Nursing Home Abuse
What kind of care, service, respect and attention would you expect for $365 per day? A five-star hotel? A beachfront condominium? A resort and spa?
How about the typical amenities of a California nursing home, where the average cost of a one-year stay is $133,347, according to the American Association of Retired Persons.
The Los Angeles nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Howard Law are serious about protecting the rights and dignity of our most vulnerable residents.
Many people drain their life savings paying for nursing home care; thousands of others rely on Medi-Cal to pay for the cost of long-term care in one of California’s 1,300 nursing home facilities.
California’s elderly population will double in the next 20 years, from 3.7 million to nearly 6.5 million. The federal government estimates nearly half of us will spend time in a nursing home; an under funded, overburdened system populated by large corporations seeking profits.
Sadly, abuse and neglect go unreported in California nursing homes everyday.
More than half of all nursing homes are operated by large chain corporations and two-thirds are operated for-profit. These homes have a duty to ensure residents receive the care and dignity they deserve. Yet, far too often we hear cases about mentally ill residents abusing the elderly, low-paid and under qualified staff, and inadequate staffing and background checks in California nursing homes.
In 2008, California secured 85 criminal convictions against corporate entities, including nursing homes, for elder neglect and abuse charges, including failure to provide care and proper hygiene, inadequate staffing, malnutrition and dehydration, and falsification of patient charts, according to the Office of the Attorney General of California
In one study, the United States General Accounting Office reports that 1 in 3 California nursing homes were cited for serious or life-threatening problems. Another federal study, conducted in the 1990s, found just 1 of 439 nursing homes in the Los Angeles area were in compliance with federal standards of care.
Too often, nursing home residents do not report abuse or neglect, either because cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia prevent them from doing so, or because they fear retaliation by other residents or staff.
And tragically, abuse sometimes goes unreported because a nursing home resident doesn’t want to burden family or friends, or because they have no where else to go.
The Los Angeles elder abuse attorneys at Howard Law offer free and confidential appointments to anyone concerned about the conditions of a nursing home in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, including Anaheim, Santa Ana and Riverside. Call (800) 872-5925 for a free consultation
Choosing a California Nursing Home
- Check with the State Department of Health Services for a list of nursing homes in your area.
- Examine the State Department of Health Services most recent inspection for each home you visit.
- Contact your local Ombudsman Program for information on local nursing homes
- Whenever possible, choose a home close to friends and relatives.
- Visit each home. Visit during mealtimes.
- Pay attention to the staff, the condition of residents and the condition of the nursing home.
- Ask about the activities programs. Look at the activities calendar.
Source: California Department of Public Health
Signs of California nursing home abuse or neglect
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, sprains, fractures or other injuries.
- Venereal disease or genital infections, bleeding or stained underclothes
- Unexplained behavioral or mood changes
- Refusal or delay by nursing home staff in allowing residents to have visitors or to be visited without supervision.
- Residents kept in an overmedicated state.
- Resident’s possession being lost or stolen.
- Irregular banking activity or changes to financial documents.
Source: Elder Abuse Foundation