Regrettably, nursing home abuse and neglect are realities. When the time comes to consider whether to place a loved one in a nursing home, finding one that is safe becomes a primary concern. Many clients ask are county nursing homes safe. The fact is, every nursing home is different. So, it is important to do your homework. Even so, neglect can occur. If your loved one has suffered from elder abuse or neglect, discuss your options with one of our Los Angeles elder law attorneys.
Elder Abuse in California Includes Physical Neglect
Our elder lawyers understand how California defines elder abuse. Under California law, abuse of an elder is defined as “the abuse of someone who is either 65 years old or older, or a dependent adult that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him or her from being able to do normal activities or protect himself or herself.” This type of abuse is specifically defined as follows:
Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction (taking the person out of the state against his or her will), or other behavior that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering; or deprivation by a caregiver of things or services that the elder or dependent adult needs to avoid physical harm or suffering.
Nursing Homes May Pose Risk of Fatal Infections From Neglect
Elder abuse or nursing home abuse claims are commonly seen by Los Angeles elder law attorneys. Unfortunately, one of the most common types of neglect cases involves sepsis, a rare but often fatal infection that is allowed to go unchecked in some residents at nursing homes. When a nursing home resident is not receiving the necessary hygiene and medical care, serious infections can occur. If your loved one has suffered an infection because of nursing home neglect, discuss your options with one of Los Angeles elder law attorneys.
What is sepsis?
With Sepsis, the body’s immune system attempts to fight off an infection but, in doing so, the increased inflammation damages tissues, interferes with blood flow and results in multiple organ failure. Although sepsis can result from an initial infection anywhere in the body, the most common infections are in the lungs, stomach and urinary tract. Sepsis is not the same as blood poisoning, though both conditions are very dangerous.
Recognizing the symptoms of sepsis
If you are visiting your loved one in the nursing home and you notice something that concerns you, it would be helpful to know some of the symptoms of sepsis. That way, you can obtain the medical attention as quickly as possible. Early symptoms of sepsis include rapid breathing or heartbeat, fever, chills, and shivering. However, a fever is not always a symptom so don’t overlook anything that may be abnormal or a concern. Some of the more severe symptoms include low blood pressure, dizziness, disorientation, slurred speech, mottled skin, nausea, and vomiting.
Are some people at increased risk of developing sepsis?
There are approximately 260,000 cases of sepsis reported each year in the United States, with more than 10,000 of those cases being fatal. While anyone can develop this life-threatening infection, young children, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are typically at a higher risk. The primary reason for that is the fact that their immune systems are already weakened.
Possible Treatment for Sepsis
The treatment for sepsis is the administration of antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and oxygen if oxygen levels are dangerously low. In more severe cases, including septic shock where blood pressure is dangerously low, individuals while need to be admitted into intensive care. If identified and treated early, sepsis can be successfully treated and patients can expect a full recovery. Unfortunately, four out of ten individuals diagnosed with severe sepsis do not survive.
Consider Alternatives to Nursing Homes
Not all nursing homes are sources of abuse and neglect. There are many that provide excellent care. Nevertheless, many of us would rather live out our lives in our own homes, or the home of a loved one. Yet, staying at home is not always an option. When you consider the physical or mental health concerns, the need for round-the-clock care may be too great. There are some alternatives to consider, such as adult day care. Our Los Angeles elder law attorneys can help you find some better alternatives and discuss your choices with you and your family.
Join us for a free seminar today! If you have questions regarding estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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