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Temecula Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Temecula Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The difficult, sensitive topic of whether to entrust an elderly loved one’s care to professionals at a nursing home or long-term facility is becoming more common by the day. The elderly population in California is exploding and will nearly double by 2030, and currently over 8 percent of Temecula’s 110,000 residents are senior citizens. Though only 37 percent of seniors believe they will need long-term care, 69 percent actually do end up requiring professional long-term care from a nursing home or other residential care facility.
Once a decision is made to place an elderly person in the hands of professional caregivers, the expectation is rightly that staff will treat their loved one with the utmost skill, professionalism, and care. However, all too often real life falls far short of this standard. Lack of training, lack of adequate staff, poor management, and failure to adhere to regulations and protocol at nursing homes and long-term care facilities can all result in the abuse or neglect of elderly people left in their care. If you or a loved one have been victimized in this type of situation, it is important to speak with a skilled nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Temecula soon to understand your options, protect your legal rights, and take steps to receive well-deserved compensation for injuries suffered at the hands of another.Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Mistreatment of elderly people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities can present in many ways – often multiple types of abuse are happening simultaneously. It is common to see abandonment and isolation along with sexual, financial, or physical abuse of a nursing home abuse or neglect victim.
It is common to see a pattern of abuse surface:
- The victim is abused or neglected.
- The initial abuse is followed by perpetration of psychological abuse.
- The psychological abuse allows continuation of the initial abusive or neglectful behavior.
Commonly, the end goal of such behavior is to strongarm or coerce an elderly person to relinquish control of their finances, change their will, or sign over assets to the abuser.What Are Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Temecula?
Though some telltale indicators of abuse and neglect are glaringly obvious, many are much more subtle in keeping with the surreptitious nature of the misconduct. Physical, mental, emotional, and psychological markers may all be present and evince the presence of sinister behavior. Signs include:
- Unexplained malnutrition or dehydration;
- Decline in personal hygiene;
- Lack of basic amenities, food, or water;
- Sudden changes in behavior;
- Physical marks such as bruises or burns;
- Isolation or withdrawal; and
- Fear in the presence of the abuser or unwillingness to be left alone with them.
The list is not exhausting but it should be kept in mind that each person is unique and symptoms of abuse or neglect may present differently in them that anyone else – familiarity with the elderly person is key to recognizing any changes they may present.What Can I Recover?
California has enacted an Elder Abuse Act providing enhanced remedies in civil court for abuses perpetrated against elders both living and home and in care facilities such as nursing homes. If you can show pain or mental suffering as a result of violating this act, you are entitled to compensation. Additionally, if it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence the neglect or abuse was perpetrated with recklessness, oppression, fraud, or malice, the victim then may be able to recover additional punitive damages. Because of the complicated nature of these laws and the different levels of proof required for certain types of damage awards, it is highly advisable to speak to a Temecula attorney experienced with nursing home abuse and neglect cases.What Steps Should I Take to Prevent and Address Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Though nursing home abuse and neglect takes place behind closed doors and away from the eyes of family and friends, it is possible to prevent it or curtail it in its early stages before serious, irreparable harm occurs. There are a few steps you can take to prevent or discover mistreatment of elderly people.
Closely Observe Your Loved One
Due to the insidious, secretive nature of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, it is vital to be vigilant when spending time with an elderly loved one. Look for signs of change physically, emotionally, and mentally, keeping in mind the differences indicating a problem may present subtly and gradually instead – not every instance of abuse is as overstated as the sudden appearance of a black eye.
Report Any Concerns Immediately
If you notice any changes in your loved one or have any suspicions that they are being abused or neglected, it is important to speak up immediately and have them investigated. Not only should you inform the facility – there are government agencies and programs you can speak with to report concerns. Laws have been passed criminalizing elder abuse and agencies have been created to protect and advocate for these vulnerable individuals. Consider speaking with law enforcement, adult protective services, and your local long-term care ombudsman.Consult an Attorney
If you or an elderly loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Temecula, it is wise to consult with the skilled attorneys at Walton Law who have extensive experience with nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our knowledgeable attorneys have been handling personal injury lawsuits for years and securing favorable outcomes for clients through personalized, aggressive advocacy in the Temecula area. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and pride ourselves in providing tailored, focused representation to each of our clients. The initial consultation is free and there is no fee unless we win your case. Let our experienced attorneys evaluate your case and give you the guidance you need to obtain the best possible outcome from a bad situation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with you, so call us today at (866) 338-7079 or Contact Us online to schedule your no obligation, risk-free consultation.