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What You Can Do to Fight Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse in nursing homes has been on the rise. According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, the rise of nursing home abuse stems from the poor conditions in some nursing homes and care institutes, understaffed health care centers, and even inexperienced or under-qualified health care workers. Many types of abuse have been reported on nursing homes, such as malnutrition, poor or improper care, neglect, physical and mental abuse, and even sexual abuse.

It may be understandable to report the nursing home abuse if you are the relative of the person abused, but what if you are not? It can be hard to know what to do once you’ve seen someone being victimized but does not have the power to prevent it. However, everyone has legal responsibilities to report any abuse that they have witnessed, and depending on your position there is always something you can do.

  • People working in healthcare – most state laws require people working in the healthcare industry to report any type of abuse that they suspect or witness within 48 hours of the incident.
  • Government or legal professionals – whether your profession deals with the elderly or not, most state laws require those who work in legal or government agencies to report any suspected or witnessed nursing home abuse or abuse towards and elderly. It also has a 48-hour time requirement to report the abuse.
  • People working in the religious sector – states may differ on their requirements on reporting abuse if the information has been from a confidential source, such as from the confession booth of a church. Nevertheless, most states require clergies and church workers to report any form or elderly abuse.
  • Everyday citizens – everyone has the responsibility to protect the elderly from any form of abuse, even in states that does not require them to. Ethical and moral etiquette are big reasons from citizens to report any form of abuse, however specific legal proceedings can differ from states that are required to report them and those who are not.

A lot of people can feel a bit intimidated or scared of reporting any type of nursing home abuse; however, things such as these should not be brushed aside. Getting advice from a good legal representative and asking help from other people can give you courage and support to tell about the abuse and what should be done about it.

Adjusting to Life with Paraplegia

A lot of things can happen to change a person’s way of life, and nothing can be more drastic than having suffered a spinal cord injury. Aside from the serious pain that comes along with the injury, a person with a spinal cord injury needs to readjust things that have been natural to them before and live a life with restrictions and limitations. Paraplegia is one of many spinal cord injuries that people can suffer from and affect a person’s personal and professional life.

Paraplegia is a form of paralysis affecting the lower half of the body. Major injuries on the spinal cord can give way to paraplegia, although the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C., also acknowledges that there are some diseases and genetic conditions that can make people develop this condition. It usually affects the reflex and senses in the lower extremities of the body, disabling the ability of the person to walk or stand on their own. There are two types of paraplegia – complete and incomplete.

People who suffer from complete paraplegia loose all sensory and motor nerve functions below where the injury occurred, and they may require wheelchairs to move about. People who are incomplete paraplegics can have some nerve or sensory below the area of injury since a only a certain portion on nerves in the spinal cord are damaged.

Those who suffer from paraplegia, however, should not give up on getting back to their normal life. There are many ways they can still live independently, and there are still many opportunities for them to work and enjoy life to the fullest. Proper rehabilitation and practice can help improve the condition, and it can also help in adjusting how the paraplegic can get back to how they lived their life before the injury. Although readjustments should be made, having paraplegia does not mean they have become useless or invalid. This is big and rude misconception. Limitations are different from hindrances in living life as a paraplegic.

Have The Teeth You Want with Veneers

A smile can tell a lot about a person, and generally smiling can make you appear more warm and friendly to others. Smiling can even make you more attractive to the opposite sex, and can make a better first impression. These are among the many reasons why people have been more into dental care, particularly being conscious of how their teeth appear, and why dental veneers have been on the rise.

Dental veneers are thin shells of tooth made to cover discolored, damaged, or gapped teeth. They have become a very popular dental cosmetic procedure that gives the patient clean, beautiful teeth from minor teeth issues. There are many types of veneers that can be used; however the most popular and widely used are porcelain veneers (mainly because it is more durable and stronger than other types of veneers).

People prefer to have veneers because they appear more natural, and they are more health to the gums. Because veneers do not irritate the gum tissues, they work perfectly well, and they are also stain resistant. If you opt to have veneers, you are also given the choice on how white you would want your teeth to appear; veneers offer a more conservative approach to changing the teeth’s color as well as its shape.

One of the reasons why people prefer to get veneers is due to the fact that they are a “quick-fix” to damaged teeth as compared to other procedures that can take up longer periods. It only takes about two to three visits to the dentist to have your teeth fixed, and you’re good to go. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should neglect proper oral health care and regular dental visits. Veneers can only last for 5-10 years, therefore proper maintenance and good dental hygiene is still necessary to keep your teeth healthy and far from further damages.

Establishing Paternity of Your Child

Establishing paternity means more than just child support. Being acknowledged as the legal father of your child can give you clear definition of your role as the father, having legal rights and responsibilities in custody, visitation, and parenting time which plays a major role in any parent/child relationship. There are other legal advantages to establishing paternity, and the website of the Marshall & Taylor, P.C., suggests that unwed fathers should act quickly in order to set up paternity, otherwise issues may occur.

Every child has the right to know his father, and the father also has equal rights to know his child. Legal benefits that paternity can provide are:

  • Financial support from the father – being acknowledged as the “legal” father not only means child support, the child also has the right for death benefits (such as social security benefits, Veteran’s benefits, inheritance, etc). They can receive this after their father’s death. Not legally establishing the paternity may enable the child to forfeit such benefits.
  • Access to father’s medical history – health issues such as cancer or other genetic diseases that can be passed down can be put into light. A child may be informed of their health risks and could help in ensuring they are in proper healthy conditions.
  • Adoption – for a legal adoption to take place both parent should generally agree to this option; if the father is not legally recognized by court, he does not have any right to contest any actions or moves in the adoption process.
  • Future relationships and relatives – a child may want to know and form close relationships with their father’s side of the family, and this may be achieve if they know who their father is. Future relationships can also be affected by the presence of the father growing up.

The simplest and most recognized way of proving paternity is through a DNA test. For an unwed father, even their presence during the birth of the child does not make them the legal father; they have to file an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” as soon as possible so that the child and the father’s rights are protected. Proving paternity can be confusing and may require a lot of hard work, which is why having legal assistance and advice is one way to ensure everything is taken care of.

When is a Parent Considered Unfit for Joint Custody?

One of the major aspects of divorce is the question of child custody. There was time when custody was awarded solely to the mother, especially if the child or children are still very young. The presumption is that as the primary caregiver, mothers are the “better” parent to provide the care needed. However, this presumption has been lifted and in most cases in California, courts prefer to give parents joint custody. Advocates of this default decision argue that the child or children have a better chance of getting through the disruptive force of divorce if both parents remain an active presence in their lives. It is also claimed that joint custody reduces conflict between parents.

But not all divorced parents are of this view. In many cases, both parents want sole custody of the child or children for a variety of reasons, but primarily because one considers the other an “unfit” parent.

In California, joint custody may mean one of two things: joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Joint legal custody means that both parents have equal rights to make decisions regarding the child’s education, health and welfare. Joint physical custody means that the child spends a significant amount of time with both parents, usually split evenly. To remove the rights of one parent for either type of joint custody is not at all easy unless it can be proven that one parent is unfit to take care of the child or children.

There is no clear definition of what makes a parent unfit, although the following factors may be considered as a given:

  • Past domestic violence
  • Physically or emotionally abusive behavior
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual offense conviction

Some parents argue that since the other parent has a full-time job, it makes him or her unfit because of physical absence. Unless the work requires prolonged absence from the home or extended hours, mere employment is not proof of being unfit and may not be used as a basis for termination of custodial rights.

Iowa Laws and Dram Shop Liability

If you are in Iowa and having a good time drinking with your friends, it is easy to go a little overboard with the liquor. Don’t take offense if the barmaid or bartender cuts you off; the law requires it.

Dram shop laws in Iowa are pretty much representative of the dramshop laws all over the US. A dramshop is any establishment which serves liquor, wine and any alcohol beverage onsite. In colonial times, a “dram” is a liquid unit of measurement used by drinking establishments – called shops – to measure out liquor.

Dram shop laws are a carry-over from the mid-1800s during the Temperance movement. Modern applications of the statutes are designed to pressure establishments that sell alcohol to exercise more care in who they serve. The principle behind the law is that those who profit from selling alcohol should also be responsible for the consequences.

According to Iowa Code § 123.92, a person injured in a car wreck caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol can also make a claim against the dram shop that supplied the alcohol “when the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated.” Those holding liquor licenses or permits are required to show proof of liability coverage.

Iowa is one of the states that also penalize anyone who serves alcohol to minors even if they are not a licensed seller of alcohol. If a minor is injured or harmed as a consequence of their intoxication, the minor has the right to make a claim against the person who supplied the alcohol provided that person knew that the claimant was under legal age. If you or someone you know was involved in a car wreck because of drunk driving in Iowa, consult with an auto accident lawyer conversant with the dram shop laws of the state.

The Beginnings of Personal Injury Law

Levinson AxelrodPersonal injury law as it is known today is a relatively new type of tort law that is said to have originated in the UK in the 19th Century. In the US, personal injury law became established in the 20th century, and really gained strength in the 1970s.

Personal injury laws evolved primarily from court decisions and rulings that served to gradually establish the foundation of what is commonly referred to as a “duty of care,” which in turn is cited whenever a case of negligence is brought up.

The first personal injury case that made use of the term “duty of care” is Donoghue v. Stevenson brought before the House of Lords in 1932. The incident, widely known as the Paisley snail case, involved the discovery of a dead snail in the bottle of ginger beer being consumed by the plaintiff, Mrs. Donoghue in 1928. The defendant, David Stevenson, was the manufacturer of the ginger beer. The counsels for Mrs. Donoghue were George Morton KC and William Milligan, making them the first personal injury lawyers in modern legal history.

The term “duty of care” was introduced by Lord Atkin during arguments in the House of Lords. He stated that “a manufacturer of products, which he sells in such a form as to show that he intends them to reach the ultimate consumer in the form in which they left him…and with the knowledge that the absence of reasonable care in the preparation or putting up of the products will result in an injury to the consumer’s life or property, owes a duty to the consumer to take that reasonable care.” It was 3-2 decision in favor of affirming that Mrs. Donoghue had a cause of action.

The case was important because it established the legal basis for a personal injury claim; that is, duty of care. It set a precedent which a personal injury lawyer could cite for subsequent cases. Ironically, Mrs. Donoghue did not actually win her claim in court. By the time the case could be brought before the Court of Session, which would decide if damages would be awarded or not based on the evidence, Mr. Stevenson had passed away. Mrs. Donoghue eventually settled with Stevenson’s estate.

If you or someone you know was injured in some way by a manufacturer’s negligence, you and your personal injury lawyer can thank Lord Atkin for establishing that you have a cause of action.

The Temporomandibular Joint and TMD

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) was until recently a widely unknown problem affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It was unknown mostly because the symptoms seemed to indicate some other problem, and unless the doctor knows what to look for and to ask the right questions, a diagnosis of TMD is unlikely to occur in the initial consultation.

There is a wide range of TMD symptoms which may easily be mistaken for some other disorder. These include:

  • Changes in occlusion
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • Clicking sound of the jaw
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Localized pain in the neck, back and head area
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Pain or ringing in the ears for no discernible reason
  • Soreness in the jaw area, pronounced in the morning or late afternoon
  • Teeth sensitivity with no gum problems
  • Tingling or numbness of the fingers

The only way that a neuromuscular dentist will be able to diagnose TMD is to take a careful and detailed patient history as well as a thorough physical examination of the TMJ. The neuromuscular dentist will look for symptoms of TMD, and may order a panoramic X-ray to confirm it. The X-ray will also show if the teeth could be causing the problem. Other tests that may be done, though rarely, include computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

If your neuromuscular dentist determines that you will need surgery to correct the TMD, a maxillofacial surgeon will be referred to you. In most cases, however, a less radical solution is indicated. These may include:

  • Diet modification
  • Ice and hot packs
  • Orthopedic appliance or mouthguard
  • Pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Posture training
  • Resting the TMJ
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Splints

TMD can be a real hindrance, and can significantly reduce the quality of your life. If you suspect that the medical problems you have been having may actually be symptoms of TMD, consult with a neuromuscular dentist as soon as possible.

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