Best Contra Costa Elder Abuse, Elder Neglect, and Elder Law Attorneys
As residents of Antioch, Brentwood, and other parts of Contra Costa age, they and their families begin to think about where they will live when daily living becomes more difficult. Seniors place their trust in nursing homes and long-term care facilities to provide residences that are safe and secure. When nursing homes fail to protect their residents, they deserve to be held accountable for the deaths and injuries they cause. Nursing homes are required to comply with federal laws, California laws, and nursing home safety standards.
According to the US News and World Report, seniors may live in the following types of facilities – when they can no longer live in their own home:
- Retirement living/independent living. These residences mostly focus on providing residences for self-sufficient seniors. They may be “self-contained retirement communities or high-rise apartment complexes, among other models.”
- Assisted living facilities. These long-term facilities have some light care such as helping residents manage their medications, prepared meals, and help with daily personal care.
- Continuing care retirement communities. These facilities are for adults who are generally healthy and independent. Residents can “transition to on-site assisted living or nursing home facilities” if they need to.
- Medical foster care. These are private homes managed by a trained caregiver. The US Department of Veterans Affairs runs a Medical Foster Homes Program.
- Nursing homes. These facilities provide more care than assisted living facilities. They generally provide 24-hour supervision, nursing care, meals, and help with daily activities. “Most nursing home residents have chronic physical or mental health conditions, or both.”
- Memory care. “For people with Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia or serious memory problems, memory care involves an extra level of care and supervision. Secured memory care units are located within many nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “
- Skilled nursing facilities. These facilities generally offer more healthcare than nursing homes. They generally have more doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists on staff.
Each type of facility is governed by different regulations and standards. The residents and their families have a right to know what rights they have. Generally, all facilities owe a duty to protect their residents from harm. Nursing homes and other long-term facilities that fail to protect their residents should be held accountable if they are negligent or if they fail to protect the residents from any type of abuse. At JS Abrams Law, we file lawsuits against nursing homes and long-term facilities for abuse and neglect. We demand compensation for a senior’s physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
What kinds of nursing home abuse are common in Contra Costa?
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) defines the various types of abuse that long-term care residents may be subject to:
Physical abuse. Any acts the cause physical pain or injury to an older person.
Sexual abuse. The following acts constitute sexual abuse provided the older person doesn’t consent, can’t understand, isn’t threatened, or isn’t physically forced – “touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult.”
Emotional abuse. Common acts include verbal assaults, harassment, and intimidation.
Financial abuse. Acts include forging the resident’s name on deposits or checks, forcing the senior to sign a power of attorney, withholding funds, or misusing funds.
What signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect should Contra Costa family members look for?
The family members who visit their mother, grandmother, aunt, brother, or other relation should look for the following signs of nursing home or long-term care abuse or neglect:
- Nonparticipation in social activities
- Bruises, cuts, broken bones, and other bodily harm
- Anxiety, irritability, or depression
- Medical mistakes or overdoes
Why do abuse and neglect occur in Contra Costa nursing homes and long-term care facilities?
Our skilled Contra Costa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers fight to show the nursing home failed to protect a senior for one or more of the following reasons, among others:
- Incompetent hiring practices. Contra Costa nursing homes and senior facilities should conduct background checks to verify the qualifications and certifications of the applicants. They should also examine if any civil or criminal complaints have been filed against the applicant.
- Not staffing or funding the facility properly. Nursing homes should ensure they have enough qualified staff professionals for all residents.
- Noncompliance with federal and California rules and regulations. There are specific laws that govern how nursing homes and senior facilities should protect their residents. A failure to follow these laws provides the basis for a lawsuit.
- Poor design. Nursing homes and other facilities should be designed to anticipate seniors will have mobility problems and other physical difficulties. For example, ramps are generally better than stairs.
- Failure to provide competent medical care. Nursing homes and other facilities that contract to provide nurses, physicians, and other types of healthcare have a duty to ensure the healthcare providers act competently.
Do seniors who reside in Contra Costa nursing homes have rights?
Yes. Medicare requires that nursing homes that receive any type of Medicare or Medicaid payments (most do) must give seniors a written copy of the following rights: The right to:
- Be free from abuse and neglect
- Be free from discrimination
- Exercise their Constitutional rights
- Speak with representatives
- Receive competent contracted for health care
- Be treated with respect
- Not be physically restrained
- Participate in social activities
- Be with family and friends
- Have safeguards against an involuntary transfer or discharge
- Know about the fees and services and other contracted rights
- Control their assets
- Property and living arrangements
- File complaints
California also has its own Bill of Rights for covered nursing homes and senior facilities.
How do we hold Contra Costa nursing home and senior 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. If a senior tragically dies due to abuse or neglect, we file wrongful death claims on behalf of the family members.
A personal injury lawsuit. We demand compensation for the senior’s medical bills to recover from any physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm. We seek punitive damages when the facility’s conduct was in complete disregard of the senior’s safety.
Liability for financial abuse at Contra Costa nursing homes
Nursing home and long-term care staff often target seniors because they have significant financial assets including Social Security retirement benefits, pensions, bank accounts, and other assets. Common types of financial abuse include:
- Stealing cash, jewelry, or other items from the senior
- Getting the senior to sign a power of attorney in favor of the staff member
- Making purchases for themselves and not the senior
Our skilled Contra Costa lawyers seek repayment or restitution for any financial losses the senior suffers by a staff member, the nursing home, or long-term care facility.
At JS Abrams Law, our Contra Costa senior care abuse and neglect lawyers, our lawyers have obtained millions of dollars for our clients. Our trial attorneys have extensive experience in successfully winning tough cases. We work aggressively to hold nursing homes and long-term care facilities liable for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and economic losses. Call us at 818-330-4515 or use our contact form to discuss and assert your rights.