Increasing Reports Of Abuse In Nursing Homes
Some Indicators Of Probable Abuse Or Neglect
Know The Warning Signs In Order To Protect Loved Ones
Sadly, seniors in assisted care facilities and nursing homes are at risk of abuse and neglect by the very persons paid to care for them. Residents may also be victims of financial elder abuse when cash or credit cards are stolen from their room. Incidents of all forms of nursing home abuse are on the rise; one California District Attorney reported that it handles over 10,000 reports of elder and dependent adult abuse every year. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents elderly victims and families in cases of nursing home abuse or neglect and pursues all those responsible for the abuse or neglect including any owners or administrators and supervisory persons in charge of any caregiver who abuses or neglects patients. Overstaffing and undertraining may lead to neglect or even intentional abuse where an overworked or unqualified staff member is stressed or overburdened or just not up to the care level required. Injuries from intentional physical abuse or assault or sexual assault or rape, and injuries or fatalities by negligence, neglect and abandonment are all actionable forms of elder abuse. See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.05 (definition of abandonment); 15610.63 (definition of physical elder abuse), and 15610.57 (definition of neglect). Recourse for victims or the families can include award of attorneys’ fees and costs in certain circumstances. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657(a). If you have a loved one who has suffered injury due to neglect, abandonment or abuse in a nursing home or care facility 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).
Indicators of Abuse Or Neglect
The following issues may be indicators of nursing home abuse or neglect:
- Bed sores
- Lack of basic amenities
- Unsanitary or cluttered living space
- Sudden unexplained behavioral changes
- Repeated falls
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Unpaid bills, new credit cards, and/or increased cash withdrawals
- High white blood cell count, fevers, change in skin color, and signs of infection
- Uncommunicative about care or individual(s) responsible for care
- New injuries or suspected injuries
- Unexplained bruising or traumatically induced injuries
Remedies For Victims And Families
A neglected bedridden patient may develop bedsores/pressure wounds which can be fatal or develop sepsis or other infections or suffer from dehydration or malnutrition. Dementia patients who tend to wander (called elopement) may suffer injury if not monitored. Any staff member or supervisor (like the director in the reported case) who sees or learns of abuse or neglect is required to report it. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15630. Whether the injuries are the result of intentional abuse as in the reported case or negligence, we believe owners, administrators, and individual staff members should be held accountable for any neglect or abuse inflicting injury. Damages include:
- Economic damages where an actual cost has been absorbed such as medical expenses, loss of income, and specialist fees.
- An award of attorneys’ fees and costs in litigating the case. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
- Non-economic damages such as emotional trauma, pain, suffering, and loss of a loved one.
- Punitive damages that are awarded as punishment against the defendant and also meant to deter other nursing homes and staff from committing similar neglect or abuse.
If you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm 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.
 Section 15630 reads: “Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not that person receives compensation, including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults, or any elder or dependent adult care custodian, health practitioner, or employee of a county adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency is a mandated reporter.”