Elder abuse is the neglect, mistreatment, exploitation, or harming of elderly patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or home care environments. The most common types of abuse are physical/sexual abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, financial abuse, and abandonment – all are illegal under state and federal law, whether intentional or not. Generally, the caregiver is to blame for such elder abuse, although the nursing home facility may be deemed liable, as well.
Elder abuse is now a shockingly common crime. In fact, thousands of residents in nursing homes are mistreated each year, and as the number of seniors under care steadily rises, so does the rate of abuse. Reasons for this increase range from under-qualified, under-trained, and overworked staff members to the fact that many victims are either physically unable too or too afraid to report mistreatment that is occurring in their nursing homes. It is often left up to loved ones to notice signs of nursing home abuse or neglect and ultimately take action.
Below you will find the definitions and indicators of the most com mon types of elder abuse. This information may help you determine whether or not your loved one is a victim of elder abuse and needs legal representation.
Physical Elder Abuse
Physical elder abuse, which often occurs in nursing homes, generally includes beatings, sexual assault, food or water deprivation, and the inappropriate use of physical restraint, although it is not limited to these examples. If you believe your loved one is a victim of physical elder abuse, it is imperative that you contact a nursing home abuse or neglect attorney today.
The following are common indicators of physical elder abuse:
- Bruises, black eyes, lacerations, and welts
- Broken bones and fractures
- Bed sore
- Cuts, open wounds, and wounds in various stages of healing
- Sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries
- Poor skin condition
- Dehydration or malnourishment
- Weight loss
- Broken eyeglasses
- Signs of restraint
- Sudden change in behavior
- Lab findings indicating an overdose or deprivation of medication
- Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see the older person alone
Psychological and Emotional Elder Abuse
Psychological and emotional elder abuse typically includes threats, humiliation, verbal assaults, isolation, and any type of emotional pain or suffering inflicted on a senior. If you believe your loved one is a victim of psychological or emotional elder abuse, don’t wait – contact a nursing home abuse or neglect attorney today.
The following are common indicators of psychological and emotional elder abuse:
- Agitation or anger
- Behavior associated with dementia, such as rocking, biting, and sucking
Elder neglect is any failure to fulfill duties regarding or obligations to a senior. Nursing home abuse and neglect generally includes the failure to pay for necessary care or failure to provide food, water, shelter, medicine, clothing, and other necessities for daily living in nursing homes. If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, consult an elder abuse attorney today.
The following are common indicators of nursing home neglect:
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Untreated bedsores
- Poor personal hygiene
- Untreated medical conditions
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Harmful living conditions
Financial Elder Abuse
Financial elder abuse is the theft or misuse of an elder’s funds, property, or assets. Examples of this include stealing an older person’s money or possessions, forging his signature, cashing his checks without authorization, and misusing guardianship, conservatorship, or power of attorney. If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to contact an elder abuse attorney today.
The following are common indicators of financial elder abuse:
- Changes in banking practice
- Unauthorized ATM withdrawals
- Addition of names to bank signature card
- Sudden changes in a will
- Disappearance of funds or possessions
- Unpaid bills despite adequate financial resources