The Los Angeles physical abuse lawyers of the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are dedicated to preventing abuse and neglect in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Our team of attorneys know that physical abuse perpetrated by facility staff or other patients or residents is not uncommon, and we will work with you to help you receive the best results possible.
Physical abuse and ill-treatment of elderly individuals in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities is an issue of significant concern in the United States. Chances of death increase three-fold within just years after abuse incidents, with the greatest risk of physical abuse occurring to elderly women. However, several elder abuse prevention organizations report that abuse to elders is an “invisible” problem because victims and their families fail to report it when it happens. Less than 20% of elders who experience physical abuse report it, therefore studies on the extent of abuse are somewhat limited.
In the experience of the physical abuse lawyers of the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi in Los Angeles, even though forms of neglect are more prevalent in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, intentional physical abuse unfortunately still occurs against elderly patients and residents. Physical abuse not only involves assault and battery, but also the unreasonable use of restraints to keep an elderly patient or resident from moving freely. Although abuse may occur by nursing home or assisted living facility staff, it also is committed by doctors and even other patients or residents.
The most common signs of physical abuse include scratches, bruises, burns, abrasions, or marks on the skin of a patient/resident, sprains, dislocated joints, or broken bones, a tense relationship between the patient/resident and caregivers, and unusual depression or change in emotional condition in the patient/resident. It is important to be observant and remain alert. Again, less than 20% of abused elderly individuals actually report the abuse. Elderly patients and residents who are being abused in a skilled nursing facility often suffer in silence, so if you notice any of these warning signs, including changes in personality, behavior, or physical condition, you may want to contact a physical abuse attorney in Los Angeles for additional help.
Physical abuse against the elderly can and should be prevented by staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Prevention and accountability measures should be undertaken in facility policy and protocol. In addition, family members can help prevent abuse by frequently visiting the elder. The physical and mental condition of the elder should be regularly checked to reduce the risk of abuse. Talk with your loved one to see if they have any problems or concerns with their care. Also pay close attention to the medications your loved one is taking. Some elderly individuals have cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which may make it hard to report abuse themselves. It is thus imperative for friends or family to report abuse if they believe it is happening.
There may be instances where you believe that abuse has already occurred. In emergency situations, call 911. Police and paramedics will help if your loved one’s health and/or safety is in imminent danger. In a non-emergency, communicate directly with your loved one’s caregivers. Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers are deemed “mandated reporters” under California law, which requires them to report suspected abuse to the proper agencies and authorities. Other options include contacting Adult Protective Services, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or the California Department of Public Health for nursing homes and the California Department of Social Services for assisted living facilities. If your loved one has suffered harm or death as a result of suspected elder abuse or neglect, you should also consider contacting an experienced attorney for help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any way at a nursing home abuse, contact the Los Angeles physical abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi immediately. Our team of attorneys will assist you in holding nursing homes and assisted living facilities accountable for the physical abuse inflicted to your loved one. Call us any time at (310) 623-1926 or online for a free consultation with a qualified attorney.