What if I Detect Abuse in Hospice Care?

holding elderly hands

Hospice care is a type of health care that prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. So upon discovering that your loved one is experiencing the opposite, to the extent that they are being abused, you may, rightfully so, be in disbelief. Read on to discover what actions you should take if you detect that your loved one is being abused in hospice care and how a seasoned California hospice care abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can help you take the proper steps.

Why may abuse occur in hospice care?

Undoubtedly, hospice care providers hold the responsibility of ensuring that their patients spend their final time in a peaceful and safe environment. However, it is an unfortunate reality that hospice care staff or owners sometimes take advantage of their patients and their vulnerability. And so, there is a possibility of negligence, abuse, or malpractice occurring.

With that being said, the following are examples of how your elder may be made a target for hospice care abuse:

  • Your elder has cuts and bruises and they are not sure why.
  • Your elder has broken eyeglasses and they are not sure why.
  • Your elder has missing cash and they are not sure why.
  • Your elder exhibits an unusual reaction when in the presence of a hospice care staff member.
  • Your elder complains that their needs are not being met by hospice care staff.
  • Your elder complains that they are being threatened by hospice care staff.
  • You detect that your elder has bed sores.
  • You detect that your elder experienced a fall.
  • You detect signs of restraint (i.e., rope marks on your elder’s wrists).
  • You detect that your elder does not have proper hygiene.
  • You detect that your elder has been administered the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication.

What should I do if I detect such abuse?

Regardless of what signs you detect, any form of abuse in hospice care is a serious offense. And so, you must take your responsibility of protecting your loved one seriously.

The first thing you will want to do is get your loved one in immediate protection, away from the abusive hospice care staff member. You can do this by reporting the incident to local law enforcement, a hospice care owner, California’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline, and even the California Department of Social Services.

And though you may be prioritizing caring for your loved one now, you cannot forget that you can seek justice against the negligent hospice care staff member via an elder abuse claim. But this is so long as you bring your claim forward within California’s statute of limitations, which is generally two years from the date of your loved one’s incident.

You should not have to go through this difficult time alone, which is why you should contact a competent California elder abuse lawyer today.