Glendale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
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Suspecting or discovering that your elderly family member has been abused in a nursing home is a difficult thing to deal with. These cases are causes for anger, upset, worry, and the need to take action. At Berberian Ain, LLP, we understand your concerns. We make it our aim to uncover nursing home misconduct and make those responsible for harming the elderly accountable for their actions or omissions.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a type of elder abuse that occurs in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and is generally perpetrated by either the staff or other residents. The nature of the abuse can take a variety of forms and is sometimes difficult to identify, but the National Center on Elder Abuse has identified 7 of the most common types of elder abuse. In nursing homes, you’ll often find one or any combination of the following:
- Physical Abuse: The use of physical force to inflict pain, injury, or impairment
- Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older adult
- Emotional Abuse: The infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts
- Financial Abuse: Illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets
- Neglect: Refusal, or failure, to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties to an elder, such as providing necessities like food, clothing, medicine, therapy or assistance.
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
Statistics on nursing home abuse reveal that out of the estimated 1.4 million Americans living in care facilities today, 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident be neglected, according to studies compiled by the NCEA.
Sadly, the actual numbers are probably much higher, as this type of abuse still frequently goes unreported, and it is estimated that only 1 in every 14 cases of elder abuse in the United States is reported to the authorities. Sometimes the victim is too afraid to come forward or may suffer from a mental impairment such as dementia and can’t remember the abuse even took place.
Another big factor is a widespread lack of accountability. Even when reported, nursing home abuse cases may go uninvestigated or unpunished by local or state authorities. In fact, this type of abuse first came to public attention in the 1970s for this very reason – when facilities were mostly unregulated and unsupervised. Fast-forward 50 years later, and recent studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that the situation hasn’t gotten much better; and that may be a gross understatement if you consider that 1 in 5 ER visits from nursing homes in 2016 were the result of abuse or neglect.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Clearly, there are still many blindspots in our society when it comes to nursing home abuse, but you can do your part by knowing what to look for. Here are some common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Emotionally upset, agitated, anxious, or withdrawn and non-communicative
- Fractures of head injuries from falling
- Instances of wandering/elopement
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Reluctance to speak in staff members’ presence; complaints about staff members
- Unexplained injuries such as wounds, cuts, bruises or welts
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Unusual or sudden changes in behavior (fear of being touched, sucking, biting, rocking)
It is also widely acknowledged by researchers that a victim may experience multiple forms of abuse at the same time, so it’s important to look at the bigger picture when a family member or loved one is exhibiting any warning signs. If they appear emotionally distraught, are they also showing sudden changes in their physical health? Do they seem fearful or unable to explain a recent injury? Do other residents in the facility appear neglected as well?
When neglect or abuse is suspected, you should immediately question those in charge. You can also contact 911 if you suspect that a loved one is in immediate danger, or you can explore the following resources on reporting nursing home abuse:
- Nursing Home Abuse Hotline: 1-877-477-3646
- Adult Protective Services Site: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/adult-protective-services
- Online Form: https://fw4.harmonyis.net/LACSSLiveintake/
- Long Term Care Related Reports: 1-800-334-9473
- In-Depth Guide on How to Report Nursing Home Abuse: https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/bmfea/citizens_guide.pdf
What are the Grounds for a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim?
If you suspect that a loved one has been harmed, abused, or neglected in a nursing home, you have the right to take legal action. Nursing homes may be legally liable for damages in claims based on:
- Understaffing, which puts a burden on existing staff leading to stress and the inability to provide proper care
- Poor staff training
- Hiring mistakes, such as hiring without proper background checks, hiring undertrained, poorly trained, or unqualified individuals
- Abuse from third parties, such as other residents, their guests, or family
- Medication errors
- Violations of residents’ basic rights under the Nursing Home Reform Act, such as the right to their own dignity, respect, freedom, and privacy
Fighting for the Rights of the Elderly in Los Angeles
At Berberian Ain, our Glendale nursing home abuse attorneys take pride in the settlements and cases they’ve won for the abused and their families. If you require legal assistance and are looking for a California based law firm to help with your nursing home abuse case, our Glendale lawyers have a proven track record of getting results in the Los Angeles area.
Taking legal action against one of these institutions may seem like a daunting task at first – but remember, if they fall short of providing the safe and healthy environment that they promised for your loved one, then they’re in the wrong, not you. Our Glendale nursing home neglect attorneys are here to help you pursue those facts and uncover any traces of injustice.
Contact our firm at (818) 808-0048 for a free consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today.
“Richard Berberian handle my personal injury case with professionalism and compassion towards the disabled. He was patient and answered all of my questions. I knew Richard had my best interest at heart, he went to battle for me. I highly recommend Richard Berberian, he is the best Attorney anyone could ask for. I’d give him 10 stars if I could!!!” -Cindy B.
We’re Here to Help. Contact Us Today!
Your case may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but there are others who have been in similar situations and found a way forward. Our team can help you make the next steps. Contact Berberian Ain LLP today to schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers. You can also call us at 818-808-0048.