All too often residents in nursing homes experience abuse and neglect from their caregivers, which may require assistance from a top nursing home lawyer Tysons VA can provide. Nursing home abuse can take many forms and it may go unchecked for a long time in certain cases. When the families of abused victims find out what has been happening right under their noses, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out how to fix the situation.
At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., our experienced legal team knows that these types of personal injury cases can be frustrating and complex. While no amount of money can possibly fix the damages created by longterm abuse, a financial settlement may be able to assist the victim and his/her family in the healing process.
Some families may not realize the extent to which their elderly relatives are legally protected while in the care of a nursing home. Nursing home facilities and assisted living facilities are required by law to provide adequate care to residents, and this goes beyond basic medical care. While the amount of care deemed “adequate” might differ from state to state, or even from one facility to another, nursing home residents in every state have certain rights that cannot be violated under the law.
As an experienced nursing home lawyer Tysons VA depends on would likely explain, nursing home residents could potentially be subject to several different types of abuse inflicted by their caregivers.
Physical abuse is defined as the use of force against another individual with the intent of causing harm. Family members of elderly individuals might find it difficult to believe that physical abuse occurs in nursing homes, but as a seasoned nursing home lawyer Tysons VA depends on can attest, it does happen.
A difficult part of identifying and proving physical abuse in a nursing home is that the signs and symptoms of abuse might easily be covered up as accidents. Another obstacle that might make it difficult to identify abuse is that residents who are victimized may forget or not be able to communicate what is happening. A Tysons VA nursing home lawyer understands that reporting any suspected cases of abuse can be very important. If the family of an elderly resident wishes to take legal action, it may be possible to collect a settlement or file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
Elder sexual abuse is often misunderstood and is reported less often than other types of elder abuse. This is likely because the victims of elder sexual abuse often suffer from conditions related to memory, confusion, and/or ability to communicate.
Simply stated, sexual abuse of elders is legally defined as any unwanted sexual conduct against an adult who is 60 or older. The perpetrators of elder sexual abuse may be caretakers in a nursing home but might even be other residents in the facility. Similar to other cases of sexual abuse against non-elders, perpetrators are typically family members or other individuals with whom the victim has a close relationship. Despite being rooted in sexual actions, perpetrators may actually be using sexual abuse to gain a sense of power or control over the victims.
Proving sexual assault in a nursing home may be difficult, and a top nursing home lawyer Tysons VA residents respect knows it can be an uphill battle. If the abuse is occurring at the hands of a staff member or other caretaker, it might be easier for the physical signs of sexual abuse to be covered up when family members are present. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that this type of elder abuse may occur in nursing homes, and it is always illegal.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse
This type of elder abuse might go unchecked for a long time because nursing home residents may not even know that they are the victims of abuse. While state regulations typically lay out clear guidelines about proper duties for residents’ physical health, the mental and emotional wellbeing of residents may not be as clearly defined through staff member duties. It might also be more difficult for families of residents — and even the residents themselves — to identify the signs of psychological abuse.
Nevertheless, as an experienced nursing home lawyer in Tysons VA might explain, it is still illegal for a nursing home to allow residents to be abused verbally. The effects of psychological abuse, despite being less visible than physical abuse, may be equally as catastrophic. Some older adults find it difficult to age with dignity and psychological abuse can make this process even more traumatic.
Verbal and emotional abuse might come from caretakers, volunteers in the facility, other residents, or even other family members. Example of this abuse may include:
- Humiliating the resident, particularly regarding daily living tasks related to bathing and other hygienic needs
- Consistent blaming or scapegoating the resident
- Isolating the resident from social activities
- Ignoring the resident
- Intimidation or threat of physical, sexual, or financial abuse
- Misuse of duties provided through power of attorney status
It is well known that scammers tend to target more vulnerable groups of adults, and this may include elderly individuals. What many people don’t realize is that financial abuse might even occur in nursing home settings as well. This type of abuse may be considered elder abuse in a court of law. While an individual probably won’t sustain injuries directly from financial abuse, the victim would likely suffer if his/her financial savings are drained.
Types of financial abuse in a nursing home may include:
- Cashing a resident’s check without permission
- Stealing personal items
- Forging a resident’s signature
- Coercing a resident to sign documents or contracts
- Deceptive actions that lead to a resident transferring his/her money
If you believe that your elderly relative is the victim of financial abuse, it may be wise to speak with a local nursing home lawyer Tysons VA residents recommend. Luckily, unlike other types of elder abuse, it may be easier to collect evidence of financial abuse that can be used in court. It is important to regularly check bank statements, bank accounts, and even checkbooks to see if any money is being transferred without explanation.
Cohen and Cohen, P.C.: A Nursing Home Lawyer Tysons VA Can Rely On
When your family discovers that an elderly relative has been living in an abusive environment, it’s important to know that a local nursing home lawyer Tysons VA can provide has your back. The legal team at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. knows just how difficult these types of personal injury cases can be. Our clients choose to hire our firm because we not only provide decades of successful litigation experience, but also compassion and understanding when difficult cases arise.
If you aren’t sure where to start, our firm may be able to help. We have provided successful counsel to countless local residents throughout Maryland who have sustained injuries due to the abuse or negligence of another person. To speak with a top nursing home lawyer Tysons VA trusts, contact Cohen and Cohen, P.C. today.