It is frightening to learn that nearly 17% of elderly people are abused in community settings each year, and two out of three care center staff reportedly admit to committing abuse in the past year. Unfortunately, countless cases of abuse still go unreported.
Assisted living facilities can be a great resource for families who do not have the ability to care for the needs of older individuals who need special medical care. They are able to delegate care to a facility with trained nurses and staff. These individuals assume responsibility for the well-being of those living in the facility. Family members trust the assisted living facility with the task of caring for their aging loved ones. Care facilities should be reported and held responsible when they break this trust. Learn more about signs to look for and how to report abuse in an assisted living facility in California.
If you have concerns that your loved one is suffering abuse in an assisted living facility in California, contact Silva Injury Law right away.
What Is Assisted Living Facility Abuse?
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are similar. The difference is that assisted living facilities house elderly who do not require as much medical attention and care as those living in nursing homes. Nursing home residents often require round-the-clock care from nurses and other medical professionals. Assisted living residents are more likely to need minimal assistance. And staff may assist only with things like reminders to take their prescription medications. The level of care required depends on the facility and the needs of the resident.
Assisted living facility abuse occurs less often than nursing home abuse, but any elder abuse is a problem and should not be tolerated. Some common types of elder abuse in assisted living facilities and nursing homes may include:
- Emotional or psychological abuse – Yelling, swearing, belittling, name-calling, shaming, insulting, or any other attempt to isolate the individual.
- Financial abuse – A caregiver steals or retains the personal property of another without their knowledge or permission.
- Neglect – basic needs, like hygiene, nutrition, hydration, medical care, and protection, are not met;
- Physical abuse – physical contact that causes injury, intentional or unintentional;
- Sexual abuse – unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact;
- Abandonment – intentionally deserting or consistently ignoring a resident.
If you know someone who is experiencing assisted living facility abuse, it is important to take action in reporting abuse. They may not have the ability to do so themselves.
Signs of Assisted Living Abuse
We trust elder care facilities to provide our loved ones with the highest level of care and attention, but sometimes these caregivers do not meet the standards we expect. Unfortunately, many older people are too embarrassed to speak up about the abuse, and it may be up to family members to recognize and report the abuse. These are some signs to look for:
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises and scrapes;
- Falls and fractures;
- Advanced bedsores and pressure sores;
- Dehydration and malnutrition;
- Poor personal hygiene;
- Fear or unwillingness to be alone with a caregiver;
- Signs of physical restraint;
- Medical issues, including missing or taking the wrong medication;
- Injuries to genitals or sexually transmitted infections;
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts; and
- Changes to an individual’s will or power of attorney.
If you feel like something is wrong, you should err on the side of caution and report the suspected abuse.
How to Report Abuse in an Assisted Living Facility in California
If you are concerned with the immediate health of someone in an assisted living facility, you should call 911 to prevent or address an emergency. If the situation is not immediate, there are several organizations you can contact for reporting abuse.
California Adult Protective Services (APS)
This organization investigates the abuse of dependent adults and elderly living in private homes, hotels, apartments, or inpatient hospitals. Each county has an APS office.
Attorney General’s Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse
This division investigates and prosecutes elder abuse and Medi-Cal fraud committed by care facility employees, Medi-Cal providers, operators of residential care facilities, and others caring for people using Medi-Cal.
California Long-Term Care Ombudsman
A part of the California Department of Aging, these representatives handle reports of abuse in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day programs, and day health centers.
Taking Legal Action for Assisted Living Facility Abuse
Once you have reported the abuse, you may consider filing a claim against the abuser or assisted living facility. The experienced team at Silva Injury Law understands how hard this can be for you and your loved one. We are a family-focused law firm, and we want to make sure you feel welcome and receive the attention you deserve. Contact us for your free case consultation.
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.