Elderly loved ones find comfort, care, and companionship in well-run elder care facilities. Family members gain peace of mind that their fragile seniors are safe, but sometimes, a senior living facility or an employee is negligent or abusive, and legal action is necessary.
If you suspect abuse or neglect of an elderly loved one, a Rialto nursing home abuse lawyer could step in to right the wrong and make the parties providing substandard care pay for their negligence. To get started, get in touch with an experienced injury attorney.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Some physical and mental changes can occur in the aging process, but family members should not discount them. For instance, a lot of bruising could be caused if a patient is taking blood thinners or from rough treatment by the staff. A nursing home abuse attorney in Rialto could contact the facility’s administration and discuss the family’s concerns.
In highly suspicious cases, the police should be called. California’s Attorney General on the Department of Justice website provides contact information if elder abuse or neglect is suspected. Along with bruising, some common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Complaints of unexplained pain
- The patient’s mood changes from cheery to withdrawn
- Dramatic weight loss
- Unexplained changes in documents such as wills, deeds, trusts, powers of attorney
- Checks or credit card purchases the patient did not authorize
The best line of defense for family members is to visit loved ones often and question any changes they observe. Since administrators may not know everything an employee does when interacting with a patient, families should keep them informed about employees who provide exemplary care and those that do not.
How Rialto’s Nursing Home Patients Can Be Neglected
Nursing home patients expect a reasonable level of care for their well-being. When a facility or employee fails to administer that care, negligence may be charged in a civil lawsuit if the patient is harmed. In some cases, criminal charges could be appropriate. A Rialto nursing home abuse attorney could review a patient’s circumstances to determine if a nursing home, an employee, or both are negligent.
Nursing Home Negligence
A well-run nursing home employs trained staff at a patient-staff ratio that allows employees to care for each patient adequately. Too few employees mean stressed staff trying to care for fragile, disabled, cognitively impaired, or unruly patients.
Nursing homes could be negligent if they fail to hire qualified staff, hire staff with a troubled history undiscovered because the facility failed to do a background check, hire too few employees, or do not train employees for specific methods required for proper elder care. For instance, an employee who is not trained to subdue dangerous patients could prompt a lawsuit against the facility if a patient is attacked and injured.
A nursing home might do everything right but still end up with an employee whose negligence causes harm to a patient. Negligent care includes:
- Not helping the patient with personal hygiene
- Not making sure a patient eats and is hydrated
- Improperly administering medication
- Leaving patient in unsanitary conditions
- Not cleaning up safety hazards such as spills
When patients are victims of negligent or dangerous acts, a loved one should contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Rialto to discuss a plan to rectify the situation.
Three Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse occurs when a patient is touched inappropriately, such as hitting, slapping, or unwanted sexual contact. Caregivers sometimes inappropriately restrain or overmedicate patients to keep them quiet or from wandering.
Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse and occurs when someone insults, threatens or intimidates a patient. Patients rarely disclose emotional abuse, although loved ones should look for mood changes because patients fear the offender will withhold care as punishment.
Financial abuse occurs when an unauthorized party with access to a patient’s jewelry or financial documents steals, uses credit cards or writes checks to benefit themselves.
A Rialto Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Could Help Your Loved One
We all want our elderly loved ones to live out their lives cared for and safe. Senior care facilities mostly fulfill that obligation to their patients, but not always.
If your loved one resides in a senior care facility and you suspect they are being abused or neglected, a Rialto nursing home abuse lawyer could speak with administrators, sue negligent parties, or contact the authorities in extreme cases. Call today for your initial consultation.