Hire A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit can be incredibly challenging on your own. Despite having proof that you or a loved one was abused, there are still many complications that can arise when taking legal action. Defendants in these cases can and will use all kinds of strategies to deflect blame, claim injuries are not as severe, and generally, reduce the amount of compensation they pay out to injured nursing home abuse survivors. They will undoubtedly have their own specialized legal representation which makes hiring your own lawyer essential if you want your case to stand a chance.
Hiring a nursing home abuse attorney is the first step to take when it comes to maximizing the amount of compensation one receives from a settlement or court verdict. Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine offers specialized legal representation and assistance to those that have been severely harmed through nursing home abuse and can provide invaluable insight tempered over years of experience getting our many satisfied clients the compensation they need. Our lawyers can work with you through every step of the process from filing the lawsuit to going to trial while maintaining close communication with you.
Everything You Need To Know About Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a horrifying reality happening in our communities and affecting our senior citizens. When we place our elder loved ones in a nursing home, we expect staff members to treat them with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. With over 15,000 nursing homes housing 1.7 million licensed beds across the United States as of 2016 and current residents totaling upwards of 1.3 million as of 2015, nursing homes and staff need to be held accountable for how they care for our older generations. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what nursing home abuse is, the different types of abuse, signs of abuse, and how to prevent it.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
The Administration on Aging, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, defines elder abuse as “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
A long-term study showed that elder abuse victims are twice as likely to die prematurely than individuals who have not suffered from elder abuse. Nursing home abuse, which refers to elder abuse in a nursing home, can lead to serious physical injuries, emotional harm, and even death.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are different types of elder abuse in nursing homes, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- Active abuse
- Physical neglect
- The misuse of restraints
What Are Assisted Living Facilities And Group Homes
While nursing homes are facilities designed to provide 24-hour life and medical support to residents, assisted living facilities and group homes are more geared toward residents who have some level of independence, with some differences:
- Assisted living: When an individual is a resident in an assisted living facility, they may be one of many residents in the facility. These are often more like individual apartments in which a resident can live with some level of assistance with daily activities and health issues. Staff at an assisted living facility is typically a mix of medical personnel and nonmedical caregivers.
- Group homes: The number of residents in a group home is much smaller than in an assisted living facility. Group homes usually consist of four to 10 residents, depending on the facility, who either have their own rooms or share a room in a house. There is a house manager or other trained main caregiver at the home 24 hours a day to provide support to the residents who have varying degrees of disability and independence.
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Assisted Living Home Abuse And Neglect Prevention
The prevention of assisted living home abuse and neglect is incredibly important. Fortunately there is more research on the topic now then ever before.
Assisted living facilities now have many different options to help them prevent elder abuse and neglect from happening including:
- Training: Assisted living homes can help prevent elder abuse is by providing comprehensive training for their staff members. Part of this training should focus on identifying and preventing elder abuse and neglect.
- Policies and Procedures: These facilities may also review their current policies and procedures regarding patient care each year. This will help them stay up to date on the latest laws and regulations in their state and ensure that they continue to meet their residents needs.
- Monitoring Systems: Using effective monitoring systems can go a long way in the prevention of elder abuse in assisted living homes. These monitoring systems can allow instances of neglect and abuse to be quickly identified and addressed.
- On-Going Education: Assisted living homes can provide education and guidance to their staff members on the issue of durable power of attorney. This can help improve the life of a person that may otherwise be unfit to make the best decisions for their wellbeing.
- Visitation: Staff members can encourage and arrange regular visitors for residents. Visitors do not need to be limited to family members they can also include social workers and volunteers.
Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse is key to protect victims and prevent more harm from being done. Signs of nursing home abuse can range from subtle neglect to full-on physical abuse.
Physical signs of abuse are often the first to be recognized. Serious injuries like broken bones, bruises, and welts are difficult to hide.
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Elder Abuse And Neglect In Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living abuse has been on the rise. This type of neglect and abuse involves mistreatment of residents in assisted living facilities and is becoming an important issue in healthcare. Its estimated that around four to five percent of residents in assisted living facilities have suffered some type of mistreatment or abuse.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
Many instances of nursing home abuse go undetected. Thankfully, it may be possible to prevent it from happening or continuing.
You can prevent nursing home abuse by:
- Recognizing the signs and causes
- Regularly checking in on your loved one
- Taking preventative measures if needed
Nursing home facilities that are held accountable are more likely to take action so other residents stay safe.
Our team is dedicated to ending the epidemic of nursing home abuse and you can join our fight. If you or a loved one suffered from nursing home abuse, see if you can take legal action with a free case review. You may be able to hold abusive staff members financially accountable.
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Financial Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Financial abuse happens when an individuals financial resources are exploited or withheld.
- Elders are more likely to report financial abuse than any of the other forms, according to the NCOA.
- The NCEA reported that family members were by far the most likely people to financially abuse elders. Nearly 60% of all elder financial abuse cases involved a family member.
- 1 in 20 older adults indicated they had suffered from financial abuse, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association .
Nursing Home Financial Abuse
Nursing home residents are unable to work and therefore are in an extremely vulnerable financial situation that can be taken advantage of by others. This financial exploitation of nursing home residents is known as nursing home financial abuse. Nursing home residents can have many assets that can be stolen, extorted, or exploited via fraud. This applies to a nursing home residents money as well as their other valuables.
Financial abuse of nursing home residents can be carried out by a much wider range of parties that can include family members, lawyers, doctors, nursing home staff, accountants, and even other nursing home residents.
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The Entitys Own Marketing Materials
For anyone using the Rules of the Road methodwhich I assume is everyone at this pointyou can find invaluable information peppered throughout the facilitys own marketing materials that they use to aggressively solicit potential customers. In an effort to solicit customers, these marketing materials often make lofty promises concerning things like safety, protecting their residents well-being, supervision, promoting a family environment and happiness, and providing the best medical and nursing care available. These are excellent sources for rules because they are the guarantees of the entity itself. These are also excellent sources for proving the type of misrepresentations needed to pursue a fraud claim.
On a similar note, you will want to find the job descriptions and online offers of employment for many of the positions, including sales and marketing managers and staff. Many of the chain-affiliated providers are in constant need of sales staff and their job offers can be easily located on websites like Indeed.com.
We have found that these job offerings endorse our clients complaints of heavy handed sales tactics and promises by including position requirements of aggressive closing skills, ability to persuade all potential customers, and history of high win rates. These reinforce that this is a corporate numbers game with little concern for the well-being of residents.
Statistics On Abuse In Nursing Homes
- According to the World Health Organization , 1 in 6 adults aged 60 or older suffered some type of abuse in a community setting between 2017 and 2018.
- Nearly 1 out of 3 nursing homes in the U.S. has been issued citations for abuse.
- Nursing home abuse often goes unreported, according to the Office of the Inspector General .
- As of 2015, 1.3 million people lived in nursing homes throughout the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The CDC believes that 27 million people will need care from nursing homes, in-home aides, or another long-term care program by 2050.
- As 1 in 5 people in the U.S. is expected to be 65 or older by 2030, these problems may increase and do not seem to be going away any time soon.
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Nursing Home Abuse Is A Growing Danger
As the population of adults aged 65 and older is expected to increase over the next several decades, the issues of elder and nursing home abuse are likely to become even more prominent. However, family members and loved ones can take steps to protect their loved ones.
Elder abuse will not stop on its own. Someone else needs to step in and help.
National Institute on Aging
Heres what to do if you or someone you know is being abused:
- Review the nursing home statistics above and note if you or a loved one is at risk
- Tell someone you trust
Research has uncovered racial disparities in nursing home care. While the reasons for these inequalities are not always clear, they present a serious public health problem that deserves attention. Racial disparities in nursing home care include higher rates of nursing home abuse and neglect among nonwhite residents. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situationRead More
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rates nursing homes across the country on its Care Compare website. However, the New York Times reported in December 2021 that thousands of complaints filed against nursing homes were secretly appealed by facilities and didnt affect their ratings despite glaring problems. Learn how you can takeRead More
Implications For Research Topics
The following are a few suggestions about the types of research topics that might generate better estimates of prevalence and inform efforts to prevent abuse and neglect in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
Are There Ways to Improve Detection?
These diverse findings suggest the need for:
- Studies that identify different models of ombudsman programs and examine their effect on the prevalence of reports, substantiation rates, deficiency citations, and the use of enforcement sanctions.
- An examination of the effect of various ombudsman interventions on the prevalence and nature of abuse, including an analysis of the conditions under which such interventions will be adopted, fully implemented, and maintained over time in various types of facilities. Examples include programs developed by , the Atlanta Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, and the North Shore Legal Services Program.
- An examination of the effects of different types of training for nursing facility and RCF staff, resident and family education and empowerment interventions provided by ombudsmen programs .
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San Diego County Nursing Home Abuse
For two decades, Walton Law Firm has been representing nursing home residents and their families when subjected to the devastating impacts of nursing home abuse or neglect. Poor care, negligent treatment, or physical abuse, should not be ignored. Our San Diego County nursing home abuse lawyers have brought legal action against several San Diego County nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and have created this resource page for those looking to learn more about what to do if neglect is suspected.
Nursing Home Elder Abuse and Neglect Resources
San Diego has approximately 90 of the nearly 1,200 nursing homes in the State of California. There are also over 650 licensed residential care facilities in San Diego County, most of those located in the cities of San Diego, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Escondido, El Cajon, Poway, and Oceanside. While most of these facilities have the capacity to provide high quality care, too often residents fall through the cracks because of a failure to follow the designated care plan, untrained staff, or a lack of basic competencies on behalf of the caretakers in charge.
What is an Elder?
Under California law, any person age 65 years or older is considered an “elder.” The laws apply equally to a “dependent adults,” which are defined as any person between ages 18 and 64 who is an inpatient at a hospital or nursing facility, and has a limitation that restricts his or her ability to carry out normal activities.
Other ways to take action:
Who Pays For Assisted Living Facility Care
The majority of ALF residents use private pay to pay for assisted living services. Low-income individuals may be able to utilize Medicaid to help cover the cost of services, depending on their states Medicaid program. Ohios Department of Aging administers the assisted living waiver program that pays for nursing care in an assisted living facility. Approximately 15% of assisted living residents rely on Medicaid to cover their assisted living services.
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Assisted Living Abuse And Neglect Often Goes Unreported
Unfortunately, it is common for instances of elder abuse and neglect to go unreported. One of the reasons this occurs is because the instances of abuse are unnoticed or difficult to uncover.
Moreover, elderly individuals often have medical conditions that can make it difficult for them to properly report the incident.
- In some cases, a victim may want to make a report, but they fear retribution if they go forward with it.
- The victim may feel feel ashamed and responsible for allowing the abuse to occur even though it is not their fault.
- Elderly individuals who suffered from abuse may be unwilling to view themselves as victims as a protective mechanism.
- It is not uncommon for a victim to be reluctant to report abuse because of manipulation by the perpetrator.
Preventing Elder Abuse In Assisted Living Facilities
Though there is lower risk in assisted living environments, elder abuse still occurs and has been reported to happen to 20% of residents. To prevent abuse, families of the elderly residents as well as physicians and caregivers must recognize the signs of abuse.
Elderly people who are suffering from elder abuse may exhibit physical injuries as well as psychological effects. If you notice that a resident is having recurring injuries or injuries that they cannot explain, it might be a sign that they are suffering from physical abuse. Changes in personality and behavior can also suggest that emotional abuse is occurring. If a loved one who is a resident in assisted living suddenly shows signs of depression, agitation, or withdrawal, family members and professionals should investigate.
If abuse is discovered, the resident should be relocated to a safer environment and the facility should be reported to authorities.
Abuse & Neglect In Nursing Homes & Residential Care/Assisted Living Facilities. CANHR. California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. Web. 28 May 2013.
What Is Abuse?. NAPSA. National Adult Protective Services Association. Web. 31 May 2013.
What Is Neglect?. NAPSA. National Adult Protective Services Association. Web. 28 May 2013.
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Assisted Living Facilities Often Are Not The Ones Providing Care
ALFs usually do not directly provide certain health care services, but consistently work with other providers to offer these services. These services frequently include:
- 8% dental
- 0% skilled nursing and
- 0% therapy .
Many of these services are not provided directly by the ALF but by employees of home health agencies and other entities. This is an important consideration when you are deciding who to name in a lawsuit.
Commonly, there are contracts or letters of endorsement between the facility and the provider whereby the ALF assumes responsibility for any wrongdoing and injury. In other circumstances there are overlapping ownership interests between the ALF and providers, but unlike in the nursing home context, these do not have to be disclosed as related parties.
Neglect Of Basic Needs
This type of neglect occurs when nursing homes fail to provide residents with enough food or water, or a clean, safe environment.
As a result, residents may suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Residents may also be at a higher risk of many other issues, like falling or theft, if their environment is unsafe.
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