The decision to place an elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home is never easy. While nursing homes are supposed to provide the expert care an elderly family member needs, the choice to entrust your loved one with these facilities can be hard. While many nursing homes adequately care for their residents, the unfortunate reality is that concerns about your loved one’s care in a nursing home are often well-founded.
Elder abuse is a common threat to the residents of these facilities throughout the country—and that threat continues to grow. If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect while in the care of a Fresno nursing home, the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC stands ready to help. Our attorneys will act quickly to hold the abusers and the nursing home that facilitated this mistreatment accountable. To learn more, call (800) 712-9119 for a free consultation with a Fresno nursing home abuse lawyer today.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The term “nursing home abuse” is broad. It encompasses a wide range of behavior and mistreatment that negatively impacts the physical, mental, and financial well-being of a nursing home resident. While there are endless examples of nursing home abuse, these incidents typically fall within five broad categories.
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Physical abuse involves any willful use of force that causes pain, injury, or illness to a nursing home resident. This type of abuse commonly involves caretakers slapping, hitting, punching, or biting a nursing home resident. It can also involve the use of unnecessary force in a resident’s care, including force-feeding or rough handling. The unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints is another example of physical abuse.
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Any form of unwanted, non-consensual sexual activity qualifies as sexual abuse. This can include unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment, or exposure, among other offenses. Additionally, any form of sexual harassment also qualifies.
Sexual abuse is a problem in many nursing homes given the inability of many residents to consent to sexual activity. Often, nursing home residents also lack the cognitive ability to object to sexual contact or report abuse.
Commonly referred to as psychological abuse, emotional abuse harms a nursing home resident despite the lack of physical injuries. This type of abuse can involve anything from threats to harassment to the silent treatment.
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Nursing home residents face a conundrum when it comes to their finances. While they have the right to manage their finances as they wish, they also frequently face cognitive issues that increase the chances of financial fraud. In a nursing home setting, financial fraud could be as simple as stealing an heirloom or as complex as fraudulently rewriting a will.
Neglect refers to the failure to provide for the basic needs of a nursing home resident. This includes things like their hygiene, nutritional requirements, or medical care. In some cases, neglect is intentional. In others, poor training or understaffing can lead to neglect.
Signs of Abuse
Given the varying types of nursing home abuse, there are countless potential signs that your loved one could be suffering from abuse or neglect. Understanding these signs is imperative, especially for those family members of residents that have cognitive difficulties. Nursing home abuse and neglect is prevalent in part due to the inability of many residents to complain about mistreatment. Other residents fear the consequences of turning their caretakers in for allegations of abuse. Understanding these warning signs is an important step in combating abuse in a nursing home setting. Some common signs include:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or injuries
- Missing assets
- Unusual personality changes
- Weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained change in mobility
If you notice any of these signs of abuse, do not hesitate to speak with a lawyer right away. The attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC take pride in serving as advocates for neglected and abused nursing home residents. To learn more about how we can help, contact us right away and get connected with a Fresno nursing home abuse lawyer.
Reporting Abuse in Fresno
While pursuing a claim for compensation is one of the best ways for your loved one to hold a facility accountable for neglect and abuse, it is also important to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. Not only will this report potentially aid your loved one’s claim, but it could also help prevent this same mistreatment from happening to another elderly resident.
All Fresno nursing homes are overseen by the Center for Healthcare Quality’s (CHCQ) Licensing and Certification Program. This is the entity that regulates the nursing home industry throughout the State of California. You can easily report concerns of neglect, abuse, or substandard care online through the California Health Facility Information Database. By reporting the incident to CHCQ, you are guaranteed to get a response regarding their investigation within 60 days.
In addition to the complaint to the CHCQ, you should also reach out to local law enforcement officials. After all, nursing home abuse is more than just a civil or regulatory matter. Typically, it also represents a crime as well. While you pursue justice for your loved one in a civil claim, the police can also hold the abuser accountable in criminal court.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help
Reporting abuse is only one step in addressing the mistreatment your loved one experienced in a Fresno nursing home. Your next important call is to a Fresno nursing home abuse lawyer. If your family is ready to discuss your legal options, the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is here to help. For your free consultation, call (800) 712-9119 today.