All Nursing Home Residents At Risk
Pandemic Magnifies Training and Staffing Problems
Bedridden Patients Particularly at Risk
Data so far suggests that a staggering share of COVID-19 deaths in the United States are of nursing home patients. These persons are vulnerable to practically any virus of course but the pandemic is really shining a light on some systemic problems in nursing homes like poor training and understaffing that may be contributing to the tragic statistics. If you have a loved one who has suffered injury due to neglect or other forms of abuse in a nursing home, the San Francisco nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent you in recovering against those responsible. Call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
Economic motivations often lead to understaffing in nursing homes with owners keeping payroll down by requiring aides to cover more patients than is safe. Economic motivation also often dictates the poor training aides receive. In some case, nursing homes have been cited for accepting patients, such as advanced Alzheimer sufferers, that they are not even qualified to admit. Again, the motivation is economic; the more admissions the greater the revenue. Poor training and understaffing lead to a third problem too which is the overuse of antipsychotic medication to keep patients quiet. Administration of antipsychotic drugs to the elderly can be fatal.
Often, nursing homes that break the rules on staffing and training and care have a track record of violations. Before admitting a loved one to a home, check the California Department of Health and Human Services track record for the home. You can see any violations and fines that have issued. You can also see if the home’s license covers the type of care your loved one requires, such as care of dementia patients. Once your loved one is a home, look for signs of neglect. During the current emergency, visits may be off limits, but California law allows you to install a camera in your loved one’s room to monitor their care. The home administrator is required to inform you of the procedures for installation of a camera.
Spotting Abuse and Neglect
Watch for signs of possible abuse or neglect:
• Bedsores/pressure ulcers or other poor skin conditions;
• Indication of rape, sexual assault, or battery;
• Bruises and scratch marks;
• Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness;
• Frequent infections;
• Injuries from wandering off unsupervised (known as elopement);
• Lack of equipment and supplies;
• Rapid weight loss;
• Abnormal or withdrawn behavior and unusual silence;
• Prolonged sleep or drowsiness;
• Agitation especially when certain caregivers are present or caregivers who do not want the patient to be alone with others;
• Reluctance to speak when staff is nearby;
• Unsanitary and unclean conditions, soiled bed linens and clothes;
• Fear of being touched.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of abuse or neglect from a caregiver or while residing in a nursing home or other care facility in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.