If your loved one has been abused or neglected while under the care of a nursing home, then you need a nursing home lawyer. This happens more often than is reported as senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. A disabled or mentally impaired elderly person is even more susceptible to abuse or neglect. There are different forms of nursing home abuse, but they are all difficult for your loved one emotionally and physically. You want your elderly loved one to feel safe and secure, so finding out that they have been abused or neglected can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, sorrow and anger. A personal injury lawyer will be sympathetic to the pain this kind of treatment causes both your loved one and yourself and will be able to guide you through the process of recovery and relocating the victim to a safer environment.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. It is important to understand what types of abuses may be inflicted on nursing home patients so that you can watch for the signs and vigilantly protect your loved one from becoming a victim. Financial exploitation is the most common form of abuse against the elderly. Senior citizens who are lonesome are the most common victims because they respond positively to friendly treatment. This kind of fraud can be simple and petty, such as convincing the victim to donate money to a charity that does not exist or misusing the person’s credit card or bank account information. The fraudulent activity may also become extensive with elaborate schemes to deplete the patient’s entire life savings or charging the insurance company for services that were not rendered.
Physical abuse is probably the easiest form of nursing home abuse to identify. Using physical force against a nursing home patient is considered abusive and can often lead to injuries more serious than intended due to the frailty of elderly patients. The use of drugs to incapacitate or otherwise control a victim is also considered a form of physical abuse. The injuries that result from physical abuse can vary wildly, but in all cases they could lead to death if the injuries remain untreated.
Neglect is a very serious problem in nursing homes that if gone unchecked may also lead to the eventual death of the patient. Forms of neglect include failure to provide food or water, forgetting to administer medications or the refusal to help the patient maintain personal hygiene.
Emotional abuse causes the patient to feel fear, anxiety or other distress. Abusers may ridicule, humiliate, threaten or curse at the patient. They may also scold the elderly person for things that are beyond their control. Emotional abuse can also be unintentional as is sometimes the case when a patient is ignored for an extended period of time, isolated or otherwise deprived of human interaction.
Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact between the nursing home attendant and the patient. This often happens because the abuser is placed in a position of authority and dominance and the victim is left unable to fight back or incapacitated due to medications or injury. Sexual abuse does not have to be physical, it also includes forcing the victim to undress without reason, look at pornographic images or watch a sexual act occur between the abuser and another person.
How do I approach Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse happens more often than is reported. There are many factors that contribute to this problem, but under-staffing, lack of funds and under qualified medical or support staff can all contribute to nursing home neglect and abuse. However, none of these situations make it excusable to abuse or neglect a senior citizen. The operators of such facilities are liable for injuries that your loved one sustains while under their care. Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
- Cuts, bed sores or wounds
- Frequent bruising
- Soiled linens or clothing
- Unusual weight fluctuations
- Depressed or anti-social behavior
Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer
We trust nursing homes to care for and look after our elderly loved ones. Misconduct or negligence is unacceptable. A nursing home lawyer will ensure that proper investigations are conducted and fight to get your loved one the compensation they deserve. Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys have a tam of qualified and experienced nursing home lawyers, who will do a comprehensive case evaluation for free and advise you of what steps you should take to protect your loved one.