Millions of elderly Americans live in nursing homes because they are unable to live independently. These facilities are supposed to provide a safe environment in which the patient can get the assistance and care that they need from qualified individuals. Unfortunately, for a shocking number of the elderly, neglect and abuse become part of their daily routine.
Common Forms Of Abuse And Neglect
Every day, nursing home residents suffer due to the actions of others. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association( APS), the most common forms are:
Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse occurs when someone harms another with violence and cruelty. Types of abuse include:
Physical Abuse: This form of abuse may include hitting, beating, or any other physical contact which results in pain or injury. Physical abuse can come from both caregivers and other residents.
Emotional Abuse: Whenever someone is caused emotional anguish or distress via humiliation, intimidation, insults, or threats, this is a form of abuse.
Isolation: In some cases this involves restraining someone to a piece of furniture or in a room. In other situations, someone actively works to limit the contact that the patient has with family and friends.
Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual touching or intercourse or other sexual activities are considered sexual abuse.
Abandonment: Unfortunately, sometimes complete desertion of those that need care the most occurs.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect occurs when an individual suffers from a lack of care and attention. There are several forms of neglect:
Physical neglect: Failing to feed a patient, take care of their hygiene, change bandages or provide necessary medications result in physical neglect.
Emotional neglect: Ignoring or belittling the needs of adults or isolating them from loved ones who can provide them with emotional support results in emotional harm to patients.
Financial neglect: Many patients rely on help in order to keep their finances in order. Failing to help them pay bills is a form of neglect.
How Do I Know If My Loved One Is Suffering?
In many cases, elderly patients are unable to report the issues they are facing or they are afraid to. This is why it is important for friends and family members to look out for the common signs of abuse and neglect, such as:
- weight loss
- a disheveled appearance
- unused prescription medications
- bruising or cuts that can’t be explained
- a lack of attendance by nursing home staff
- sudden lack of regular contact with loved ones and family
What Can I Do If I Suspect Mistreatment?’
If you believe that your loved one is a victim or abuse or neglect you should first contact (APS). This agency, which will keep your identity confidential, will assign a caseworker to do an investigation into the matter which was reported. If it is determined that abuse or neglect is in fact present, the department will assist in getting the help that the patient needs.
It is also important that you contact a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can assist in dealing with the facility administration, help to discover and preserve evidence, and file a lawsuit.
What Can Be Gained From Filing A Lawsuit?
Nursing homes are not inexpensive and the price paid to cover the costs are supposed to ensure that the patient is given the care they both need and deserve. By filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff could potentially obtain compensation for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other losses.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Attorney?
At Lever Gottfried Ecker, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means, that when you agree to work with us, the fee we charge will be taken directly out of any compensation that you obtain through the lawsuit. The fee will be set in advance so that there are no surprises. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying us while you juggle other expenses.