Skilled Nursing Home For The Elderly FAQ

10 Skilled Nursing Home For The Elderly Frequently Asked Questions

What rights do California nursing home residents have?

This document from the State of California summarizes the rights of elderly nursing home residents. All patients at California nursing homes must be provided a Patient’s Bill of Rights, which contains a more complete list of state and Federal requirements. For a listing of some of the most important rights of nursing home residents, please visit our Your Rights as a Resident of a Nursing Home page.

Is elderly abuse or neglect common, or am I imagining things?

Official nursing home abuse statistics from the US government prove that elderly abuse and neglect in nursing homes are shockingly common. The Administration on Aging and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) note the following findings:

  • 85% of nursing homes reported at least one incidence of abuse or neglect in 2012.
  • Nursing homes as a group only report 53% of elder abuse allegations that are eventually discovered.
  • As many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents may become victims of nursing home abuse.

If you notice signs of elder abuse in a loved one, don’t think you are simply imaging a problem. Notify the nursing home administrator and then contact Moran Law as soon as possible.

What qualifies as “neglect” of a nursing home resident?

In general, most legal statutes define elderly neglect within a skilled nursing home facility as failure to provide the resident with services or supervision essential to health and safety, including food and water, medical care, access to prescribed medications, shelter, clothing, proper hygiene, a safe and clean environment, and much more.

This failure can be willfully careless, accidental or due to insufficient training, support, etc. The nature of the failure may determine whether a legal claim proceeds as a case of neglect or abuse.

What qualifies as “abuse” of a nursing home resident?

Abuse is typically differentiated from neglect by intent: elderly abuse is willful harm, or activity that is know to likely cause harm. There are four main types of elder abuse that can take place in a nursing home:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse

How does abuse or neglect happen in a professional skilled nursing facility?

Even the most highly rated skilled nursing facilities can be home to instances of elderly neglect or abuse. The most common reasons include insufficient staff, or staff that are not adequately trained. In some cases, staff with a history of violence, abuse or neglectful conduct may be retained in a position of responsibility. The isolation of elderly residents plays a role in making them more susceptible to abuse, as does their vulnerability (perceived or actual) to threats and intimidation should they speak up.

What is financial abuse or exploitation of an elderly victim?

In a nursing home or elsewhere, elderly financial abuse is typically defined as theft, unlawful seizure or misuse of an elderly person’s money, property or person for financial gain. Exploitation may be accomplished without consent, or via intimidation, deception, duress or undue influence.

Elderly residents under supervised care may be particularly vulnerable to financial abuse or exploitation due to their medical condition, lack of awareness of their finances, or lack of access to information regarding their money or property.

What are some of the signs of elder abuse or neglect?

Some telltale signs of nursing home abuse neglect include:

  • Bruises, cuts or scrapes
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Bedsores/pressure sores
  • Over-medication or unused medication
  • Mood swings, mood change or emotional withdrawal
  • Poor hygiene
  • Fearful behavior in the presence of skilled nursing home staff
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Sudden or unexplained changes to a will, money transfers or withdrawals

Family and friends are often the first line of defense for elderly loved ones suffering abuse or neglect. If you suspect a problem, speak up and seek the legal support you need to end the abuse.

If I suspect elderly abuse or neglect of a loved one, what should I do first?

Securing the immediate safety and health of your loved one is of crucial importance. Notify the nursing home administrator as soon as possible. It is their duty to thoroughly investigate the problem.

Then seek qualified outside counsel. Moran Law is highly experienced in providing rapid support and services for seniors in danger in a managed care situation. We can help end the abuse, remove your loved one to safety and help them receive urgent and qualified medical care. Once immediate health needs are addressed, we can help you move forward with legal claims and begin the process of seeking compensation and justice.

My loved one did not have a contract with the skilled nursing home – can we still pursue a claim?

Yes. Lack of a contractual agreement for care is not proof against responsibility for most instances of abuse, neglect, injury or wrongful death. A consultation with Moran Law can help you understand your full rights to compensation and legal satisfaction.

Defense against elderly abuse or neglect begins with finding qualified legal help that is experienced in the field and motivated to act as an advocate for the safety, health and happiness of seniors. Many elderly nursing home residents cannot speak up for themselves, which means it is up to family and friends to be aware and proactive to halt elderly abuse.

Moran Law Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You

If you suspect a problem involving elderly abuse or neglect of a loved one in a skilled nursing care facility, contact Moran Law immediately to receive the qualified Southern California legal support you need to put an end to the problem and receive legal satisfaction.

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