California nursing homes assure family members that they will take good care of their loved ones who reside in their facilities. Nursing homes receive billions of dollars every year from families, federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare and other sources with the promise of providing a high standard of care that your loved one needs and deserves. Unfortunately, many residents of California nursing homes experience abuse and neglect wherein they become seriously injured or die. Nursing home neglect is widespread in California just as it is elsewhere in the United States.
By law, every resident of a California nursing home is to be provided with food, drink, shelter and care. They also are supposed to be provided with clean sheets, undergarments and bandages. However, often times, nursing home residents are not given these basic provisions and care which constitutes negligence on the part of the nursing homes.
Nursing home negligence occurs when residents are not provided with the care, service and treatment they are supposed to receive. This type of negligence occurs in situations where your often vulnerable loved one is partially or completely dependent upon the nursing home staff. The staff may be ill-equipped, unwilling or unable to provide your loved one with the care and treatment they deserve.
Acts of negligence perpetrated against the elderly are more widespread than most people believe. According to recent estimates, nearly 1.8 million elderly adults are neglected each year in the US with many of those individuals residing in nursing homes. Victims of nursing home negligence are entitled to seek justice via monetary compensation from all liable parties including nursing home owners, operators, managers and staff.
Hogan Injury is dedicated to protecting the rights of residents of nursing homes who have suffered from acts of negligence such as those who are not provided with clean bedding, undergarments and bandages. If your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence, contact our San Francisco elder abuse attorneys to schedule a no-cost, confidential review of your case.
Your Loved One’s Rights
Under California law, failure on the part of a nursing home to provide its residents with safe housing, clothing and hygiene is considered elder neglect. In the early 1990s, the Welfare & Institutions Code section 15657 was added to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. This was done to direct more focus toward the special needs of elderly individuals and the problems they face which includes abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Many residents of nursing homes are not capable of showering, cleaning or changing clothing or of taking care of their most basic health needs such as changing bandages. When your loved one was first placed in the nursing facility, you were promised that he or she would be well cared for and that he/she would have clean sheets to sleep on and clean clothing to wear. You also were told that your loved one’s medical needs would be well-attended to which included changing bandages as necessary.
Warning Signs That Could Indicate Negligence
While it would not prove too difficult for most of us to recognize signs of physical abuse, acts of neglect are not so easy to spot. Some of the warning signs that could indicate your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence include:
- Soiled bedding
- Bed sores
- Dirty and soiled undergarments
- Rashes, lice, bed bugs
- Viral, bacterial and fungal infections that re-occur
- Foul odors in living quarters
- Wounds that fester and/or won’t heal
- Bandages that appear not to have been changed
- Personality changes including withdrawal and depression
Why This Type of Negligence Occurs
Some of the most common causes of patient negligence in nursing homes are under staffing and an improper staff to patient ratio. It is common in a nursing home that is understaffed for personnel to intentionally neglect to change bedding, provide residents with clean undergarments and to change bandages regularly due to them being very busy. Other reasons this type of negligence happens is a lack of staff training, poor management, failure to properly screen potential employees and a basic lack of caring on the part of direct care staff.
None of these reasons are acceptable as excuses for not providing nursing home residents with proper care and treatment. You put your trust in the nursing home your loved one lives in as you were told that he or she would be very well cared for and treated with respect. The nursing home neglect attorneys working at Hogan Injury know how infuriating it can be to discover or even suspect that your loved one is not getting the care he or she deserves while living in a California nursing home. We are adamant about holding nursing homes accountable for neglect and promise to work hard to ensure that you and your loved one receives the justice and compensation you deserve.