Los Angeles, California
Welcome to the Los Angeles website for the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi. We are here to provide you with information related to elder abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, there are too many cases of abuse and neglect occurring within skilled nursing home facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) throughout California. While we would like to believe that our loved ones residing in such facilities are being provided with quality care and respect, too many become victims to instances of abuse and neglect. Our skilled attorneys are here to help protect your loved ones and to hold responsible parties accountable.
Los Angeles, also known as L.A., is located in Southern California, and is a diverse city with a population of 3,792,621 residents according to the 2010 census. People from more than 140 countries, who speak 224 different languages, reside in L.A., and it is the second most populated city in the United States. L.A. is known as the “creative capitol of the world,” and is home to Hollywood, the epicenter of the motion picture industry. L.A County has a total of 841 museums and art galleries alone, and more than 1.3 million people visit the city annually. There are currently 79 skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles.Improper Administration of Medication
Unfortunately, we have seen numerous cases in which nursing homes and RCFEs have wrongfully applied the use of restraints, which are harmful and dangerous to the resident’s well-being. A restraint is something that limits one’s movement and comes in two forms: physical and chemical. Chemical restraints are a form of abuse and involve the administration of medication in order to subdue elderly residents. Antipsychotic medications, which are often used to control the behaviors of patients who suffer from dementia, are a form of chemical restraint. Facilities may resort to the use of such medications to treat behavioral symptoms resulting from dementia, but it is important to note that medicinal interventions should not be a first line of treatment, as ample evidence has supported the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for treatment as well.Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)
The development and worsening of pressure ulcers, which are also known as bed sores, are also indications that elder abuse or neglect may be taking place. Bed sores form when the resident’s skin is constantly subject to pressure, which cuts off circulation. This will cause the underlying skin tissue to die due to a failure to receive a sufficient flow of blood. It is important to note that bed sores are preventable and treatable if proper care and treatment are administered. However, bed sores may also lead to death if severe enough. Bed sores are commonly found on the sacrum, heels, back, shoulders, elbows, hips, ankles, and the back of the head.
There are four stages of bed sores, with each stage increasing in severity:
- Stage I – The affected area is reddened, but does not become white when it is touched or pressed.
- Stage II – The affected area appears as a blister or an open sore.
- Stage III – There is a deep wound, which extends beneath the skin, resembling a crater.
- Stage IV – Skin breakdown is deep and severe, extending into muscle, tendon, and/or bone
An underlying cause for these otherwise preventable injuries is understaffing of the facility. When facilities are understaffed and nurses are inadequately trained or unqualified, your loved ones do not receive the attention and care that they deserve, resulting in neglect. Unfortunately, many nursing homes may understaff their facilities at the expense of their residents’ health and safety in an attempt to save money. However, understaffing results in substandard care, leading to resident injury and abuse.
According to Health & Safety Code § 1599.1, every skilled nursing facility is required to “employ an adequate number of qualified personnel to carry out all of the functions of the facility.” Furthermore, under California law, nursing homes must provide a minimum of 3.2 nursing hours per patient day. However, this is just a minimum, and depending on the acuity needs of residents, a much higher direct caregiver ratio may be required.
Abuse and neglect of the elderly is by no means excusable. If you feel that your loved one may be abused or neglected within such facilities, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi. Contact us at 888-606-3453 for a free consultation today. We serve cities throughout California.