Nursing homes can be a great option for senior citizens who are no longer able to care for themselves. The medical care, amenities, and social events they offer provide elderly people with comfort in the late stages of their lives. Unfortunately, some senior care facilities take advantage of their residents. Each year, thousands of elderly folks are abused or neglected in nursing homes across the country.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you know how devastating such circumstances can be. It’s possible that you might be entitled to some compensation due to your or your loved one’s injuries.

The Sacramento personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw are ready to help you claim the restitution you deserve. Since 2002, we’ve been fighting for seniors’ rights in nursing home abuse cases, receiving court awards and reaching impressive settlements for our clients.

Are you ready to begin your journey toward justice? Give OnderLaw a call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We’ll put you in contact with one of our attorneys to help you determine what to do next in your nursing home abuse case.

What is Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse?

Any instance where a senior care facility fails to provide the level of care or specific services they are legally required to provide is considered nursing home neglect. Sometimes this failure to provide is unintentional, but sometimes patients are deliberately neglected. A few examples of nursing home neglect include:

  • Dehydration: patients suffer from the symptoms of dehydration when caretakers fail to provide them with the proper amount of water. Symptoms include exhaustion, dizziness, and loss of cognitive ability.
  • Bedsores: when patients’ bedding is not changed as often as necessary or if they are left in bed for too long, they may develop pressure ulcers or bedsores. These sores can cause swelling in the area, changes in skin texture, and limited mobility.
  • Malnutrition: when caretakers fail to provide patients with proper nourishment, these patients may suffer the effects of malnutrition. Such symptoms can include irritability, depression, loss of body fat and muscle mass, and anxiety.

Nursing home abuse is any instance where a nursing home resident is mistreated. Like neglect, this can be unintentional harm, though reports of nursing home abuse involve willful mistreatment more often than not. A few examples of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: this is when a caretaker harms a patient’s body. While some instances are unintentional, most cases of physical abuse involve willful mistreatment, such as punching, slapping, strangling, suffocating, kicking, and cutting.
  • Verbal abuse: if a caretaker uses their words to bring emotional and/psychological harm to a patient, these actions are considered verbal abuse. Examples of verbal abuse include name-calling, gaslighting, threatening a patient, cursing at a patient, or yelling at a patient.
  • Sexual abuse: if a caretaker should sexually take advantage of a patient, such an instance is recognized as sexual abuse. This can have both physical and emotional symptoms, including bruising, sores, infections, anxiety, emotional disturbance, or depression.
  • Financial abuse: when a caretaker financially takes advantage of a patient, it is considered financial abuse. This may include bribery, theft, or embezzlement.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

If you have a loved one whom you suspect is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, there are a few signs to look for. These signs can be visible, such as the symptoms of their physical health, or emotional, such as the symptoms related to their mental health. A few things to look for if you suspect your loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse or neglect include:

  • Unexplained bruising on the patient’s body
  • Signs of having been restrained, such as marks from a rope or zip tie on the patient’s wrists and ankles
  • Emotional absence or being uncharacteristically emotionally withdrawn, or unusual behavior that may imitate the symptoms of dementia
  • Sores or pressure ulcers on the patient’s body
  • Broken glasses, braces, dentures, or other personal belongings
  • Torn clothing or undergarments
  • Broken bones, cuts, or other bodily injuries
  • Limited mobility
  • Extreme hunger or thirst
  • Unexplained exhaustion or tiredness

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

If you suspect someone is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, regardless of how you are connected to them, there are several things you can do to help. Failing to act once you have been made aware of an abusive or neglectful situation can be very harmful, and in some cases, can be considered neglect in its own right. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, you can take the following steps:

  • Once you’ve made sure the victim is in need of no immediate medical attention and if you’ve gathered their consent, take as many photos as you can of the patient’s injuries and/or their property damage.
  • You can report instances of nursing home abuse and neglect to the California Department of Aging. Depending on the type of care facility, there are several numbers you can call:
    • Community spaces (homes, apartments, hospitals, etc.): call Adult Protective Services at 1-833-401-0832
    • Assisted living care facilities or other licensed residential care facilities: call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024 or the California Department of Social Services at 1-844-538-8766.
    • Licensed nursing homes, adult health daycare centers, or rehabilitation centers: call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024 or the local police or sheriff’s department.
  • Contact a OnderLaw attorney. We’ll schedule a free, confidential case evaluation for you and help you determine the best course of action for building your nursing home abuse or neglect case.

Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims

When determining what kind of compensation you can expect for your nursing home abuse/neglect claim, there are several factors to consider. The types of losses or damages you’re seeking reimbursement for play a large role in determining the kind of compensation you can expect. You may seek compensation for one or both of the following types of damages in your nursing home abuse/neglect claim:

  • Economic damages are the financial costs associated with an accident. These may be the costs of medical appointments, treatments, or diagnostic procedures, the cost to repair damaged property, or lost wages/income as a result of your recovery time. To best keep track of economic damages, take note of all medical records, repair costs, timecards, and paystubs.
  • Noneconomic damages are the intangible costs of any pain and suffering you experience as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. These losses may be in the form of emotional trauma, loss of mobility, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of companionship. To best document noneconomic damages, keep track of any therapy/counseling you receive as a result of your accident and keep a journal of how the abuse has affected your daily life and your mental state.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

According to data from the Nursing Home Abuse Center, 13% of all reports (nearly double the national average) filed against nursing homes in California were reports of neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation.

Data from the National Center for Elder Abuse reflects that there are over six million cases of abuse nationwide each year.

A 2018 report from the National Center for Elder Abuse claims that one in ten elders in senior residence centers experienced some form of abuse.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

At OnderLaw, we believe in fighting for justice for our clients. Our dedication to excellence has been meeting the needs of our clients for over nineteen years and has received both local and national acclaim. Several of our attorneys have been given prestigious Trial Lawyers Board of Regents, LLC™ Litigator Awards™, have received Superb ratings on, and are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Another of our personal injury attorneys, Breanna L. Hunt, has been dedicated to representing those who do not have a voice of their own. Hunt, a graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Law, has fought for equal rights, environmental policy, and equal representation throughout her career. Hunt’s legal prowess and belief in justice contribute to the excellence that has come to be associated with the OnderLaw name.

Need Help? Call OnderLaw Today

Dealing with the devastating effects of nursing home abuse and neglect can be a trying process. Besides having to gather evidence, deal with insurance companies, and build a case, it can be extremely difficult to experience such abuse, whether on your own or through the eyes of a loved one.

At OnderLaw, we are ready to help you seek the justice you deserve. Don’t let the fear of a long legal process or a lack of financial resources keep you from pursuing compensation. Give us a call today. We’ll set up a free, confidential consultation and help you decide what’s best in your nursing home abuse or neglect case.