Cases Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect Are Spiking
Understaffing, Lack Of Training And Lack Of Proper Supervision
Dementia Sufferers Particularly Vulnerable
The COVID-19 pandemic struck seniors terribly throughout California especially those in nursing homes, with over 9000 nursing home patient deaths attributable to the coronavirus in California alone. But as we emerge from the pandemic nursing home residents continue to be exposed to increasing risks of injury and death from abuse or neglect. Many of the most recently reported incidents of abuse and neglect have resulted from understaffing or lack of proper supervision in homes and care facilities. Lack of adequate training also increases the risk of injury as aides are simply not prepared for the needs of some of patients, particularly those afflicted with severe dementia or immobile. Easing restrictions will allow families and loved ones to reunite with older persons in homes and we urge you to really take the time to check in with older loved ones in homes and find out how they are doing and what the needs and concerns are. If you have a loved one who has suffered injury due to neglect in a nursing home here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669, and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Neglect And Abuse
Abuse or neglect can be intentional or negligent. We have re4presented nursing home residents who have been subjected to intentional emotional abuse and sexual assault as well as those who have suffered injury and even death as the result of negligence or neglect. One potentially fatal outcome of neglect for bedridden or wheelchair-bound patients is the development of pressure ulcers/bed sores. If a patient is not cleaned and turned frequently enough or improperly transported a pressure wound can develop. If untreated the wound can deepen and be the source of serious and fatal infections like sepsis. We have also seen cases where nursing home residents have developed seriously contagious diseases such as scabies and then succumbed because their conditions were not properly diagnosed and treated. Understaffing, lack of training and lack of supervision are all issues with cases of neglect especially. Aides may have to cover too many patients to give each patient the attention and care he or she needs and the aides may not be equipped to handle the conditions of their patients.
Another form of neglect is failure to monitor dementia patients who may wander off premises (known as elopement) and the consequences can be fatal if the victim wanders into traffic or is lost and suffers hypothermia, dehydration or prolonged exposure to the elements.
Nursing home patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and other mentally debilitating illnesses, may experience elopement during their stay in a nursing home facility. Wandering occurs for up to 60% of patients with dementia. Thus, it is important for nursing home facilities to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the patients and to keep them from leaving the facilities too easily without supervision. Proper staffing of security personnel can help prevent most cases of elopement and may even prevent serious injuries and even death. Residents who tend to wander may have a mental impairment that causes them to believe they need to do something important such as visiting a family member or feeding their dog at home. Any memory from the past can trigger the need for the patient to leave the facility to another place. Wandering may also occur due to changes in medication, unwelcome change, and being overwhelmed with the new living setting. Nursing home facilities need to regularly check the residents’ elopement histories and assess the probability of other individuals wandering even though they have not done it before.
Recourse For Injured Patients
Those responsible for any abuse or neglect of institutionalized seniors include the owners and administrators of nursing homes, nursing supervisors and aides, home health care agencies and hospice programs, staff and individual at-home caregivers. If you suspect abuse or neglect of a loved one in a home, bring it to the Administrator’s attention; they are required to report any injuries. While this type of official reporting is important, you also need to pursue all civil remedies available under California elder abuse law. Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse cases of all varieties and know the remedies and extra damages to which you or your victimized loved one is entitled. There are relatively short statutes of limitations for elder abuse claims so you need to act immediately when you think anything may be wrong. In addition to all legal and equitable remedies, California courts also award attorneys’ fees to victimized seniors in certain cases and this can ease the burden of bringing a suit.
Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of nursing home abuse here in San Francisco and throughout California. Call Ingrid today at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors including recovery of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your lawsuit.