Social Security Disability Benefits in the New Year

Social Security Disability Benefits Elizabeth struggles from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a mid- stage of a rare, but deadly form of lung cancer, mesothelioma.  Twenty years ago, Elizabeth was working as a volunteer firefighter when she was called to the scene of a fire at a historical building.  By the time Elizabeth arrived, the building was completely engulfed in flames and her husband, who was also a firefighter, was stuck in the building and was not rescued until it was too late.  Elizabeth was traumatized from the event, but had to keep on moving forward for her family.  Last year, she started to feel very ill and had her most severe panic attack to date when her son went away to college.  After visiting a doctor, Elizabeth was told she had been and was suffering from undiagnosed PTSD, attributed to witnessing her husband’s death.  Her early diagnosis of mesothelioma was a surprise for a younger woman of 50, but the doctors had speculated that she had breathed in asbestos particles from her husband’s clothing and body (after he fought fires) and from all of her own exposure while firefighting.  Her overall diagnosis is not good, but Elizabeth has a life expectancy of at least 2 to 3 years, maybe more if she’s able to manage her health in other ways.

Elizabeth never remarried and has worked hard, as a book keeper, to provide for her 3 children.  At one point, she had attempted to return to school and get her Master’s degree in Financing, but was too overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, and financial stress.  With one teenage child still living at home, Elizabeth cannot afford not to work, but is physically and mentally unable to.  Six months ago, she filed for social security disability benefits (SSD) and was initially denied because her condition was not severe enough, after being given a more thorough and accurate diagnosis, she was approved to receive benefits, as she is expected to be “disabled” for at least one year or until death.

One Mother’s Struggle, Millions Needing Assistance

Elizabeth is just one of millions of people who are struggling with physical and mental health issues on a daily basis, so debilitating that they are unable to keep or find a job.  Unfortunately, not every one of those people “qualifies” for assistance.  Filing for SSD is a lengthy, frustrating, and complicated process with strict guidelines that are based upon how much work you have performed throughout your life (and paid into Social Security) and if your disability falls within the List of Impairments.  Monthly SSD benefits can range from $300 to $2,200 with the average 2013 payment being about $1,132.  For many recipients, the benefits they receive are barely enough to get by and for others, not even enough to meet a “living wage”.

The 2013 National Poverty Guidelines for a Household of 1 is $11,490.  If a single parent with a child or a couple received the “average” monthly SSD payment they would fall below the poverty line for a 2 person household ($15,510).  Depending on where you live, how you live, and what you need, will determine if you are receiving a livable wage.

Promising News for the New Year

Starting in the 2014, some recipients will see a 1.5% increase in SSD benefits.  For some struggling recipients, this will be the boost they need offering a little financial cushioning while others will continue to struggle with their disability and trying to make ends meet.  Individuals, who have once worked hard to try to make a living wage, but have all of a sudden been thrown a “curveball” (like a disability), deserve and are entitled to financial assistance.  If you are disabled and are no longer able to work, will you file for benefits you deserve or suffer your financial, physical, and mental struggle in silence?

How To Be A Good Parent Even After The Divorce

Being a good parent is hard enough on a good day. However, when you’ve just gone through a divorce, making sure that your kids are doing fine is always much harder. You can be a good parent after a divorce though so doesn’t think that this is an unattainable goal.

When you use your parenting skills in a divorce, you help teach your kids to deal with various challenges, helping them to grow into well-adjusted individuals. If you’re going or have gone through a divorce and are trying to figure out how to be a good parent through it all, use these tips.

Put The Child First:

Many times a divorce is going to be messy and complicated. You and your former spouse may hate each other and have trouble even being in the same room. However, this attitude isn’t going to do any favors for your child. You need to make sure that you’re not focusing on yourself throughout the divorce.

Since it can be a fairly lengthy process, talk to your children openly throughout the entire ordeal and ask how they’re doing. They may not be coping so well. Also, when you begin to figure out custody agreements and other important details that are about the kids, get their input. They may not be very happy about the entire situation, but involving them in the process and showing them that you care, is going to help with the transition.

Remember It’s Not About You:

Well, at least not entirely. Obviously, your divorce is going to be a huge part of your life, but you are an adult. You have increased coping mechanisms as well as a mature perspective that your children lack. If you’re starting to fall into the victim mentality, then make the decision to turn this attitude around.

Accept the fact that even in the worst of marriages, you probably made some mistakes as well. When you get to this point, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re also showing your kids that it’s OK to be wrong sometimes and you should always acknowledge your mistakes.

Look At The Positives:

It’s always hard to see anything positive coming from a divorce, but there are many life lessons that you can gain from going through this process. Similarly, your kids can also gain more experience from you. However, you can’t do this if you simply refuse to deal with the problem at hand. As you go throughout the divorce, take each experience as a life lesson.

Many of them are not going to be easy, but if you pay attention, you will come through this experience and be a wiser and stronger person throughout the rest of your life. Make sure that you talk to your kids throughout the process and mention some of the lessons you’ve learned. They can similarly take your lessons and apply them to their lives and future relationships.

Always Be Respectful:

When a divorce with children happens, it’s likely that both parents will have custody or visitation rights. This is going to be hard to deal with, but you can’t let your own feelings get in the way of your children’s happiness. Working through the challenges of successfully communicating with an ex is a goal, which you’re probably not going to get right the first time.

Try to maintain a respectful relationship with your former spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids, it also helps to make the entire ordeal so much easier

These are a few of the basic ways to make sure that you continue to be a good parent both through and after a divorce. Divorce is difficult for both parents and their children, so make sure that you pay attention to your kids and continue to make them a priority throughout the entire process. Divorce can be a positive or negative factor in a child’s life depending on how you react to it. If you treat it as a learning experience, it can help to grow the relationship that you have with your children.

However, it does take time and effort, so make sure that you’re being a mindful parent throughout the entire process to make the transition easy for your children.

How to Identify Police Misconduct

police brutalityPolice officers play an important role in our world. These professionals not only provide support and assistance during times of emergency, but also help to keep the community safe for all who live within it. While most police officers take their roles quite seriously, some have been known to participate in inappropriate behavior—often referred to as police misconduct. Understanding how to identify police misconduct is crucial for those who want to maintain their rights, while still staying within the good graces of law enforcement professionals.

 

Police Brutality

According to the US Department of Justice, police brutality is one of the most common signs that misconduct is taking place. Except for the in the most severe cases, police have even training and tools at their fingertips to complete their jobs without depending on brute strength. It is important to note that while police brutality is most commonly thought of as physical aggressive, verbal threats and sexual abuse may also fall under this category. Those who have experienced these events are likely the victim of police misconduct, and should report the behavior as soon as possible.

Selective Enforcement

Selective enforcement is another common signs of police misconduct. As suggested by the name, selective enforcement occurs when a police officer does not enforce certain laws or regulations when they are intimately connected with the person or person accused of committing the violation. The most common example of selective enforcement usually occurs in regards to traffic law—for example, a police officer chooses not to issue a citation to a friend or family member that he or she has pulled over for speeding. While it may be highly tempting to simply let these individuals off with a warning, it is actually a serious case of police misconduct.

 

Lying Under Oath

There are a number of police rights that are enforced in courtrooms and other law enforcement arenas around the world. However, these rights are only maintained in cases where the officer “plays by the rules” and maintain professionalism within the role that they have been given. Unfortunately, this is not always the case—in fact, some officers go so far as to lie under oath, in order to get the final outcome that they desire. As with the other factors described so far in this article, lying under oath is a serious sign of police misconduct, which should not be taken lightly.

 

Using Drugs/Alcohol While on Duty

As one might guess, police officers that use drugs or alcohol while on duty are also likely practicing police misconduct. Any officer of the law is expected to be clean and sober, as they may have to respond to a dangerous event at any given moment. Officers who have been found to be using drugs or alcohol while on the job may be placed on probation for an extended period of time. Regular blood and urine tests may be required if and when their role as a police officer is reinstated.

Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:

Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:

Exposure to domestic violence has negative effects on children. To properly understand these effects, it is important to first understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Domestic violence is prevalent in all groups of people regardless of age, education, race, occupational, social-economical and religious factors.Characteristically, it involves a series of repetitive abuse, including psychological, physical, economical and emotional abuse. The perpetrator uses violence to gain control and power through the use of humiliation, intimidation, and fear.

Children get affected by domestic violence differently at various developmental stages. This is because as they grow and develop both mentally and physically, they learn new things at each age. Being a victim or witnessing domestic violence can interfere with the child’s normal growth and threatens their sense of security.

Studies indicate that children who have been exposed to domestic violence have a greater likelihood of experiencing various difficulties than their peers.

These difficulties can be categorized into:

1. Emotional, social and behavioral problems:
Exposure to domestic violence by children is likely to make them anxious and depressed or exhibit antisocial and aggressive behavior. Other negative effects may include higher levels of hostility, low self-esteem, anger, disobedience and oppositional behavior; fear and withdrawal; and poor sibling, peer, and social relationships.2. Attitudinal and Cognitive and problems:
These children are likely to experience difficulties in school and have poor performance in assessments of motor, verbal and cognitive skills. Moreover, they are likely to have a slow cognitive development, limited problem solving skills, lack of conflict resolution skills, aggressive attitudes, and a rigid belief in gender stereotypes such as male domination.3. Long-term (Behavioral) Problems:

Studies indicate males exposed to domestic violence at a tender age are more likely to develop violent behavior; likewise, females are more likely to become victims.Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:Unborn Child (Infants): 

Infants and toddlers learn through play and exploration, how to form secure attachments. If exposed to violence at this age, they learn that the parents are not likely to constantly respond to their needs which hinder the development of a strong bond between the parent and the infant. Thus, the child becomes afraid to explore their world, which interferes with play and slows down their learning process.

The effects to Infants include:


1. Emotional Effects: Hyper-excitability; Anxiety Tension and stress; Helplessness; Terrorized and Traumatized.
2. Cognitive Effects: Brain damage; Nervous system disorders and Developmental delays.
3. Physical Effects: Birth defects, forced abortion or miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, unwanted by parent and abandoned by parent.The effects to toddlers (children less than one year old):

1. Emotional Effects: Traumatized, jumpy, nervous, hyper-alert, anxious, stressed, and fearful; Emotional deprivation; and Strong need for safety.
2. Cognitive Effects: Unresponsive; Developmentally delayed.

3. Behavioral Effects: Colicky, excessive crying; Injuries and bruises; Chronic constipation; Eating problems; Sleep disturbances; Malnutrition; Digestive problems; Allergies/skin rashesPreschoolers (One To Five Years):Children at this age bracket have started learning how to express most of their emotions, including those of anger and aggression. Thus, children at this age living in situation where there is domestic violence can learn detrimental ways of expressing anger and frustration. Moreover they get confused with the mixed messages their parents are sending them; for instance, they are punished for talking rudely while their parents talk rudely to each other.

The effects to Preschoolers include:


1. Emotional Effects: Fearfulness; easily frustrated; anxiety; fearful of abuser; feels split between parents; hesitant and uncertain; low self-esteem, and feels powerless to protect self.
2. Cognitive Effects: Sleep disorders; disrespect for women; unable to focus; and developmentally delayed.
3. Behavioral Effects: Tantrums; models abusive behavior; mimics abuser’s behavior; parrots name-calling; bedwetting; spitting; acting out behaviors; slaps, kicks, punches, swears; tries to protect mother; protective toward younger children; breaks toys; bullies younger siblings; thumb sucking; and nervous habitsSchool-Age Children (Five To Twelve Years):

The children have a better sense of their own emotions and can also recognize the emotions of others. They are more conscious of their own actions and reactions towards violence inflicted to them and may worry about their father being jailed or their mother being harmed. This distracts the child development process which at this age revolves around social and academic success. They become distracted hindering their ability to learn in school. Moreover, they develop poor social skills and tend to pay more attention to negative responses from their teachers and peers and miss hearing positive responses leading to low self esteem. At this age group, the children begin to have multifaceted thoughts about what is right and wrong. Thus, they are more susceptible to learning and accepting biased, incorrect explanations to support violence.The effects to School-Age Children include:1. Emotional Effects: Cries easily or frequently; lack of trust; lack of normal feelings; feelings of despair; helplessness or hopelessness, lack of empathy or concern for others; and anger towards the parents, especially the mother.

2. Cognitive Effects: Learning disabilities or has special needs; suicidal thoughts; withdrawn or quiet; lack of focus and structure; attracted to cults or pornography; overly responsible or tries to be too adult; and lack of responsibility.

3. Behavioral Effects: Violence towards abuser; Destroys property; Tries to be in control; Violent acting out behavior; Perfectionism; Running away; Lack of boundaries and limitsAdolescents (Teenagers):These children are fully aware of what is right or wrong but have the need to have a sense of belonging. They experience similar problem that the school-age children undergo but at a higher level. They are characterized by secretive and guarded behavior about the situation at home and are also embarrassed of their family members. Thus, they do not invite friends over and are likely to spend most of their free time away from home. Aggression and Denial are the major ways of solving problems.

The effects to Adolescents Boys include:


1. Emotional Effects: Feelings of guilt and powerlessness; withdraws and shuts down; embarrassment and Shame; Needs to control; and Lack of friends.
2. Cognitive Effects: May drops out of school; school attendance problems; Suicidal thoughts; “Macho” attitudes; Thinks violence is okay in relationships;
3. Behavioral Effects: Uses violence to solve conflicts and problems; abuses alcohol and drugs; acting out behaviors; antisocial behaviors; suicidal; problems with relationships; self-harm behaviors; homicidal towards abuser; and sexual problems.The effects to Adolescents Girls include:

1. Emotional Effects: Distrustful of others or have trust issues; blames or hates mother; needy – wants to be taken care of and protected; restlessness and feelings of tension; Feels hopeless or helpless; Confused about role models; self-blame and feels guilt about abuse; manic-depressive and “Numbs out” emotionally.
2. Cognitive Effects: Looks for protection from a male figure; school work problems; Lack of self understanding; Lack of boundaries and limits; mimics or takes on others’ personalities; multiple or split personalities; and Problem with concentrating and focusing.
3. Behavioral Effects: Unable to function at home; Drug or alcohol abuse; Unable to function in relationships; Runs away from home; Pregnancy or early marriage; gets involved in prostitution; distorted perceptions of body and Eating disorders.

Author Bio:
Cally Greene is an online consultant for domestic violence lawyer at JoeyGilbertLaw. She likes blogging about Legal issues,Business law,Family Law and other Legal advice.
You can contact her via Twitter.

The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

aggressive driverAggressive driving: everyone has seen it. It’s the driver who gets too close behind other cars to try to push them into going faster. It’s the driver who speeds through school zones because they’re in a rush. It’s the driver who makes lane changes with too little room to do so, forcing other drivers to accommodate the aggressive driver’s poor driving. There are a few things that you can generally say about aggressive drivers and be assured that you’re correct:

 

  • They’re not as good at driving as they think
  • They endanger everyone on the road
  • They take risks that are downright stupid

 

What do you do with these drivers? Avoid them, if you can. You should also be aware of the risks that they do present so that you can anticipate what you might face when you run into one.

 

The Risks

According to the NHTSA, 60 percent of drivers that they surveyed for a study said that they feel that unsafe driving is a threat to them and their families. This is not too surprising. The NHTSA identifies some specific problems with aggressive drivers that good drivers should be aware of. For instance:

 

  • Aggressive drivers tend to not be concerned with other motorists
  • Aggressive drivers sometimes use the anonymity provided by their vehicles to vent aggression at other drivers
  • They are risk takers
  • They routinely break the law on the roads

 

All of this boils down to a portrait of a driver who is angry, a poor driver, who doesn’t really care about the welfare of other drivers and who takes risks, a habit which may be exacerbated by their frustration. These drivers pose risks that are too numerous to name one by one, but here are some of them.

 

Rear End Collisions

Aggressive drivers will ride your bumper, driving too fast and sometimes end up colliding with the vehicles in front of them.

 

Intersection Collisions

These drivers oftentimes disobey stop signs and red lights, causing wrecks and serious injuries to other drivers.

 

Violence

Aggressive drivers are typically angry, frustrated individuals who may react with anger if they are involved in a crash, even if they caused it. Be wary of this if you’re in a wreck with one.

 

Dealing with the Threat

Don’t retaliate. The best way to deal with aggressive drivers is to just let them go by and get out of their way. They can’t hurt you if you’re not near their vehicle. Aggressive driving is negligent. If you’re harmed by an aggressive driver, contact a car accident lawyer about filing a lawsuit to get compensation. No matter how much of a rush they were in or how good a driver they thought they were, aggressive drivers are responsible when they harm other motorists.

Drunk Driving: Increased or Decreased in the Last 5 Years?

One Friday night, Linda met up with some co-workers for appetizers, trivia and a few cocktails.  At the end of the night, one friend called a cab, Linda had one drink in a 3 hour period, and another friend, Joni, who left without saying good-bye, had 3 or 4 margaritas.  When Linda noticed that Joni had left the restaurant, she tried to stop her from leaving the parking lot, but her car was already gone.  Joni has a bad and dangerous habit of driving while drunk, but promises she won’t do it each time they go out for drinks.  The next morning, Linda got a call from Joni, who was calling from the police station.  Joni had been pulled over for suspicious driving, was given a breathalyzer, and was taken to jail with a BAC of 0.100 (well over the legal limit of 0.08).  After receiving a DWI, Joni told Linda that she was surprised that she had been pulled over, as she had driven at least 3 dozen times while legally drunk.  “I drive fine!” she told Linda, “The only reason I swerved was because I was trying to make a phone call.”  Linda knew that Joni’s drinking behavior was problematic and urged her to seek help.  Had Joni not been pulled over by police, she could have been responsible for the injuries or death of an innocent victim.

The Drunk Driving Epidemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average drunk driver has driven 80 times, while intoxicated, before the first arrest.  Drunk driving is expensive (an average of $500 per adult/year) and happens far too frequently (1-in-3 people will be involved in an alcohol related crash in their lifetime).  Additionally, drunk driving is responsible for thousands of crash-related injuries and deaths each year.  Fortunately, drunk driving incidents have decreased in the last 5 years.  In 2005, there were 13, 582 drunk driving related fatalities, but five years later, in 2010, there were 10, 228.  Reports show that the number of fatalities and injuries continue to decrease.  While thousands of drunk driving related injuries and deaths are still far too many, it seems as though drivers are finally starting to “wise up” and/or enforcement is becoming stricter.  Either way, the numbers show that more lives are being spared on our roadways.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the decrease in drunk driving incidents can be partly attributed to drunk driving awareness and enforcement efforts such as the Zero Tolerance Laws.  Additionally, among major crimes, driving under the influence (DUI) has one of the highest arrest rates with more than 1.4 million DUI arrests in 2010.  High rates of arrests are potentially preventing drunk driving related incidents before they occur.

Just because drunk driving, overall, has decreased, it does not mean that you should start or continue to drive while under the influence.  Drunk driving is dangerous and very difficult.  When you are impaired, you’re driving becomes impaired.  Reaction time slows down, judgment is poor, and depth perception is inaccurate, which can all lead to an accident that could result in injuries or even death, leaving YOU with the legal ramifications.  Don’t take the risk, don’t increase the problem, don’t drink and drive!

The Best Nursing Homes in the U.S.

nursing home careEach year, the U.S. News and World Report gathers a list of the best nursing homes around the country. A total of 39 facilities made the cut in 2012, representing the top-notch homes around the nation.  One in seven Americans will spend time in a nursing home this year. This country has approximately 16,000 different facilities around the country, and the U.S. News and World Report uses government analysis to name the best homes. Choosing a home for your loved one is a difficult and emotionally-charged decision and one that should be made carefully.

What’s In A Good Nursing Home?

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set the standards for nursing home facilities around the country and evaluate them on an annual basis. The government considers any facility with 24-hour nursing care and medical services to be a nursing home. State agencies carry out regular inspections of the facilities, and that data is transmitted to the CMS.

Ranking Nursing Homes

CMS ranks nursing homes between 1 and 5 stars. In addition to the state-level inspections, homes are evaluated on their ability to provide enough nurses for the population inside the nursing home, health inspection reports, and the quality of care administered at the facility.  The U.S. News and World Report data breaks down from this award of five stars to share more information about the quality at each facility. To receive a perfect score of 15, a home must have received a 5 from CMS and scores of 5 in each of the underlying elements mentioned above. Those homes with a perfect score make up the top tier.

  • Nurse staffing levels: The CMS evaluates this data by looking at the average number of nurses available for the patients on a daily basis. This includes registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and certified nurse aides.
  • Health inspections: All nursing homes are required to accept Medicaid and Medicare patients, so CMS conducts health inspections every 12 to 15 months. In addition, any health-related complaints from residents are fully explored by CMS on a regular basis.
  • Care quality: Nursing homes are required by CMS to produce clinical data going back three quarters showing the history of all Medicare and Medicaid patients.  These data reports include any actions taken by the staff to physically restrain an individual as well are more general information, like chronic health issues.

 

How To Find a Top Nursing Home

The U.S. News and World Report site is very helpful in breaking down the best nursing homes around the country and also finding the best facilities by state. Location is important when choosing a home, and the detail collected in these reports can help you avoid facilities that are known for nursing home neglect. Combine this data with research of your own about each facility to find the best place for your loved one.

Signs Your Loved One Might Be the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

nursing home neglectEvery person wishes they were in the situation where they could care for their parent when it is needed, but the truth is that most people just don’t have the time or the resources to do so. Because of this there is a large industry that caters toward caring for elderly patients who need constant observation or have pressing medical needs. Wherever there is a large industry in a certain field there will be people who pop up to exploit it, not caring for their paying clients and working only to make a quick buck. If you’re not careful, you may accidentally leave your loved one in the care of somebody who will exploit, mistreat or physically injure them. But how can you tell if your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse? Here are some common symptoms.

Signs of Physical Abuse on an Elderly Patient

Anybody who has been around an elderly family member knows that sometimes they don’t want to be a bother, so they keep their lips shut about things they should discuss. This is true with nursing home abuse as well, especially when there is a lingering threat from the guilty party. Physical abuse can sometimes be easy to spot. Most symptoms will appear on the arms or legs, the areas where they will be grabbed or thrown from. Look for bruises, cuts, and scrapes, and keep an eye on whether or not they choose to wear long sleeved shirts whenever you visit. This can be a sign that they are trying to cover up the nursing home abuse. Even if you suspect there might be abuse, but do not have proof you can still ask for help confidentially.

Signs of Neglect to an Elderly Patient

What’s even worse than physical abuse is nursing home neglect. Elderly patients need constant care and even the tiniest of slip-ups could lead to a serious medical issue. Look for bedsores – they are signs that your loved one is spending too much time in their bed. Bedsores may indicate that nursing home staff members are not checking in on patients regularly. Dehydration and malnutrition are two major forms of nursing home neglect. If your loved one is always thirsty when you visit or seems very lethargic or pale then it may mean that they are not receiving proper meals.

Why is This Treatment Common in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home employees tend to be divided into two different categories of people: workers who have decided to dedicate their lives to this field and educated themselves, and uneducated people who needed any job they could get and took one at a nursing home. The former group tends to be higher paid and find work at more expensive nursing homes, while cheaper nursing homes in lower income areas don’t try as hard to find competent employees. This leads to a hiring process that is less than adequate, which is why it’s very important to do proper research before making the decision to put your loved one in a care facility or nursing home.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a very difficult subject to discuss with a loved one. Many elderly people become embarrassed because they can’t physically defend themselves. This feeling of hopelessness is one major reason these forms of attacks are not reported. Bring up the topic carefully but let them know to be honest with you. Nursing home abuse and neglect needs to be reported so that the guilty parties can be punished.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, report it immediately and seek the help of an experience legal professional.  Mariano Morales Law is composed of a team of nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers located in Yakima, Washington.  For more information about the abuse and neglect of elders, visit the website at www.MarianoMoralesLaw.com.

Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors

Cerebral PalsyCerebral palsy is often seen as a muscular disorder, but it is actually a combination of several neurological conditions that can affect the muscles quite dramatically. The word “cerebral” references the cerebrum, which is a part of the brain. Therefore, cerebral palsy is a disorder that originates in the brain. This article discusses cerebral palsy risk factors.

Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice

Some babies are born with noticeable signs of cerebral palsy, while other children have symptoms but are not properly diagnosed for a few years. However, most cases of cerebral palsy are noticed within the child’s first three years of life. One key sign of cerebral palsy includes the child being slow to do any of the activities that are normally done at their age, such as sitting up, crawling, laughing, and talking. A lack of muscle control is also a noticeable sign of cerebral palsy.

Medical malpractice can be a risk factor associated with the disorder. However, it’s not only medical malpractice that can cause cerebral palsy; many children are born with cerebral palsy where medical malpractice was not proven to be a part of the equation.

Hypoxia and Cerebral Palsy

There is a condition that develops when the brain does not receive the proper amount of oxygen; this condition is called hypoxia and it can develop over the period of time between birth and the few days after birth. Babies born with a limited oxygen flow to the brain have a 40 to 70 percent chance of ending up with a life-long disorder such as cerebral palsy, while the other percentage will end up with no disability.

Limited oxygen flow to the brain can sometimes occur for no known reason when the baby is in the womb, but it can also occur during the birthing process. When the baby is in the womb, the following things can happen: the umbilical cord may become wrapped around the baby’s neck; there may be an infection; or the baby may suffer congenial heart disease. All of these issues can result in a decrease in oxygen to the baby’s brain. Hypoxia occurs in approximately 2 to 10 of 1000 births in the Unites States.

Head Trauma and Cerebral Palsy

Head trauma is serious, and it can result in cerebral palsy. Head trauma can occur as a result of medical negligence during the birthing process. When head trauma happens to full-term babies during labor or delivery, it is usually evidenced by the abnormality of the pH in the cord blood. In addition to pH, the baby usually scores quite low on the Apgar scale, and the fetal monitor will often indicate oxygen deprivation.

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that develops in nearly 10,000 new babies every year in the United States. It is a life-long condition that significantly affects the quality of life for children and their families. It’s important for new parents to better understand cerebral palsy, its risk factors, and learn what they can do to improve their situation.

If your child was born with cerebral palsy and you believe that it was a result of medical malpractice or hospital negligence, seek a legal professional to review your case.  Janet, Jenner & Suggs, Attorneys at Law represent cerebral palsy victims nationwide.  For more information, visit the website of cerebral palsy attorneys Janet, Jenner & Suggs at www.Cerebral-Palsy-Injury.com.

What Is a Vulnerable Adult and How Do We Protect Them?

Vulnerable adults are people older than eighteen years of age who need a caregiver, and who are unable to protect themselves or look after themselves. Vulnerable adults include elderly people in nursing homes, people who are sick or frail, people with memory problems, or people who have difficulty communicating with others. Individuals with physical or mental disabilities are also classified as vulnerable adults. Unfortunately, because these individuals need care and are unable to look after themselves, they are at greater risk of abuse. Read on for more information regarding vulnerable adults and how we can protect them.

Why Are Vulnerable Adults Targets for Abuse?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why vulnerable adults are the victims of abuse. Violence toward vulnerable adults can be a single outburst, or it can be a premeditated attack. Sometimes vulnerable adults are targeted for abuse because caregivers are frustrated at the adult’s inability to communicate or inability to act “normal.” Lack of knowledge or training by health professionals working in nursing homes, hospitals or residential homes can result in violence, as professionals are not taught how to appropriately deal with this frustration.

While poor management and inadequate training can result in abuse toward vulnerable adults, sometimes violence can result simply because caregivers have a violent history. Caregivers are not always health professionals, and therefore training in how to appropriately help vulnerable adults is not required.

What Are the Signs of Abuse Toward a Vulnerable Adult?

Some vulnerable adults, especially elderly individuals, may be reluctant to speak out about the abuse they are suffering from. They might excuse their bruises as being “nothing.” Having injuries and not fully explaining where they came from can be a sign of abuse. Unexplained physical symptoms, such as bruising or scarring, can be explained by abuse. The appearance of the vulnerable adult might also change: they might look dirtier or thinner than before due to improper care or neglect.

Also keep an eye out for behavioral changes. A vulnerable adult who is suffering from abuse or violence might become withdrawn, quiet or depressed. However, behavioral changes on the other end of the spectrum are also possible; a vulnerable adult might become inexplicably angry or aggressive. Not wanting to be alone with certain individuals is also a red flag.

How Do We Protect Vulnerable Adults?

There are several ways to protect vulnerable adults. The most effective way to help and protect vulnerable adults is never to ignore signs of abuse and never to shrug them off as nothing. If you are suspicious, ask questions. It’s best to speak with the vulnerable adult in private. If your suspicions of abuse are confirmed, you can either call a General Practitioner or you can speak with a social worker. Depending on the nature of the abuse, you might even want to get the police involved, as abuse toward a vulnerable adult can be a crime. Additionally, help lines and help from Adult Protective Services are available specifically for these instances.

Vulnerable adults are most at risk for abuse and violence, and because of this they need to be protected. If you suspect that a vulnerable adult you know has been abused or neglected in some way, speak with them and figure out how you can help them. Don’t ignore the situation, but speak out so something can be done to protect them.

If you have evidence that a loved one is being abused, report it to the police immediately, and seek legal counsel to represent the case.  Hughes & Coleman, Injury Lawyers are nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys located in Kentucky.  For more information about nursing home abuse and neglect, visit the website at www.NursingHomeNeglectLawyers.com.