Nursing home abuse and the abuse of the elderly occurs all too frequently. They are some of society’s most vulnerable people, but senior citizens are perhaps the most vulnerable when their living situations make it clear that they cannot easily defend themselves. Abusers may be spouses, family members, personal acquaintances, or professionals in positions of trust; or opportunistic strangers who prey on the vulnerable.
Unfortunately, many cases of nursing home abuse goes unreported. Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse but only one in five case or fewer are reported. This means that very few seniors who have been abused get the help they need.
What is Elder Abuse?
In general, elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder. Physical abuse; neglect; emotional or psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are considered forms of elder abuse.
Who is at Risk?
Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. Based on available information, women and “older” elders are more likely to be victimized. Dementia is a significant risk factor. Mental health and substance abuse issues, of both abusers and victims, are risk factors. Isolation can also contribute to risk.
There are many reasons that elderly residents in facilities suffer nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home workers are too often low-paid, overworked, and poorly trained. Sometimes the problem occurs when a nursing home owner tries to cut corners by skimping on staff or training. But, sometimes the worst cases of nursing home neglect and abuse happen at facilities that on the outside seem clean, professional, and well run. Often, management is aware that a problem exists. Some warning signs to be aware of include:
- Physical abuse – slap marks, unexplained bruises, pressure marks, and certain types of burns or blister, such as cigarette burns.
- Neglect – pressure ulcers, unclean, lack of medical care, malnutrition or dehydration.
- Emotional abuse – withdrawal from normal activities, unexplained changes in alertness, or other unusual behavior changes.
- Sexual abuse – bruises around the breast or genital area and unexplained sexually transmitted diseases.
- Financial abuse or exploitation – sudden change in finances and accounts, altered wills and trusts, unusual bank withdrawals, checks written as “loans” or “gifts,” and loss of property.
If you have seen signs of nursing home staff negligence or abuse while visiting your loved one in a nursing home, contact the Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyers at Grey Law immediately to set up an appointment for a free case evaluation. You have the right to take legal action against the facility or caregiver responsible for your elder loved one’s injuries and suffering. Our attorneys have over 25 years in handling nursing home abuse cases and will help you with your case and work towards an ideal solution to protect the rights of your loved one. Call us today at 323-857-9500.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility is a difficult decision. When a family makes that decision, they place their trust in the nursing home. When that trust is violated, and a vulnerable or elderly person is neglected or abused, the consequences can be serious resulting in a permanent injury or wrongful death. When that happens, the nursing home abuse lawyers at Grey Law are prepared to help. Contact our firm today to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.