Pasadena Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

There were over 3.2 million Americans living in nursing homes in 2008. California houses 7% of these residents in over 1,200 certified facilities. Many of these facilities are owned and operated by multi-million dollar companies managing thousands of nursing home beds.

There is no excuse for elder neglect in a nursing home. Federal and state laws and regulations require nursing homes and their employees to follow clear standards of care. Yet incidents of nursing home abuse occur frequently and should be addressed with the assistance of a Pasadena nursing home abuse lawyer. To get started on your claim or discuss what legal options may be available, schedule a consultation with an injury attorney in Pasadena today.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

  • In a study of 2,000 interviews of nursing home residents, 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected
  • Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that had potential to cause harm or that had caused actual harm to a resident during the two years 1999-2001.
  • Over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating (e.g. physical violence, mental abuse, neglect) older patients within the prior year in one study. Two-thirds of those incidents involved neglect.
  • Roughly 7 % of all complaints regarding institutional facilities reported too long-term care ombudsmen were complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation

Elder abuse is particularly devastating because its victims are loved ones who are unable to take care of themselves. While we do everything we can to find competent and reliable facilities, too often our loved ones are neglected, ignored and abused.

Rights as a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Victim

California law requires all healthcare facilities to be licensed, regulated, inspected, and/or certified. Healthcare facilities and nursing homes that participate in federally managed or sponsored programs like Medicare and Medi-Cal programs must meet additional standards. Employees of these organizations are generally required to be certified by the California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Program. Certification programs cover nurse assistants, home health aides, hemodialysis technicians, and the licensing of nursing home administrators. All of these requirements create standards of care.

Despite these protective laws governing how nursing homes operate, nursing home neglect and abuse occur frequently. When it does, families are devastated. Our Pasadena nursing home abuse lawyers understand these emotions and help families through these difficult times. Abuse and neglect occur because someone or some institution failed to follow the required standards of care.

Types of Abuse

  • Physical Abuse occurs when an elder is injured (e.g., scratched, bitten, slapped, pushed, hit, burned, falls, etc.), assaulted or threatened with a weapon (e.g., knife, gun, or other object), or is inappropriately restrained (i.e., inappropriately restrained in a chair, bed or room).
  • Sexual Abuse or Abusive Sexual Contact is any sexual contact against an elder’s will and includes acts in which the elder is unable to understand the act or is unable to communicate. Abusive sexual contact is defined as intentional touching (either directly or through the clothing), of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, mouth, inner thigh, or buttocks.
  • Psychological or Emotional Abuse occurs when an elder experiences trauma after exposure to threatening acts or coercive tactics. Examples include humiliation or embarrassment; controlling behavior (e.g., prohibiting or limiting access to transportation, telephone, money or other resources); social isolation; disregarding or trivializing needs; or damaging or destroying property.
  • Neglect is the failure or refusal of a caregiver or other responsible person to provide for an elder’s basic physical, emotional, or social needs, or failure to protect them from harm. Examples include not providing adequate nutrition, hygiene, clothing, shelter, or access to necessary health care; or failure to prevent exposure to unsafe activities and environments.
  • Abandonment is the willful desertion of an elderly person by a caregiver or other responsible person.
  • Financial Abuse or Exploitation is the unauthorized or improper use of the resources of an elder for the monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain. Examples include forgery, misuse or theft of money or possessions; use of coercion or deception to surrender finances or property; or improper use of guardianship or power of attorney.

Some Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

When you visit your loved one in a nursing home, it is always wise to remain vigilant by looking for signs of abuse and neglect. Some of these signs which should result in contact with a Pasadena nursing home neglect lawyer include:

  • Unexplained signs of injury such as welts, bruises, or scars
  • Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
  • Medication anomalies (evidence that medication is not being taken regularly)
  • Report of drug overdose
  • Broken frames or eyeglasses
  • Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on wrists
  • Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration
  • Untreated physical problems, such as bed sores
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
  • Being left dirty or unbathed
  • Observed condescending, threatening, belittling, or controlling caregiver
  • Bruises around breasts or genitals
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Unsanitary living conditions: dirt, bugs, soiled bedding and clothes

If you suspect your family member is a victim of abuse, our Pasadena nursing home neglect attorneys want to help. We offer a free consultation to help you assess your situation.

Wrongful Death Claims in California

California lawmakers have enacted laws that create special penalties for nursing home facilities that create conditions that lead to the death of a resident. These laws allow families of patients who die as a result of negligent care in a nursing home to sue for damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim before death. These damages are in addition to the limits of a wrongful death claim.