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Nursing Home Abuse

Sonoma County Nursing Home Abuse

As you face the difficult decision of whether to move to a nursing home or elder care facility, it is important to be aware of the rise of nursing home abuse in Sonoma County, California, and across the nation. Elders require specific care and attention, and all too often suffer from abuses and neglect in nursing homes. In Petaluma in Sonoma County, nursing home staff and at-home care providers have been accused of fraud and elder financial abuse against an elderly man. Make sure that such elder abuses do not happen to you. The Evans Law Firm represents victims of elder abuse in Sonoma County and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you believe that you or a loved one has been abused or neglected by a nursing home facility or caregiver, contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?

Understaffing and other staffing issues are a primary cause of nursing home abuses in Sonoma County and across California. Residents of nursing homes have the right to a certain number of hours of care by registered nurses, and some facilities skimp on these hours in order to save money. This places an extra burden on the nursing home staff, and results in residents receiving inadequate and insubstantial care from tired and overworked nursing staff. Nursing home hours are regulated by California and federal law, but in some facilities, nurses’ aides provide the care that should be given by registered nurses. These practices are unfair both to the overworked aids and the elders who are not receiving the attention they need and deserve.

Another common cause of nursing home abuse is physical and emotional abuse in the form of neglect, abandonment, and assault. Physical and emotional abuses are usually constituted by intentional uses of force that result in pain or injury. Slapping, shoving, restraint, confinement, over- or under-prescribed drugs and dosages are examples of physical abuses. Yelling at, threatening, humiliating, ridiculing, ignoring, or isolating the resident are examples of emotional abuse. Showing pornographic material to the elder against his or her will or inappropriately undressing or touching the elder could constitute sexual abuse.

Bedsores

Bedsores occur in elderly nursing home residents largely as a result of neglect and improper medical care and treatment. A person gets a bedsore when a part of their body is subjected to prolonged pressure – such as when they are laying in the same position for a long period of time and the mattress or furniture presses into their skin. This pressure makes it difficult for blood to circulate and reach the pressurized area, and the skin and surrounding tissue eventually break down. Signs of bedsores are redness, irritation, and finally painful open sores in the skin. If left untreated, bedsores can be fatal.

Nursing home residents who are not very active are particularly at risk for developing bedsores, especially if they are unable to move without the assistance of others. If an elder develops bedsores at a nursing home, it could be the result of poor nursing care, neglect, or physical elder abuse. Medical studies suggest that inactive residents should be repositioned or moved at least every two hours, and given padding or lubricant to prevent bedsores.

The Evans Law Firm and Nursing Home Abuse

Elders in nursing homes have the right to be treated with the utmost of care: free of mistreatment, abuse and neglect. If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact The Evans Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation at 415-441-8669 or email info@evanslaw.com.

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