Protecting Elderly Victims And Fighting For Their Compensation
Moving an elderly family member into an assisted living facility or nursing home can be a difficult and upsetting decision. Each year, countless families in the U.S. have to contemplate placing a grandparent or parent into a facility such as these where his or her daily living and medical needs can be fulfilled. While we would like to believe that the individuals with whom we entrust our loved ones’ care will provide the same high-quality care that we give, such is not always the case. Nursing home neglect and abuse are quickly becoming an enormous problem in the U.S., and many elderly residents are suffering from one or more types of nursing home abuse. Each year in the U.S., approximately 2.1 million senior citizens suffer from some type of abuse. Even more surprising, for every one case of nursing home abuse that gets reported, there may be as many as five other cases that are unreported. Although physical abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, a nursing home resident may also suffer from financial exploitation, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Nursing home abuse or neglect can include one or more of the following:
- Lack of care
- Assault and/or battery
- Sedation of the patient
- Sexual assault and/or battery
- Poor access to medical services
- Unclean or unsanitary living conditions
- Willful deprivation of food and/or water
- Failure to provide shelter, clothing or food
- Unreasonable physical or chemical restraint
- Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
- Failure to assist the resident with personal hygiene needs
- Failure to prevent bedsores, malnutrition or dehydration
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many different shapes or forms. Recognizing the signs is the first step in stopping it. Classic signs of various forms of abuse include:
- Signs of physical abuse may include bloody or torn clothing, broken bones, and unexplained cuts or bruises. A patient who is suffering from venereal disease, bleeding around the anal or genital area, bruises around the genitals or breasts, or bloody garments may be a victim of sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse of a loved one may include mocking, ignoring, humiliating or terrorizing the patient, as well as intimidating him or her through threats, and yelling or isolating the patient from activities or other residents.
- Financial exploitation is the most common type of nonphysical abuse. A caregiver may steal the patient’s identity, steal belongings, authorize money transfers or withdrawals, forge signatures, checks, or money, or even misuse the patient’s credit cards, accounts, or checks.
- Signs of nursing home neglect include malnourishment, dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, soiled bed linens or clothing, or the improper administration of medications or a patient not receiving his or her medications at all.
It may feel like the family of a nursing home resident does not have many options to hold an abusing home accountable, but there are options for them.
What You Can Do
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have the legal and moral responsibility to provide adequate and proper care to ensure the safety of their residents. However, in the event that a nursing home neglects that responsibility, the patient’s family members may be entitled to hold the nursing home responsible. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect or have evidence that your loved one has been victimized, it is important to immediately contact and seek medical attention, if necessary. The resident will likely be removed from the facility, and you may consider taking legal action against those responsible for the injuries that he or she sustained.
Is Your Loved One Suffering From Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect?
If you or someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to know that you have legal options. The Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorneys at Jacobs Law LLC, understand how devastating neglect can be, particularly if it is caused by a trusted caregiver.
For more information about pursuing a claim and holding the appropriate party responsible, please contact Jacobs Law LLC today at 317-520-9283. There is no cost to receive an initial consultation, and we can help you to determine the best course of action for you and your family. Call now and speak with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer in Indianapolis.