Nursing Home Abuse
Alameda County Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm
Nursing Home Abuse Law
The following federal and state laws are the primary laws that have been passed to protect residents of nursing homes from abuse:
- The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act: is a federal law that establishes the standards of care for elder nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Its primary function is to protect residents from neglect, abuse and mistreatment. Among other requirements, it provides for individual care plans for each resident, a minimum number of nursing hours per resident per day, social services, pharmaceutical services, nutritional and dietary services, social workers, and rehabilitative services.
- California Department of Social Services Title 22: provides the licensing requirements for California nursing homes. These regulations cover requirements for safe and healthful living accommodations, personal assistance and care, observation and supervision, planned activities, food service, medical and dental care, etc.
- California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act: this law allows plaintiffs in nursing home abuse cases to seek punitive damages and attorney’s fees against nursing homes and those responsible for resident abuse.
Contact an experienced Alameda County nursing home abuse lawyer at Evans Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.
Causes Of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse may have many different causes, but one of the most common is staff-related issues. Many nursing homes are understaffed and there are simply not enough staff members to adequately take care of all the residents. In general, these jobs are low-paying and have a high turnover ratio. Unfortunately, these types of jobs can also attract financial or sexual predators that see an easy opportunity to take advantage of helpless victims. Many nursing homes are also cutting costs by reducing overhead for labor.
Types Of Nursing Home Elder Abuse
Abuse of elders in nursing home takes many different forms. The most common are listed here:
- Physical abuse: the non-accidental use of force that results in physical pain or injury. This type of abuse includes not only physical assaults (such as slapping or shoving) but the inappropriate use of restraints, confinement, un-prescribed drugs, or over-dosing or under-dosing prescribed drugs.
- Emotional abuse: can occur from intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation or ridicule, or other psychological abuse such as ignoring the resident or isolating him or her from friends or activities.
- Sexual abuse: includes not only physical sex acts, but actions such as showing a resident pornographic material or inappropriately forcing the elder to undress.
- Neglect or abandonment: is the failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, such as missing scheduled bathing or feeding. Neglect can be intentional unintentional.Financial exploitation: involves the unauthorized use of a resident’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside person operating a scam. Examples include using a resident’s credit card, stealing cash or income checks, forging the resident’s name, or stealing the resident’s identity.
- Healthcare fraud: perpetrated by unethical physicians, nurses, or other healthcare providers. Examples include charging for healthcare that was not provided, overcharging or double billing for medical care, kickbacks, over or under medicating, Medicaid fraud, etc.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
If your loved one has shown any signs of nursing home abuse, they should be documented and brought to the attention of your attorney. Examples of signs that may indicate abuse include (but are not limited to) the following:
- unexplained injuries or suspicious explanations for injuries
- frequent illnesses or infections
- unusual behavior or emotional agitation
- acting extremely withdrawn or non-communicative
- messy or unsanitary living conditions
- neglect of basic hygiene
- rapid change in weight
- unattended wandering
- unexplained bruising
- emotional distress
- appearance of malnutrition
- unexplained or sudden death
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
In San Francisco and throughout the country, an increasing number of elders are being victimized by nursing home abuse. It has been estimated that as many as thirty percent of all nursing homes in America may have residents suffering from abuse or neglect. These elders are needlessly manipulated, humiliated, or physically harmed by the people entrusted to provide them with the best of care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse often results in serious injury and even premature death.
If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you should immediately contact the California Department of Social Services, and then talk to the a nursing home abuse attorney at The Evans Law Firm . Our experienced San Francisco nursing home abuse and elder caregiver fraud attorney will aggressively fight to protect the rights of your loved one. In addition to making a legal claim for compensation for the injuries and pain suffered by your loved one, we can also send a strong message to the nursing home administration that this type of treatment will not be tolerated. Call attorney Ingrid Evans today for a free case evaluation.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, he or she has the right to be well cared for, and most certainly has the right to be free of mistreatment, abuse and neglect. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused, contact the California Department of Social Services. It is also essential that you also contact an experienced attorney at our Alameda County nursing home abuse law firm as soon as possible. At the The Evans Law Firm, our seasoned and knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorneys will take immediate action to protect the rights of your loved one and help recover compensation for their sufferings.