Nursing Home Abuse
The current coronavirus pandemic has proven to be particularly deadly for elderly people and those in nursing homes, and has highlighted the need for facilities across the country to take precautionary measures. As the number of people sick with the virus continues to grow, officials are more concerned than ever about those most vulnerable to the illness.
Each year, millions of families consider placing a parent or grandparent who may suffer from physical or mental conditions in a facility where their medical needs and day-to-day living needs can be met. When you make the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you trust that caregivers will provide the same standard of care that you would give, but that’s not always the case. Nursing home abuse and neglect is becoming an epidemic in the United States, and what is taking place in these homes is despicable. The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act defines elder abuse as the physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental suffering. It is also defined as the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. Nursing home abuse can lead to mental problems, serious illnesses, and even death.
Nursing home residents suffering from abuse may experience:
- Serious Neglect – This typically means that the resident is not getting the care he or she should receive. This could include not bathing or cleaning residents after they’re incontinent, not providing activities for the residents, failing to administer medications, or ignoring requests for help.
- Emotional Abuse – Residents of nursing homes suffer from a disproportionately higher rate of emotional trauma than those outside of nursing homes. If your loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, medical attention and legal representation are needed to determine the reason behind this trauma.
- Mental Abuse – Mental abuse may leave your loved one suffering and in fear. If your loved one has been threatened, intimidated, or spoken to in an especially demeaning and cruel way, you can take legal action.
- Sexual Harassment – Sexual harassment in a nursing home is more prevalent than most people think. This can include unwanted touching, forced photographs, and other forms of sexual aggression.
- Physical Abuse – Many nursing home residents suffer from physical violence at the hands of certified nursing assistants and nurses. This may include rough handling, punching, hitting, or otherwise causing the victim pain.
- Financial Exploitation – This occurs when the person responsible for monitoring an elder’s spending habits exploits their position through the misappropriation of funds, property, or other assets.
Know & Recognize the Warning Signs of Abuse
Here are some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse:
- The refusal of the caregiver to let you be alone with the elderly person
- Having unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Bruising or scars seen on the body
- Failing to take medications properly
- Signs of restraint, such as rope marks on the elder’s wrist
- Broken possessions
- Unexplained sexually transmitted infections
- Heightened levels of distress and anxiety
- Increasing depression or feelings of hopelessness
- Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If your loved one in a nursing home has an unexplained injury or illness, or if you suspect that they are a victim of nursing home abuse, the attorneys at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP can help you stand up for your rights and provide aggressive representation for nursing home negligence and abuse victims.