Why Families Should Be Alert for Possible Elder Abuse
The issue of elder abuse and mistreatment is gaining more attention as more Americans are living longer lives. Currently, approximately 1.5 million Americans live in nursing homes or some type of assisted living facility, approximately 25% of which have been cited for abuse or neglect in one form or another. Additionally, a 2007 study estimated that nearly one in ten seniors living in a nursing home reported experiencing some form of mistreatment.
Nursing homes are businesses with the same potential as other profit-driven organizations to place priority on earnings over quality control. Too often, nursing home workers are low-paid, overworked and poorly trained. Yet sometimes nursing home abuse can occur inside facilities that appear clean, professional and well-run to most outside observers. Unfortunately, the elderly are a very vulnerable population and not likely, and often not able, to complain about abuse, making them easy targets.
Does Your Elder Care Facility Do a Good Job?
For most of us, the seniors in our lives are among our most loved and cherished individuals. Unfortunately, as they get older and their health deteriorates, we are not always able to provide the level of care that they require. When this happens we look for the best nursing home, or other care facility, where they will be comfortable, well taken care of, and closely monitored by professionals. While this should, and usually does, mean a better quality of care, that is not always the case.
Statistics show that almost one-third of all nursing homes and elder care facilities have received complaints of elder abuse or neglect. What is even more alarming is that many cases of abuse go unreported altogether. We place our elderly in these facilities to address their needs and protect them, yet this doesn’t prevent thousands of injuries and deaths each year as a direct result of abuse and neglect.
A nursing home and hospital in Woodland Hills for retired entertainment industry workers was recently fined $10,000 related to quality of care issues, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The home was assessed by the state Department of Public Health for failing to prevent an Alzheimer patient’s several falls. In a span of a little over three months, the patient fell 10 times and broke two bones.
Other incidents at the facility have led the public to question how effective the nursing home is. In 2010, the home was fined $7,500 for failing to prevent an 87-year-old resident’s serious head injury. Additionally, an 89-year-old resident fell down a staircase at the facility. The nursing home planned to shut down its operations, but many residents refused to leave. Since then, the home has begun working on a plan to turn the operation of the home over to a Catholic hospital chain.
Although it is very hard to quantify San Fernando Valley elder abuse and elder neglect, some statistics show that between 1 and 2 million elderly Americans have been mistreated (including neglected) by a caregiver. For every incident that is reported, some studies show that five are unreported.
If you are worried about California nursing home neglect or abuse, do your homework. Check with the state to determine what kinds of complaints have been brought against a particular nursing home. Take a tour of a facility to get an idea of what level of care they provide. Talk to workers there to see if they seem caring and supportive.
If your loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact the San Fernando Valley nursing home abuse attorneys at the Mandell Law Firm today. Call us at 818-886-6600 to learn more about your legal options.
California is the first state in the country to require nursing homes to post the ratings of their facilities, according to latimes.com. The ratings give facilities between one and five stars based on the quality of care provided at that nursing home and are compiled by the federal government.
The law was passed in 2008 and took effect this year. Nursing homes must also post information about how the ratings are compiled, and how to get information about the home’s licensing record online from the Department of Public Health. In California, there are more federally rated nursing homes than in any other state: 1,235. Among those homes, 187 got five stars; and on the other hand, 195 got a one star rating.
Proponents of the law say that it will incentivize nursing homes to maintain high standards, as well as provide information about the quality of care to both the patient and family members. However, opponents are not pleased about the rating system. They claim the ratings do not include recent state violations, and punish nursing homes that care for very critically ill patients.
The new ratings system will provide a patient and family members with more information on the quality of available nursing homes. Poor care, as well as elder abuse, can be a serious problem in nursing homes. The ratings, as well as the information from the Department of Public Health, will help families steer clear of unsafe homes.
Has a loved one experienced elder abuse or nursing home neglect at a care facility in California? If so, call the Simi Valley elder abuse attorneys at the Mandell Law Firm at 818-886-6600 for a free consultation.
A 94-year-old woman was found inside a freezer at a posh retirement home in Calabasas, according to The Los Angeles Times. She was hospitalized for unknown injuries and is reported to be back at the facility.
Although few details are known about the incident, some have emerged. On October 28, employees could not locate one of the residents of the retirement home. Nearly all of the 60 residents of the Silverado Senior Living facility suffer from dementia. Eventually, the woman was found in a walk-in freezer on the facility’s premises.
Silverado Senior Living officials will not reveal what injuries the woman suffered, how she wound up in the freezer, or how long she was there. A senior vice president for the retirement home said that the freezer is required to remain locked, but the lock was not fastened. He also said that “corrective action” has been taken against two of the facility’s employees, but has not revealed if they still work there or the extent of their involvement in the incident.
The retirement home reported the incident to the Department of Social Services, as required by law, and is still investigating the incident. The punishment for the incident may range from a hefty fine to a closure of the facility. Less than a year ago, a former caregiver at the home was convicted of torture and elder abuse for mistreating patients. The facility costs $70,000 per year.
The elderly are among the most vulnerable individuals in our society. Nursing homes and retirement facilities have a duty to their residents as well as to their families to protect them and to help them enjoy a good quality of life. If a loved one has suffered mistreatment by a Southern California nursing home, contact the Mandell Law Firm. Our Calabasas elder abuse and neglect attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of elder abuse and neglect recover for their injuries. Call us today at 818-886-6600 for a free consultation.