Elder and Nursing Home Abuse DC Negligence Lawyer
As family members and loved ones age and suffer declines in mental and physical strength, many begin to require special care that is too difficult for non-professionals to manage. When this occurs, it may be in the family’s best interest to either bring in a caregiver, or move the elder to a nursing home or assisted living residence. In fact, as of 2019, there were more than 1.3 million residents in nursing home facilities across the country. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of older persons are abused every year in nursing home facilities and other environments. Data from Adult Protective Services (APS) shows this number rising.
Common Forms of Elder Abuse
Physical abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse that occurs in nursing homes. One study reported that more than 20 percent of nursing home residents have experienced physical abuse. Examples include striking or hitting, and restraint via physical means or sedatives. There can also be non consensual sexual relations.
Often, caregivers are negligent. In an assisted living facility, they have a duty to provide adequate food, healthcare, protection, and more to the residents. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
There can also be financial fraud via exploitation, which is the taking, misuse, or concealment of funds or assets in a deceptive and/or hidden way. The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimates that losses related to elder fraud are worth more than $25 billion per year.
Another form of common abuse in nursing homes is emotional abuse. Whether it be deliberately inflicting mental pain or distress on an elder person, via means like humiliation and intimidation, it is a serious issue.
If you suspect that a loved one is suffering abuse in a nursing home, there are signs you can and should look for. First, you should look for bruises, pressure marks, abrasions or burns – signs of physical abuse.
Additionally, be sure to take note of any withdrawal from normal activities and depression, as well as belittling, threats, and strained or tense relationships between your loved one and his or her caregiver. These may be signs of emotional abuse.
Report any abuse you see to Adult Protective Services, and make sure you listen to the elder.
If you believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact the experienced attorneys at Cohen & Cohen today for a free case evaluation.