Best Alameda Elder Abuse, Elder Neglect, and Elder Law Attorneys
Seniors who live in Oakland and other parts of Alameda County depend on public and private nursing home facilities to provide care in their old age. Nursing homes are regulated by federal and California laws – especially if they receive any public benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid. Nursing homes must conform to these legal standards and to the general competency standards in the nursing home industry.
The demand for nursing homes and long-term care facilities for seniors is only expected to increase as the American population ages. The California Department of Justice estimates that in just a few years, more than six million seniors will live in California. A large proportion of those seniors will live in nursing homes. The growth of elder care residents is expected to be greater in California than in any other state.
As of 2020, “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.”
Seniors and their families should understand what rights elder residents of California have while they’re in a nursing home or long-term facility. One of those rights is the right to hold the owners, managers, and staff of these homes and facilities liable for any harm they cause the residents. Lawsuits protect more than just your loved one. Lawsuits protect all senior residents by sending a message that physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, or neglect will not be tolerated. At JS Abrams Law, we file legal claims against nursing homes and long-term facilities for abuse and neglect.
What types of nursing home abuse are common in Alameda?
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) categorizes the kinds of nursing home abuse as follows:
- Physical abuse is defined as “inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.”
- Sexual abuse is defined as “touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult,” – provided the senior doesn’t consent, is not able to understand, is threatened, or is subject to physical force.
- Emotional abuse includes threats of abuse, verbal attacks, intimidation, and harassment.
- Financial abuse includes forging the senior’s name on checks and deposits, pressuring the senior to sign a financial power of attorney, misusing funds, or withholding a senior’s financial resources.
What indicators should family and friends of the senior look for – that may indicate elder care abuse or neglect
Children, siblings, other relatives, and friends of the seniors should look for the following signs of neglect or abuse when they visit a senior who lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
- Withdraw from social activities
- Physical harm such as bruises or broken bones
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Depression or anxiety
- Medical errors or overdoses
- Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers)
What are the reasons abuse and neglect occur in Alameda nursing homes and long-term care facilities?
There are many reasons why a nursing home or long-term care facility may be liable for abuse or neglect of a senior resident. Our respected Alameda nursing home lawyers work to show the harm is due to one or more of the following causes, among other causes:
- Negligence in the hiring of staff. Nursing homes and elder facilities should run background checks of the people they hire for two fundamental reasons. First, they need to determine if the staff member or employee has the proper qualifications and certifications. Second, the homes/facilities need to investigate whether any complaints or criminal actions have been filed against the applicant.
- Underfunding and understaffing. Many nursing homes don’t have enough quality employees to provide competent care for all the seniors in their homes/facilities.
- Failure to comply with federal and state regulations and laws. Nursing homes must comply with many different regulations and laws that are designed to protect the elder residents.
- Faulty design. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must anticipate that their elder residents will have many different types of physical difficulties. For example, nursing homes know that seniors have mobility problems. The homes should be designed to reduce the risk of falling.
- Failure to provide quality medical care. Nursing homes should have gerontologists, nurses, and other health providers on staff or on-call who can provide quality care.
What rights do seniors who live in Alameda nursing homes have?
Medicare requires that any nursing home that accepts Medicare or Medicaid payments (most do) must inform elder residents of their rights which include the right to:
Freedom from discrimination
Freedom from abuse and neglect
Exercise their US citizenship rights
Obtain competent medical care
Be treated with respect
Be free from restraints
Safeguards against an involuntary transfer or discharge
Engage in activities
Spend time with family and friends
Engage in resident group activities
Be informed about services and fees
Manage their assets
Property and living arrangements
California also has its own Bill of Rights that applies to California nursing homes and long-term care residences.
Holding Alameda nursing home and elder care facilities liable for abuse and neglect
There are two types of lawsuits that can be filed for nursing home abuse or neglect:
- A wrongful death claim. Family members can file a wrongful death claim if a senior dies due to nursing home abuse or neglect. Sadly, many seniors do die if they receive improper care.
- A personal injury lawsuit. The senior can file his/her own claim for any physical injuries, emotional harm, and financial losses. Damages include pain and suffering, financial damages, and medical expenses. Punitive damages, if allowed, pressure the nursing home to take corrective action.
Holding Alameda nursing homes responsible for financial abuse
Seniors are often targets for financial abuse because they have Social Security income, retirement benefits, IRA accounts, and other assets. When nursing homes, the employees, or the staff financially abuse a senior resident, they should be accountable for the financial abuse. Examples of financial abuse include:
- Obtaining a signature on a financial power of attorney against the senior’s will or better judgment
- Stealing from the elder person
- Making purchases for items the senior wouldn’t make on his/her own
Experienced Alameda seek repayment or restitution for any ill-gotten gains and punitive damages to help protect other seniors from financial abuse.
At JS Abrams Law, our Alameda senior care abuse and neglect lawyers are seasoned trial lawyers. We assert your rights in court or through negotiation with the nursing home’s insurance carrier. We fight to hold nursing homes and long-term care facilities for the senior’s economic and non-economic losses including medical bills, pain and suffering, and nursing home expenses. Call us at 818-330-4515 or use our contact form to discuss and assert your rights.