Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer. If Your Loved One Has Been Abused in a Nursing Home, Here is What You Need To Know
When family members aren’t able to stay home to care for a loved one who is no longer able to care for themselves , it’s a scary time for everyone involved. The decision to leave an elderly loved one in a strange and new environment is never easy. Aside from being apart from our loved one, there are many unknown factors, all of which are out of our hands.
When we drive away from a nursing home facility and leave our loved one behind, we leave all our trust and faith in the comforting words the nursing home director and a smiling staff told us as we took the grand tour of the premises. “You don’t have to worry about a thing. Your loved one will be looked after and protected as we would with our own family.”
However, news headlines often tell a different story; the real story about what lurks behind a nursing home’s fancy exterior facade. It’s a dark tale. One that makes anyone who has a loved one living in a nursing home feel like they’ve been punched in the gut.
Recent California Senate investigations have revealed publicly what many families unfortunately have discovered on their own: understaffing is a major problem which dangerously impedes on a nursing home providing adequate and timely care for their residents. The stress that results from understaffing can lead to abuse from over-stressed staff. That the hiring practices of some nursing homes are so lax, loved ones may be entrusted to be looked after by people who are not qualified or have the proper credentials to work at nursing homes that house informed patients or patients with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. That residents may be mistreated and victimized by unkind, hostile employees who seem to enjoy degrading residents and are capable of physically harming and even restraining residents. In the most egregious and shameful cases, residents are forced to endure sexual assault and rape.
Table of Contents (click to jump to a specific section)
How We Can Help
Under resourced nursing homes that hire ill-equipped staffers need to be pursued and held accountable for the terrible acts of negligence they pretend is not happening until caught. The only weapon you have is an experienced and highly qualified nursing home abuse lawyer who will aggressively fight to make sure the nursing home pays you the maximum compensation. Emotional and verbal abuse, physical violence, management that doesn’t install sufficient security measures to protect their residents in their room or when affected by cognizant disturbances, happen to wander off grounds, these are outrageous charges of neglect and may be hidden from family members, since sometimes a resident may be fearful to tell authorities or their own family, for fear of reprisals from the abusive staffer.
At Kirakosian Law, Greg Kirakosian is committed and dedicated to fighting injustice wherever it degrades humanity. The elderly who cared for our welfare and now must rely on us to safeguard theirs is his highest priority. We handle these kinds of cases with the greatest degree of compassion and confidentiality and will work hard to guard your loved one from any unnecessary stress and anxiety should the case have to go to trial.
One of the most monstrous threats to the nursing home population is unwanted groping, sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape. In so many of these cases, the resident (be it female or male) was defenseless to stop the sexual assault. Furthermore, those with advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s are especially helpless, for they lack the cognizant awareness to cry out or to tell their families about the despicable event.
The signs to look for include, visible assault marks, cuts and bruising on the body, unexplained marks, cuts and/or bruising in the genital area, complaints of pain in the genital area, bleeding from the pelvic area, the occurrence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection, a marked change in mood, abrupt onset of fear when a particular staffer enters the room, exhibits strange behavior around certain staffers or even another resident.
Understaffing or a lax in hiring practices can result in dangerous staff incompetence. The consequences can be mistakes in medication dosing, persistently late medication delivery, not following through on a change in doctor’s orders or skipping medication protocol altogether, and resorting to overmedicating residents with antipsychotic drugs that take effect as sedatives. Restraining difficult residents with strong chemicals happens too frequently to those residents that suffer from advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s. Acting out physically due to mental confusion is one of the final results of these mental diseases.
Unqualified staff who have not been properly trained to handle this type of aggression will more often turn to administering antipsychotic agents as a recourse to subdue their more challenging residents.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse
Verbal and emotional abuse is closely tied to any cruel treatment inflicted on disruptive and unruly residents by staffers who are not experienced and capable of professional care-giving. While not physical abusing, the psychological effect can be felt just as punishing. The negative impact on a resident’s mental health can result in depression, or a deepening state of depression, loss of appetite, loss of interest in their daily activity calendar, changes in mood, withdrawal from friendships formed with other residents, unusual behavior around certain staff people, demonstrates excessive fear if a particular staffer enters the room.
It is the primary responsibility of the nursing staff to identify which of their residents has a higher risk of falling and to make sure they do everything they can to prevent that resident from possible bone fractures or death from falling. When a resident suffers a fall, there are many risk factors that need to be considered and examined for review; medication side-effects, a dizzy spell due to dehydration or malnutrition, mental confusion, walking without the assistance of a cane, walker or other mobility device.
If your loved one has repeatedly fallen and you suspect there aren’t sufficient personnel on the floor to protect the residents from preventable falls, or not enough is being done on the premises to protect residents from falls, it could indicate neglect and abuse.
Where bedsores generally develop is anywhere on the body where bone is close to the skin. If a resident enters a nursing home stay with pre-existing bedsores, it is inherent on the staff to closely monitor and administer appropriate healing treatment.
Bedsores can be extremely dangerous to a resident’s health, for they give rise to infections that can lead to life-threatening medical conditions that lead to hospitalizations and possibly surgery. If a bedsore develops during a nursing home stay, it is a strong signal that the needs and health of your loved one is not being accorded proper care. Contact the appropriate authorities to ensure neglect by the staff is correctly immediately.
Residents who aren’t being looked after proper and aren’t given water beverages throughout the day are more at risk for mental confusion, dizzy spells, falls, infrequent or hard bowel movements, and many other medical conditions related to insufficient daily water intake.
Nursing homes are expected to provide their residents with a pleasing and comfortable dining environment and to serve meals that are not only appetizing but dietary satisfactory for those residents that have food restrictions or blood sugar disturbances that mandate strict sugar amount guidelines must be adhered to.
If a loved one is revealed to be suffering from malnutrition, the nursing home must be held accountable for lack of oversight and failing to supervise their staff’s record keeping of how much each resident consumes.
Unexplained Bodily Injuries & Bruises
In cases where residents have physical disabilities or dementia, or other mental conditions that can cause erratic behavior, unexplained bodily injuries and bruising is always an indication that attention must be paid from family members to follow-up on in order to rule out abuse by staff.
Burns caused by an accidental spillage of hot coffee or tea is unfortunate but understandable. But burns caused by neglect by nursing home staff and injuries, pain, swelling or blisters caused by burns as punishment, is an abuse factor. There are many different categories of sloppy and improper care that can result in a burn.
What You Can Do
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home or assisted living facility and suspect they have undergone or are currently suffering any form of abuse or neglect, you need to contact our nursing home abuse and neglect attorney today to discuss how we can investigate the circumstances and get justice and compensation for your loved one.
We’ll make sure your loved one’s nursing home does not put their profits ahead of safety. For a free and confidential consultation call Greg Kirakosian Law today 213-444-2908 or if it’s more convenient, you can reach us by filling out our online contact form. As your Nursing Home Abuse Attorney – We Get Results.