Learning that a loved one has been injured while residing within a residential care facility can be devastating. But for elderly injury victims and their families, legal remedies are available. A San Diego personal injury and elder abuse attorney can guide you through the process of recovering damages when an injury to a loved one within a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) occurs.
What is a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly?
Unlike a nursing home, which is a medical facility staffed by doctors and nurses, a RCFE is a non-medical facility that provides assisted living services to elderly persons. While some RCFEs may also provide incidental medical services, the primary purpose of RCFEs is to assist elderly persons with everyday tasks, such as bathing, grooming, and other living activities. RCFEs are live-in facilities and range in size, housing between six beds to more than one-hundred beds.
Common RCFE Injuries
While living within an RCFE can be a wonderful experience for many elderly persons who live at home alone and require aid, injuries do occur in California RCFEs every year. Some of the most common causes of RCFE injuries include:
- Slip and falls;
- Medication errors;
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Dehydration; and
- Emotional abuse or neglect.
Sadly, most injuries that occur within RCFEs are completely preventable. Injuries to elderly residents may occur as a result of inadequate staffing, poor communication between staff, unsafe property conditions, improper resident monitoring, or staff members intentionally neglecting residents or/and causing residents harm.
How to Report an RCFE Injury
When an elderly loved one experiences an injury in a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly in San Diego that you believe was the result of neglect or negligence, you should report the injury immediately. There are a few different agencies to which you can report a RCFE injury, including the:
- California Department of Social Services.
- State of California Health and Human Services Agency; and
- California Adult Protective Services.
When an injury is severe, or if you believe that your elderly loved one is at risk of further imminent harm or death, you should call 911.
In addition to reporting a RCFE injury to the appropriate agency, it is also within your best interest to contact an attorney. An attorney can help you to explore recovery options and to determine whether or not the injury was a result of negligence. If negligence or neglect were factors, an attorney can assist you in filing a personal injury claim for damages.
Consult with a San Diego Elder Abuse Attorney Today
Elder abuse is a tragic problem in San Diego, and too often, residential care facilities are not staffed appropriately or maintained to safe standards. When this occurs, injuries to elderly residents are a common occurrence. If your family member has suffered an injury while residing within a RCFE, do not hesitate to contact the experienced San Diego elder abuse attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP. For a legal advocate whom you can trust, call us today at 858-350-8855.