How to Avoid Abuse in Nursing Homes

One of the most common factors that negatively impact decisions whether a person should go to a nursing home or not is the possibility of abuse. Nobody wants to experience that, especially in the later part of his life where he is particularly vulnerable to it because of two reasons – he will not be able to defend himself or report his situation to the authorities due to physical and mental limitations.

Also, according to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, those who have experienced abuse in nursing homes may pursue compensation. So, it is not just an ethical and moral issue, but also a legal one. But how can you avoid nursing home abuse anyway?

Checking the nursing home’s competence

Prevention is better than cure, and this also applies to nursing home abuse. Before you put your loved one inside a nursing home, you should check the nursing home’s overall competence. Incompetent nursing homes may incidentally or accidentally inflict abuse. You should give particular attention to the following factors:

  • Availability of facilities, because the lack of facilities can result into negligence, such as cases of dehydration, hygiene issues, and malnutrition
  • Cleanliness of facilities, because ill-maintained premises may have negative effects, especially to older individuals who have weaker immune systems
  • Ratio of nursing home staff and patients, because the lack of staff or the abundance of patients can lead to staff impatience and incompetence, leading to abuse and neglect

Looking for signs of abuse

But if you have already put your loved one in a nursing home, do not worry, because you can still look for the signs of abuse, to give you hints whether your loved one is being treated right or not. Abuse can come in many forms, such as physical, emotional, and even sexual. Below are some of the most common signs:

  • Sudden change of behavior, especially in the presence of a particular nursing home staff or fellow resident
  • Unexplained complications in the genital or anal area
  • Unexplained wounds, especially on body parts that are often restrained, like the wrists, ankles, and maybe even the neck and chest
  • Worsening of existing medical conditions

Creating a long-term care plan

Elder planning is important, because growing old is inevitable. According to the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, a long-term care plan has a lot of benefits, especially if you get them while you are still quite capable. Below are some of the most important benefits:

  • Finding peace after knowing that you will be taken care of, when the time comes
  • Finding a nursing home that is adequate for your needs

In short, having a care plan even before you need it significantly helps in preventing nursing home abuse.

All About Medical Malpractice

All About Medical Malpractice

The medical industry is so complicated that, typically, you need a professional license to prove your competence. But there are instances where even the most competent medical professional becomes negligent or reckless, resulting into the harm of their patients, either through injury or medical complication.

It is a good thing that there is a legal concept such as medical malpractice. According to the website of the Woodbridge medical malpractice attorneys of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, those who have been victims of medical malpractice may take legal action against the responsible parties, such as getting compensation from the damages they have sustained.

But how can it be determined that an instance is a medical malpractice case? There are variables that can be considered:

  • There is a direct professional-patient relationship
  • The professional has the duty of care for the patient
  • The professional has acted or failed to act in a way that violates the duty of care
  • The violation has harmed the patient in any form

Unnecessarily harming the patient has a variety of consequences. The patient suffers not just from unwarranted injuries and complications, but also from unwarranted medical costs to fix the problems, such as corrective surgeries and prolonged hospital confinements.

Of course, these costs do not come free, and on the worst instances, may even reach thousands upon thousands of dollars. The financial burdens do not end there. Being a victim of medical malpractice may also mean that the patient is going to lose time at work, and therefore cannot earn a living. On worst instances, the medical malpractice may even disable the victim, making him lose his ability to earn a living temporarily or permanently.

The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP has enumerated various areas where medical malpractice can arise as an issue. But some areas are more common than others. Below are some of the most common medical malpractice claims:

  • Anesthesia errors, such as giving too much or too little anesthesia
  • Birth injuries sustained either during the pregnancy or delivery
  • Emergency room errors, like failing to give adequate treatment immediately
  • Hospital negligence, such as treatment delays and lack of attention to patients
  • Medication errors, like giving the wrong drug or wrong dosage
  • Misdiagnosis, such as diagnosing a healthy patient as ill or vice versa
  • Surgical errors, like accidentally puncturing organs or operating on the wrong body part

Paraplegia and Quadriplegia: Spinal Cord Injuries Due often to Someone Else’s Negligence

Millions of nerve fibers actually make up the spinal cord. These fibers are responsible for transmitting electrical signals to the different parts of the body. Nerves exiting the spinal cord’s upper section, for instance, control the movement of our arms and our breathing; the nerves that exit the mid and lower sections of our back allow us to have on our trunk and legs, sexual function, and bowel and bladder movements. Thus, any damage or harm to the spinal cord (even to the spinal or vertebral column) can cause failure in the transmission of signals from the brain to the parts of the body below the injured area. This can result to paralysis or loss of function on affected parts.

Any form of injury, especially severe injury, to the spinal cord can be devastating due to the very important function it plays. Spinal cord damage can result to partial or total paralysis, depending on how severe the damage is and the specific area affected by the injury. Partial paralysis, or Paraplegia, is loss of control and function on one side of a person’s body. Despite having lost control in the paralyzed area, there is still possibility that he/she would still have sensation, though.

Total paralysis, or Quadriplegia, on the other hand, is total loss of functions and control of body parts. Total paralysis starts from the area of the spinal cord that has been injured down to the rest of the body; this means that the higher the injury, the greater the extent of the paralysis.

A spinal injury can a result of a traumatic or a non-traumatic experience. The causes of a traumatic spinal cord injury include a knife or a gunshot wound that pierces and cuts the nerves in the spinal cord, or a sudden blow that dislocates, fractures or crushes an area of the vertebral column (this forceful, sudden blow can be caused by a car crash). A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, however, can be due to an illness, such as cancer, arthritis, infection, inflammation or disc collapse of the spine.

The Toronto spinal cord injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates know that “Spinal cord injuries almost always result in significant disabilities, making it nearly impossible to live life as planned. Activities such as sports, walking a dog, and other basic life tasks are often no longer possible for those who sustain spinal cord injuries. These injuries can occur for numerous reasons, many of which are caused by major accidents such as car accidents, slip and falls, and sports injuries. Spinal cord injuries are difficult to deal with for everyone involved, and when the accident was not the fault of the injured it is unfair for them to face the consequences alone. Spinal cord injury victims also need a much higher level of support and care, as well as the highest amount of compensation possible, whether it is from the at-fault party or an insurance provider.

Is the Highest Possible Physical, Mental, and Psychosocial Well-Being of all Residents Provided in Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes, also called convalescent homes, are facilities for people, who require extra care, medical attention and assistance (specifically, in the performance of daily activities, such as eating, toileting, bathing and dressing), but who do not need to be in a hospital. To address the various needs of residents, nursing homes should have a registered nurse, a licensed nurse and trained nursing aides who are expected to attain and maintain the highest possible level of physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of all residents and patients.

In February 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had on record about 15,700 registered nursing home facilities in the U.S. These housed an estimated 1.4 million elder citizens, usually 65 years old or above, children and young adults who are physically or mentally incapacitated, or needing rehabilitative therapies due to an illness or an accident, and those who need extra care, like patients with Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease.

Nursing homes guarantee provision of the highest level of care; however, beneath the friendly and warm welcome to arriving residents who are accompanied by family members, what is hidden can be painful experiences wrought by abuses and various forms of acts of neglect. Some examples of acts of neglect are non-provision of hygienic care, delay in treating or non-treatment of bedsores, failure to provide needed medical care or attention, denial of food and/or drinking water, delay in providing needed assistance, and so forth.

One must bear in mind that these acts of neglect are committed against individuals who are either too sick or too weak to defend themselves. In relation to this is the necessity to know that abuse or neglect in nursing homes can be a federal offense since both these acts are violations of the mandates of the Nursing Home Reform Act, which requires facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to provide services and activities that will help attain or maintain the highest possible physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of all residents in accordance with a written plan of care. This Act also says that residents should be free from corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion and all forms of abuses, including, but not limited to, verbal, physical, mental abuse, and sexual abuse.

You can view more helpful and very informative content about nursing home negligence in this website:

Make Sure You Keep Away from Speeding Drivers

Statistical records from the Traffic Safety Facts of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that speeding-related fatalities from 2003 to 2007 averaged to at least 13,400 yearly; from 2008 to 2012, the yearly average was 10,600. Traffic Safety Facts data also shows that about 74% of the 10,219 speeding-related fatalities in 2012 were males aged between 15 and 24, and that 42 percent of all speeding drivers had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.

The NHTSA considers a crash to be speeding-related if racing, exceeding the posted speed limit, or driving too fast for conditions (or when condition is not totally safe, which is the case when there is road construction going on, mist or fog, or when the road is wet and slippery due to heavy rain or snow) was a contributing factor in the crash.

Speeding increases the chance of an accident and, thus, compromises the safety of others on the road because it:

  • Reduces a driver’s reaction time to danger;
  • Makes slowing down or stopping the vehicle much harder;
  • Lessens a driver’s control over the vehicle and capability to react to whatever road danger he/she may be faced with; and,
  • Makes driver errors much more dangerous and can turn what may only be near misses into fatal crashes and total wrecks.

People who drive at inappropriate and illegal speeds offer these reasons to justify what can only be described as bad road behavior:

  • Trying to be on time for an appointment or for work;
  • The need to stick to schedules;
  • Not being aware of what the speed limit is;
  • Feeling that they are still driving at safe speed even when driving over the speed limit;
  • Keeping up with slower drivers (those who actually observe the speed limit) causes pressure;
  • They will not be caught anyway or, even if they are caught, any damage they may cause will be handled by their insurance provider.
  • They are still in perfect control of their vehicle despite driving too fast

Aside from increasing chances of car accidents, speeding, and more so, excessive speeding (which is driving more than 40 km/h over the speed limit), significantly affects the consequences of car crashes, so that, other than the possibility of causing major damage to properties, greater speeds can also easily result to severe injuries or death.

Though advances in technology and increased awareness of the importance of safety on the roads have reduced the threat posed to public health and safety by car accidents, Tucson car accident attorneys of Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., say that car accidents still remain to be one of the leading causes of serious injury and wrongful death in the United States each year, and the sad truth is that far too many of these accidents could easily have been prevented.

Speeding is just one of the many causes of car accidents identified by the NHTSA. Other causes include auto defects, reckless driving, road defects and drunk driving, among others. Victims, howefer, shouldn’t have to deal with the repercussions and aftermath of accidents on their own if the accident is due to the reckless acts of someone else. With the help of a skilled lawyer, victims can pursue legal action which may enable them to recover compensatory damages resulting from whatever type of injury they sustain.