Based on a study prepared by the Special Instigation Division of the House Government Reform Committee, abuse of nursing home residents is on the rise in the United States. Since 1996, the percentage of nursing homes cited for violations of state of federal law has increased steadily, year after year.
Abuse of a loved one in a nursing home can take many forms. The abuse can by physical, verbal, or financial. Some of the warning signs of elderly abuse are:
- Unexplained scratches, bruises, fractures, cuts, or burns
- Uncharacteristic agitation or fear
- Frequent, unexplained crying
- Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
- Depression or withdrawal from family members
- Lack of reaction to physical pain
- Uncharacteristic poor hygiene or uncleanliness
- Reports of abuse or complaints of pain
- Inability of the nursing home staff to explain your family member’s injuries
- Refusal of the nursing home to allow you to see your family member alone
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, research reveals that “more than one in ten elder may experience some type of abuse, but only one in five cases or fewer are reported. This means that very few seniors who have been abused get the help they need.”
Abuse of elderly nursing home patients is tragic, but all too real. It can take many forms. The Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Powers Taylor LLP are committed to seeking compensation for victims of Elderly Abuse.
Financial Exploitation and Abuse
Financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing problem in the United States. Just because your family member is a resident in a nursing home or long-term care facility does not mean that he or she is insulated from this form of abuse. Improperly taking or misusing of your family member’s property or money is a form of financial abuse. Concealing your family member’s money or assets is also a form of financial exploitation. Typically, the abuser is a person in a position of authority over your elderly family member. A potential abuse may also be a person in whom your elderly nursing home resident trusts. Nursing home staff, caregivers, and strangers who have befriended your elderly loved one are all potential candidates. Nursing home staff and caregivers have a unique position over your elderly family member, and financial fraud in the nursing home and long-term care context can be as simple as misusing your family member’s credit cards, withdrawing money or taking money from your family member, or committing health-care fraud.
Research indicates that physical abuse – the inflicting or threatening to inflict physical pain or injury on an elderly patient – is a very real problem that occurs in nursing homes across the country. And, it appears to be on the rise. Physical abuse can be from the use of non-accidental physical force on your elderly loved one that causes injury. It can also take the form of purposefully rendering your elderly nursing home resident incapacitated, such as employing physical restraints or administering improper medications and drugs to nursing home residents. Physical abuse can also occur from purposefully withholding required medications from your family member to cause him or her pain or discomfort. Perhaps the most sinister form of physical abuse of the elderly is sexual abuse, which takes the form of non-consensual sexual contact with your nursing home resident.
While not always as obvious as physical abuse, verbal and emotional abuse of your elderly nursing home resident can be just as damaging. Shouting and yelling at, threatening, laughing at or ridiculing, and humiliating any nursing home resident is unacceptable and can cause lasting damage.
Call Powers Taylor.
If you suspect that your nursing home loved one has suffered injuries due to neglect, call us immediately and talk with one of our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect attorneys. We will confidentially review your case at no charge.