Different Elder Care Facilities in California
Common Perpetrators of Elder Abuse
There are many facilities available to take care of our family members when we do not have the skill or knowledge to do so ourselves. These include businesses like nursing homes and adult day care centers, each with a different purpose intended to offer care to different people in need. While we rely on these facilities to care for and protect our loved ones, the sad reality is that they sometimes employ people who abuse or neglect those in their care.
Understanding the differences between facilities can help you choose the right place for your loved one. It is also vital to know what forms of abuse are most likely to happen there, so that you can be on the lookout. If you do see any signs of abuse, our dedicated Long Beach elder attorney can provide compassionate guidance for you and your family. For a free consultation, call Siegel Law at (562) 645-4145.
Elder Care Facilities Overview
"Elder care facilities" is a general term that refers to a wide range of locations that provide different levels of care for the elderly. Other care centers fall under this category. Poor treatment at an elder care facility usually takes the form of either active abuse or neglect. Active abuse includes physical and emotional abuse - violence, threatening and insulting residents, and stealing from them. Neglect is less active, but no less destructive, and includes things like failing to clean wounds and maintain residents’ personal hygiene, not helping them with meals, and not providing necessary medication.
Adult Day Care Centers
These centers cater to the elderly who do not require constant care, but who are looking for a place to spend time, be active, and socialize. Adult day care centers may offer daily and weekly activities for participants, and may include visiting doctors and other professionals to help them out from time to time. Abuse at adult day care centers is somewhat rarer, since the people enrolled are more functional and spend less time with caregivers, but issues like theft and emotional abuse can still occur.
Private caregivers who are not employed by a facility, but directly hired by the family, will visit or live with an elderly person to provide care. Of course, they are also capable of abuse. This can be harder to detect since it happens at home, right under the eyes of the relatives. But you can look for sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior, fear, or unwillingness to speak in front of the abusive caregiver. Financial abuse is a huge risk in these situations-many caregivers manipulate the elderly person they are caring for to lend them money, "invest" in fraudulent scams, or make out their wills to the caregiver. Theft may also be an issue, since the caregiver is trusted within the elderly person's home, so it is important to watch for missing items.
Drug Rehab Centers
Drug rehabilitation centers, or "rehabs," are in-patient centers established to help people battling drug and alcohol addiction or serious mental illness. Because the patients are in such a vulnerable state when they arrive at these facilities, they are all too easy to abuse. Staff members and other patients will often sexually or physically assault them, or steal their belongings. Since these patients are often in a state of mental agitation or confusion during the crimes, it’s easier for a drug rehab center to sweep the abuse under the rug, trusting that the victims are too helpless or shamed to speak. Neglect at these facilities is rampant, especially if staff members are not properly trained in how to treat people suffering from withdrawal.
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, are usually where elderly individuals come to live full time because they require assistance with daily living. Most people in these homes require constant care, and this often includes bathing them, helping with bathroom needs, and administering medication. Residents in nursing homes are quite vulnerable, and can fall victim to both neglect and abuse. It is important to visit your loved one in his or her home often and watch for signs of neglect, which includes deteriorating health, bedsores, and infections. Signs of abuse can include depression, signs of fear or anxiety in the presence of staff members, and visible bruises or injuries.
Residential Care Facilities
These centers, sometimes also called assisted living facilities, provide accommodations and care for a wide range of different people who need daily assistance, not only the elderly. This can include people with physical and mental impairments, which means the staff must be properly trained to offer necessary care. This kind of care is physically and emotionally taxing to provide, and can result in frustration, depression, and even violence in staff members, who then lash out at "difficult" patients. It is important to watch for signs of abuse in your loved one, such as depression, isolation, and physical indications of violence or neglect.
If you see any signs of neglect or abuse toward your loved one or other patients, take action immediately. File a complaint with the California Department of Health Care Services, and call local law enforcement if appropriate. Then, call our team at Siegel Law to talk about your legal options. We provide a free, compassionate, no-obligation consultation, so call (562) 645-4145 today.
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