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May 28, 2021 by |

Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney: Abuse And Neglect In For-Profit Nursing Home Chains

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Alarming Spike In Abuse And Neglect Cases 

Profit Motive Leads To Understaffing And Other Dangers

Protecting Your Loved Ones In Homes

Increasingly skilled nursing facilities in the State of California are run as for-profit businesses. Of the 1200 skilled nursing facilities (commonly, nursing homes) in the State, approximately 1006 (82%) are for-profit enterprises and 75% (916) of those are part of larger for-profit chains. Skilled nursing is big business; in 2020, the reported average cost per patient day for a skilled nursing facility was approximately $304 ($110,960 annually). One for-profit California skilled nursing chain collects more than $800 million a year from Medicare and Medicaid to care for thousands of residents in the 80 homes it runs. A for-profit business model can in some cases mean understaffing and other cost-cutting measures. Whatever the cause, incidents of reported abuse and neglect as a result of understaffing or lack of supervision continue to climb.  Forced isolation as a result of COVID-19 have meant families cannot visit and check in on loved ones as in the past. Signs of abuse or neglect can thus go undetected, until it is too late.  Many families have withdrawn their older loved ones from homes and brought them to live with their family.  But that is not always an option.  Others are relying on in-room surveillance cameras and other methods to protect institutionalized loved ones.  The horrors senior residents may face are heartbreaking, and frankly things only seem to be getting worse  If you have a loved one who has suffered injury due to neglect in a nursing home here in Orange County or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669, and we can help. 

Risks of Rape, Neglect, And Wandering Off (Elopement) In Nursing Homes

Recent news stories abound with allegations of abuse and neglect.  Cases of sexual assault and rape have become far too common.  Cases of neglect have increased too.  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 deepend and be the source of serious and fatal infections like sepsis.  Another form of neglect is lack of supervision and monitoring of 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.  

Evans Law Firm, Inc. has represented seniors and their loved ones in similar cases of sexual assault, neglect, abandonment and abuse. The pandemic has made it harder for loved ones to monitor their older loved one’s condition and care.

Legal Recourse For Injured Patients

All those responsible for any abuse or neglect of institutionalized seniors should be held accountable for their actions.  Responsible parties 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.  In addition to installing a surveillance camera in a loved one’s room, there are other steps you can take to protect them.  On the California Department of Public Health website you can run a check on the citation history of any licensed facility and see the nature of any complaints and citations issued.  You can also check the license itself and make sure the home is qualified to care for your loved one; only certain licenses permit admission of dementia patients, for example, and if a home is admitting dementia patients even though the home is not licensed to do so, that is against the law.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also maintain a database of compliance issues and reports on homes receiving Medicare and Medicaid assistance and you can view the latest reported information on a home there.  That information will include the resident to staff ratio for the facility which is an important index of the level of care provided to residents at any given facility.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of nursing home abuse here in Orange County and throughout California.  Call Ingrid today at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  Ingrid a will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors including recovery of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your lawsuit. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in any way with these reported cases.

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