members and friends grow old, we shouldn't have to be anxious about these loved ones falling victim to nursing home abuse. With a myriad of ailments to look out for, we have enough to worry about. We look to medication, doctors, nutrition, and exercise regimes anything we can find in hopes of keeping them healthy and content and able to live as independently as they wish to. When their complications turn too severe, we turn to an assisted living or nursing home facility to give them the same care we had provided before.

While many of these facilities provide quality care, far too many do not. Often understaffed with poorly trained employees working at low wages, many nursing homes push the bottom line so much that they endanger the very lives of their elderly patients. In fact, in Orange County alone, between June 2005 and August 2006, nursing homes were cited for over 660 health violations. If not caught early and remedied, these could result in lost lives and the abuse and neglect of our senior citizens.

We must stop nursing homes like Freedom Village Healthcare Center from violating the rights and lives of the elderly placed in their care.

Freedom Village Health Care's main violations include:

  • Have a program to keep infection from spreading.
  • Store, cook, and give out food in a safe and clean way.
  • Make sure that residents who take drugs are not given too many doses or for too long;
    1. make sure that the use of drugs is carefully watched; or
    2. stop or change drugs that cause unwanted effects.
  • Provide care in a way that keeps or builds each resident's dignity and self respect.
  • Provide 3 meals daily at regular times; or
    1. serve breakfast within 14 hours after dinner; or
    2. offer a snack at bedtime each day.
  • Give professional services that follow each resident's written care plan.

This data is based off information reported by CMS as of 7/29/10.

The disturbing failure to care for necessities such as food and medication warrants a deeper look into this nursing home and the overall epidemic going on in America.

Citations are issued by the Department of Health Services (DHS) during the annual certification visit.

Citations come in several classes depending on their severity. The state average is a little less than one per facility per year, but ideally, a facility should not have any citations.

  • Class AA: The most serious violation, AA citations are issued when a resident death has occurred in such a way that it has been directly and officially attributed to the responsibility of the facility, and carry fines of $25,000 to $100,000.
  • Class A: Class A citations are issued when violations present imminent danger to patients or the substantial probability of death or serious harm, and carry fines from $2,000 to $20,000.
  • Class B: Class B citations carry fines from $100 to $1000 and are issued for violations which have a direct or immediate relationship to health, safety, or security, but do not qualify as A or AA citations.

This information should not be used as the sole measure of quality of care in a nursing home. It is important to visit potential facilities and evaluate it yourself.

To understand what comprises nursing home abuse, there are essentially two categories: intentional harm and neglect. When an elderly person is neglected, this may be through failure to provide basic food or prescriptions that he or she needs to live and maintain overall wellbeing. Unattended living situations and special accommodations needed that are forgotten are also quite common and can lead to disease and death in the elderly. Some signs of neglect and abuse include bed sores, malnutrition and weight loss, medication overdose, ulcers, gangrene, and bodily injuries such as from a "slip and fall."

Besides neglect, intentional harm is also quite common and can include sexual abuse, physical assault, and even emotional and financial abuse. These depressing crimes needs to be put to a stop and if you or your loved ones have experienced any of the above violations or others not listed here at this or another nursing home facility, you can get the help and compensation that you need. To find out immediate answers with a fast, free, no-obligation consultation, contact the nursing home abuse experts at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys and to let you know your options and answer all your questions. You shouldn't have to pay a cent for this out of your own pocket. We are here to help you.

If you feel you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please call us at: 949-203-3814.

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