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Nursing Home Abuse

Each YEAR – one in ten Elders in Nursing Home & Assisted Living Facilities are Neglected or Abused.   ELDER ABUSE

Elder abuse is a term that refers to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm, or a serious risk of harm, to a vulnerable adult.

Approximately 2.6 million people live in a residential care facility or a nursing home, on any given day throughout the United States. A number of studies have estimated that between three and five (5%) percent of the elderly population in the U.S. have been abused. Incredibly, the available data indicates that only one out of every fourteen cases of abuse/neglect is ever reported to authorities.

Below is a sampling of findings that show what is known about the incidence and prevalence of elder abuse and neglect:

The most recent major studies on incidence reported that 7.6%–10% of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year. The study that found an incidence of 1 in 10 adults experiencing abuse did not include financial abuse.

Available data from state Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies show an increasing trend in the reporting of elder abuse.

Despite the accessibility of APS in all 50 states (whose programs are quite different), as well as mandatory reporting laws for elder abuse in most states, an overwhelming number of cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation go undetected and untreated each year.  One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities.

The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 were unknown.

Major financial exploitation was self-reported at a rate of 41 per 1,000 surveyed, which was higher than self-reported rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect.

What can I do to Stop Elder Abuse and Neglect of Seniors?

You should know the warning signs of abuse.
1.) Visit your loved one often and with your eyes open.
2.) Report suspected abuse.
3.) Get involved.

Knowing the warning signs of abuse is a first step toward protecting elders. If your loved one is in a nursing home, skilled nursing home, assisted living facility, board and care, or other long-term care facility for the elderly, visit them often. And keep a watchful eye out for other loved ones who may be vulnerable. The elderly are more vulnerable when they are suffering from dementia or other limiting disabilities.

 

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse occurs when physical force is used to harm a victim. This can include hitting, scratching, shoving, biting, and inappropriate use of restraints. Physical elder abuse typically has the most obvious warning signs. It may be more plausible to prove physical abuse than other less obvious forms of elder abuse.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional elder abuse occurs when a caregiver or other individual causes emotional distress within a victim. Emotional abuse may result from ridicule and humiliation, intimidation, terrorizing, or ignoring an elder. Demeaning behavior, scapegoating, and blaming are also considered emotional elder abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual elder abuse takes place when non-consensual sexual contact is made with an elder. In many cases, physical and emotional abuse may also play a role. Elders who are sexually abused may be tricked, coerced, manipulated, or forced into sexual contact.

Financial Abuse

Stealing money or personal property are common forms of elder financial abuse. Additionally, financial abuse can occur when a caregiver or other individual tricks or pressures an elder to divulge valuable information, such as bank account and credit card numbers. Financial abuse also occurs when a victim is coerced to modify a deed, will, or trust.

 

Are there Criminal or Civil Penalties for Abusers?

Criminal Penalties:

State laws vary across the United States, in most states there are several laws that address criminal penalties for various types of elder abuse. Some states have increased penalties for those who victimize older adults. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are usually trained on elder abuse and ways to use criminal and civil laws to bring abusers to justice. This is excellent news for elder rights activists. Abuses to the most vulnerable persons in our society, namely children and the elderly, must be reported and the perpetrators prosecuted.

Civil Restitution:

If your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect and has sustained serious injuries, they may be entitled to monetary compensation and restitution for all losses, including payment of their medical bills, future treatment and care, pain and suffering, etc.

If a nursing home neglects a resident, and such neglect causes a serious injury, then the nursing home or long term care facility may be liable for elder abuse. If you are unsure, contact the appropriate state agency or contact an experienced elder law attorney who specializes in elder abuse and elder neglect cases.

Social isolation and mental impairment (e.g., dementia or Alzheimer’s disease) are two factors that may make an older person or senior citizen more vulnerable to abuse.

Unfortunately, nearly every statistic on the subject reveals that elder abuse and elder neglect are growing problems.

 

Report Nursing Home Abuse

You should report any nursing home abuse to the proper state hotline. That will be one of your first steps if you feel your loved one may have been abused. Be sure to always ask your senior how they are feeling and how they are being treated in a facility.

You should contact a nursing home abuse attorney with experience and a proven track record of case settlements and verdicts. This will ensure your family that they get the compensation they deserve. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding your nursing home abuse case.

If you file a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were the victim of nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help. A nursing home abuse lawyer will help to navigate the complex legal process needed to pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Additionally, an elder abuse lawyer can help provide support and peace of mind during a difficult time.

We know that help is available for victims. Call US if you have concerns. If you’re not sure if there has been abuse  –

 432-301-9252

ASK questions.  You have a right to question! Get involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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