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When we are not able to provide the quality of care our elderly loved ones need and deserve, we depend on the staff at nursing home facilities. When these facilities fail to provide our loved ones with the type of professional care they deserve, the offending companies and caregivers can and should be held accountable.

If you suspect that your loved one may have been mistreated while in the care of a nursing home in Northern California, you should seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases as soon as possible. At John M. O'Brien and Associates, P.C., we are dedicated to protecting the rights of elderly persons who have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect.

Nursing Home Statistics

The percentage of the elderly population is constantly increasing in the U.S. Currently California is home to more than 100,000 nursing home residents, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Despite the fact that there are strict laws that regulate nursing homes, statistics reveal that around half of the nursing homes in the U.S. are understaffed and fall below standards of care required by state law. Underpayment and lack of proper training are the main causes of abuse and neglect reported every year.

Nursing home abuse is one of the most underreported forms of abuse. Although there is no central institution tracking the number of incidents of abuse each year, some statistics do exist and they indicate a problem of staggering dimensions:

  • Between 1 and 2 million Americans over the age of 65 have been exploited, injured or mistreated by someone who is in charge of their care or protection
  • 91% of American nursing homes are understaffed or lack adequate staff to properly care for patients
  • 36 % of nursing homes have been in violation of elderly abuse laws
  • Only 7 % of the incidents get reported to the authorities
  • There are more than 5 million financial abuse victims each year
  • There are about 1.6 million people living in nursing homes in the United States
  • 30 years from now, the number is expected to increase to 5 million and the rates of abuse are expected to rise up to 300%.

California Nursing Home Standards

Nursing homes are private institutions that provide shelter, feeding and care for sick, aged, or infirm individuals. Depending on the specifics of the institution they may or may not provide medical services. In addition to federal regulations, California law requires all nursing homes to be licensed by the California Department of Health and have a qualified physician, dentist, and registered nurse available at all times. Once registered, all nursing home residents are entitled to:

  • Clean and sanitary living environment
  • Protection against any type of discrimination
  • Nutritious meals and snacks each day
  • Therapeutic diets to meet their specific needs
  • Social and physical activities
  • Access to certified counselors
  • Visitation from their family and friends

Staff or employees within the nursing home ARE NEVER permitted to punish or abuse the resident in any way, either physically or mentally.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Abuse is not always physical. Emotional abuse and neglect can be just as damaging to elders. At John M. O'Brien and Associates, P.C., we represent individuals and families impacted by all types of abuse, including:

  • Bedsores and ulcers
  • Sepsis
  • Neglect
  • Traumatic falls
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Failure to monitor
  • Prescriptions errors
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Emotional abuse
  • Isolation
  • Wandering or elopement
  • Wrongful death

Sometimes, families simply suspect abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, you should contact us today. We will investigate the situation to determine if your suspicions are correct.

How to Identify Nursing Home Neglect

Despite strict regulations, the media is full of horror stories about nursing home abuse and neglect. If you have any relatives or friends living in these facilities, it is important to be well informed about possible signs of abuse.  Often, victims will refuse to talk about the abuse until it is far too late. 

Common signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Withdrawn behavior, not wanting to accept visitors
  • Unexplained bruises or broken bones Significant weight loss, malnutrition
  • Untreated or worsened bedsores

In certain cases these could be signs of inadequate assistance like poor bathing techniques, lack of toileting, failure to assist the resident in eating or ignoring cries for help or even worse.

What to do if you Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs you should investigate the circumstances.  Laws and regulations regarding nursing homes are complex so if you are considering filing a legal claim, it is recommended that you contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there is a possibility a criminal suit will also be filed, especially if the abuse resulted in serious injury or death. If nursing home abuse and/or neglect happens to you or one of your aging relatives, contact John O’Brien and Associates.

Never allow suspected nursing home abuse to continue unchecked. Here is a list with what you should do:

  1. If you believe the resident's life is in imminent danger, you need to call 911 immediately
  2. Don’t lose your temper and be rational
  3. It’s best to question the nursing home's administration first. They should be able to explain any situation you see as a sign of abuse or neglect
  4. Speak in private with your loved one about the situation. If the nursing home management doesn’t allow this, take further action. Report the suspected abuse and/or seek the advice of a lawyer whose expertise involves nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Sometimes nursing home residents will not speak out about abuse because they fear or simply because they don’t want to worry you
  5. Ask questions and get the names and job positions of the people you speak to
  6. Talk with coherent residents who are willing to give you details about the incident
  7. Take written notes of anything you appreciate as amiss, take pictures
  8. Bring it to the attention of the nursing home management. If it isn't taken care of immediately, bring it to the attention of the authorities or a lawyer
  9. Report all suspected abuse or neglect. If don’t know for sure who to contact in your state, then call the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-800-677-1116  
  10. Contact a lawyer and discuss about the resident’s safety and the potential compensation that can be received to cover the related losses.

Keep in mind that reporting abuse and neglect is essential, but most abusive facilities change their behavior and services only after legal action is taken, which means their profit margins and their ability to remain in business are affected. 

How can John M. O’Brien and Associates Help?

If nursing abuse and/or neglect happens to you or one of your aging relative, call us now at 916.714.8200. At John O’Brien and Associates, our attorneys are experienced and will cover all medical, social, financial and legal issues concerning elderly citizens. We work with expert witnesses and experts including physicians, therapists and nutritionists who will analyze the circumstances and provide expert reports regarding the type of abuse the victim suffered. We will negotiate a fair settlement for you and your family member, a settlement that covers all your losses, covering emotional suffering and mental anguish. We will take your case to court and pursue legal action, until proper compensation for damages is obtained.

California Nursing Homes with a History of Abuse

If you are a resident in California, you should be aware of nursing homes that have had previous complaints of abuse or neglect. The following California nursing homes have been recently linked to complaints of abuse or neglect:

  • Bakersfield Healthcare Center
  • Braswell's Hampton Manor in Yucaipa
  • Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital in Victorville
  • Evergreen Healthcare Center in Vallejo
  • Florin Healthcare Center in Sacramento
  • Golden Cross Health Care in Pasadena
  • Motion Picture Television Fund & Skilled Nursing Unit
  • Plott Nursing Home in Ontario
  • Roseville Pointe Health & Wellness Center
  • Sunrise Convalescent Hospital in Pasadena
  • Tarzana Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • Windsor House Care Center in Vacaville
  • Windsor Redding Care Center
  • Yuba Skilled Nursing Center

Nursing Home Abuse Q&A

Q: What exactly is nursing home neglect? See Answer

 

Q: What happens when a nursing home resident complains of abuse or neglect? See Answer

 

Q: Which are the main signs of neglect? See Answer

 

Q: What should I do if my loved one is abused in a nursing home facility? See Answer

 

Q: What happens when a California nursing home violates a resident’s rights? See Answer

 

Q: Who can file a lawsuit against a nursing home? See Answer

 

Q: Can my nursing home abuse case be settled out of court? See Answer

 

Q: How much will the lawyer charge me for a nursing home abuse case? See Answer

 

Contact John M O' Brien and Associates P.C. - Legal Help You Can Trust

Discovering that your loved one has been mistreated or abused while in the care of a nursing home facility can be a devastating and emotional event. At John M. O'Brien and Associates, P.C., we believe that nursing homes have a responsibility to elderly patients and their families. As a result, we serve as tireless advocates for victims of nursing home abuse and their families.

 
Call John O'Brien 800.722.4176
or Ask John O'Brien a question
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