Know of Elder Abuse or Senior Neglect in Riverside?
Riverside Elder Abuse, Elder Neglect, and Elder Law Attorneys
Many people need help as they get older. There are many reasons seniors choose to live in nursing homes – whether or not they have a disability. Nursing homes help will daily tasks such as bathing and dressing that seniors may find difficult. Nursing homes provide regular meals and a clean friendly place to live. Quality nursing homes have trained nurses on staff who are experienced with elder care health disorders. Some nursing homes may have specialized health services for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Nursing homes should address loneliness by encouraging interactions with other seniors.
There are differences between different types of long-term care facilities which your Riverside elder abuse lawyer can explain. Generally, a nursing home requires more medical oversight and personal oversight than assisted-living facilities, retirement homes, and other senior facilities. According to the California Department of Justice, the age of California residents is increasing. It’s expected that there will be more than six million seniors in California by 2025. Many of these seniors will live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Seniors and their families have the right to expect that nursing homes will comply with the federal laws, California laws, and nursing home industry standards – that should ensure that the residents are free from any type of abuse or neglect. Nursing homes must meet safety standards that protect seniors and must continually monitor the type of care the senior residents are receiving.
At JS Abrams Law, we have a strong track record of success fighting for seniors who suffer physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse – or any type of neglect. We file claims on behalf of seniors when nursing homes fail to protect them. These lawsuits have a dual purpose – to compensate the senior for his/her harm and to help ensure nursing homes take steps to prevent harm to other seniors. Compensation includes any medical expenses, pain and suffering, and the loss of the quality of life – the senior suffers. Compensation may include punitive damages and/or legal fees.
How is nursing home abuse categorized?
The National Council on Aging defines nursing home abuse as follows:
- Physical abuse. Striking, hitting, punching, placing a senior in restraints are examples of physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse. Nursing home staff should not intimidate, insult, threaten, or harass any seniors. They shouldn’t ridicule or intentionally embarrass a senior.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse includes sexual contact such as “touching, fondling, and intercourse” due to force or threats – or when the senior is unable to unwilling to give their consent.
- Financial abuse. Nursing home staff should never steal from a senior, mismanage or misappropriate their funds. A power of attorney in favor of a nursing home staff member may be due to financial abuse.
- Passive neglect. Negligence includes passive acts as well as intentional or affirmative acts. Nursing homes can be held liable for neglect if they fail to feed, clothe, shelter, provide medications, or ensure the senior residents are socially engaged.
- Improper confinement. Seniors should never be isolated or restrained – without good medical reasons.
- Willful deprivation. Nursing homes have no right to withhold the basic necessities of life – unless a competent senior has “expressed a desire to go without such care.”
What symptoms of abuse or neglect should family and friends of nursing home seniors look for?
Some of the many signs of nursing home abuse or neglect are:
- Cuts, bruises, and broken bones
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Any symptoms due to failure to take their medications
- Anxiety and depression
- Not being willing to engage in social activities
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Drug errors or overdoses
What factors contribute to nursing home abuse or neglect?
Our premier Riverside nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are often able to show that the nursing home failure is due to one or more of the following causes:
- Negligent hiring practices. The owners and managers of nursing homes need to run background checks on prospective employees. These checks should ensure the applicant has the necessary certifications and qualifications. The checks should also examine if any complaints have been filed against the application for abuse, neglect, or poor performance.
- Understaffing and underfunding. Nursing homes should ensure that their staff can match the needs of their senior residents. They shouldn’t add more senior residents if they don’t have enough qualified workers to provide good care for the elder residents.
- Failure to comply with Riverside, California, and federal health and safety standards. Nursing homes need to know and comply with all laws and regulations that apply to their services.
- Poor design of the nursing home. Seniors are likely to fall. They’re likely to have difficulty hearing. They will have many other known health problems. Nursing homes should anticipate these health disorders and design their facilities accordingly – to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Failure to provide competent medical care. Nursing homes generally should have nurses on staff and geriatric physicians on call. These health providers should have the skills and experience to diagnose and treat senior healthcare emergencies and disorders.
What rights do Riverside nursing home seniors have?
Medicare requires that nursing homes who bill Medicare (most do) honor the following Medicare rights of patients which include the right to:
- Engage in activities
- Freedom from discrimination
- Caring treatment
- Register complaints
- Freedom from restraints
- Quality medical care
- Enjoy visits from family and friends
- Control their finances
- Speak with a personal representative
- Quality living arrangements
California also has its own Bill of Rights for nursing homes.
What are the types of Riverside nursing home abuse and neglect claims?
There are different types of claims depending on whether the senior lives or dies. Sadly, abuse or neglect of seniors can lead to death.
- If a senior dies. Our Riverside elder abuse and neglect lawyers file a wrongful death claim. This claim provides that qualifying family members (such as a spouse and children) can claim compensation for the funeral bills and expenses; the loss of the decedent’s “love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support;” and other authorized damages.
- If the senior is alive. Our Riverside elder care lawyers file a personal injury lawsuit for any financial losses, pain and suffering, repayment for any financial losses, and the senior’s medical expenses to treat the abuse or their injuries. We may also seek punitive damages.
Liability for financial abuse of a senior?
Seniors have assets that nursing home staff, in-home caregivers, and even family members may try to take or use. When the nursing home or any person financially abuses a senior, our Riverside elder care lawyers seek restitution and punitive damages. Financial abuse of seniors often includes:
- Forcing or tricking the senior to sign a financial power of attorney
- Stealing from the senior
- Buying items on the senior’s accounts without his/her permission.
At JS Abrams Law, our Riverside senior care abuse and neglect lawyers are respected for our tenacity and track record of holding nursing homes and staff liable for neglect or for physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. To discuss your case or the case of a parent or senior you care for, call us at 818-330-4515 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.