California nursing homes promise to take care of your elderly and/or vulnerable adult loved ones. In fact, the U.S. nursing home industry receives billions of dollars each year from families, individuals, the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, and other sources with the promise to provide a standard of care and living that your loved one or family member deserves.
Unfortunately, thousands of the men and women they’ve promised to protect and care for are abused, seriously injured and/or die unexpectedly under their watch every year. If your loved one or family member was a victim of nursing home abuse, you need the help of no-nonsense nursing home abuse lawyer.
Elder abuse, also known as nursing home abuse, is an increasingly widespread and under-recognized problem that has terrifying life-threatening consequences. As Baby Boomers and the rest of the population ages and our economic realities shift, incidents of elder abuse are on the rise. Nursing home abuse can occur anywhere, including the trusted homes and facilities caring for your loved one.
Forms of Elder Abuse
Some people believe that in order for elder or nursing home abuse to be occurring, there must be physical signs on the abused person. However, nursing home negligence is not always physical and may take many forms, some of these include:
- Physical abuse – force, intentionally or otherwise that results in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment
- Neglect – failure of the caregiver to fulfill his or her obligations or duties. Common side effects of neglect include malnourishment and poor hygiene
- Emotional abuse – verbal or nonverbal acts that instill fear or distress in the victim
- Sexual abuse – non-consensual sexual contact of any kind
- Financial or Material Exploitation –improper use or theft of an elderly person’s money or property
Nursing home abuse and elder abuse often occurs in situations where your elderly loved one or family member is partially or wholly dependent upon caregivers. The caregivers can be paid professionals or unpaid friends or family members who are ill-equipped, unwilling, or unable to afford to take on the care and responsibility of the ill or aging senior.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Placing your elder family member or loved one into a nursing home was a tough and likely necessary decision, one you should not beat yourself up for. You took the time to find a loving, healthy home for your aging loved one and the nursing home abused your trust and deceived you by possibly mistreating your elderly family member. If you are suspicious that your loved one might be the victim of nursing home abuse, read on for early warning signs. We believe that by learning the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, you might be able to quickly identify and respond to elder abuse. In fact, your courage to take action now helps your loved one and could help prevent future incidents with other elders.
The first questions to ask when questioning nursing home abuse:
- Does the senior citizen have physical injuries or show physical signs of neglect?
- Are his or her complaints insistent and frequent?
- Are the complaints directed at a particular nursing home staff member?
- Has your loved one shown unusual behavior changes?
Things you should look for
- Nursing home staff refuses to allow you and other visitors to your loved one
- Staff does not allow you to be alone with your loved one and does not provide legitimate medical reasons for it
- You observe or hear about frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and your family member
- Unexplained injuries (bruises, contusions, skin tears, cuts, broken bones, etc.)
- Repeated falls
- Personality changes (disorientation, depression)
- Unclean conditions
- Untreated medical condition
- Unusual bank activity
- Changes in spending patterns, will, trusts, or financial documents
Bradley I. Kramer, MD, Esq. not only understands the law and how to fight for your legal rights, but as a doctor, he can clearly and accurately present your case and your loved one’s injuries to the judge or jury. His track record of success speaks for itself. Contact him today to learn how to fight for your loved one’s health and safety.
Every year, thousands of elderly people are abused in their homes, in relative’s homes, and in elder care facilities. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or financial. They are most often harmed by the people who are directly responsible for their care. Typically, abuse comes from the people who are most trusted by the elderly victim – spouses, children, grandchildren, extended family, caregivers, financial advisors, etc. Elder abuse occurs wherever seniors live. Approximately 110,000 people reside in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in California. Sadly, nursing home neglect in California has increased 18 percent over the past five years.
Neglect is the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same circumstances. Some examples of neglect might include:
- Failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene (cleaning, bathing, bathroom help, etc.)
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Over-medication or under-medication
- Failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent falls or other safety hazards
- Failure to turn the bedridden senior to prevent bed sores
- Failure to treat injuries, infections, and other ailments
- Failure to change bandages, bed sheets, undergarments, etc.
If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., as soon as possible.
We have successfully represented many elderly individuals who have been unable to protect themselves from this inexcusable type of abuse. Attorney Bradley I. Kramer has the added expertise of being a licensed medical doctor and will be able to effectively evaluate your loved one’s physical condition and the extent of harm that he or she has suffered.