Incidents Of Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents Growing
Dementia Patients At Highest Risk Of Abuse And Neglect
Financial Exploitation Of Nursing Home Residents
Seniors are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse and neglect whether at home under the care of others or in assisted care or skilled nursing facilities. The older patients become, the greater the risk of abuse and neglect and patients suffering from dementia are at greater risk, becoming increasingly vulnerable as their dementia deepens. The number of older people in California is growing exponentially and as more and more people entire care facilities, quality of care issues and concerns of neglect and abuse are growing quickly. Neglect and abuse often converge so that a resident may fall victim to financial abuse and neglect or physical abuse at the same time. Any form of elder abuse, physical, emotional, sexual or financial, and certain forms of neglect are crimes and grounds for civil liability of the abuser. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.57 (definition of neglect). If you or a loved one is a victim of financial elder abuse here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Quality Of Care A Growing Problem
The California Department of Justice just released some staggering statistics and projections regarding the poor quality of care in many of California’s skilled nursing facilities.
- The United States Census Bureau projected in 2000 that California’s elderly population will have doubled by 2025 to 6.4 million – a larger growth rate than any other state.
- The California Department of Finance projects that the number of California residents aged 65 and older–those who are most likely to need nursing homes or other long-term care–will nearly double between 2010 and 2030.
- About 110,000 Californians live in about 1,300 licensed nursing homes and about 150,000 live in about 7,500 licensed residential care facilities for the elderly. Another 150,000 or more Californians are estimated to live in unlicensed assisted living facilities that may or may not be able to care for them properly.
- Many residents of both licensed and unlicensed facilities suffer from dementia and may be given dangerous antipsychotic drugs to sedate or restrain them improperly.
- In 2009 the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes reported that 13% of all complaints to the California Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman involved abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation, over twice the national rate of 5%.
Preventing Abuse And Neglect Of Nursing Home Residents
If you have a loved one who is about to enter a care facility, there are certain steps you can take to protect their welfare. First, always check the license status of any care facility before admitting a loved one to it. You can check facility licenses here: https://www.ccld.dss.ca.gov/carefacilitysearch/. Once your loved one is admitted to a licensed facility, visit often and look for any signs of neglect or abuse such as bruises, pressure wounds/bed sores, scratch marks, weight loss, or behavioral changes that might suggest they are being abused, neglect, or overmedicated. Monitor all financial accounts of the older person and pay special attention to where their monthly Social Security or pension benefits are being deposited. Never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver or nursing home staff member a Power of Attorney. If you suspect abuse, call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any neglect or abuse in care facility in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).