The experienced attorneys at Hupy and Abraham believe that everyone should be treated with dignity, and that those who have been victims of nursing home neglect or abuse deserve recovery for the preventable injuries that they suffered. The first step to understanding elder abuse is recognizing these abuses when they happen, and to actively respond with preventative solutions. To raise awareness for National Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Hupy and Abraham has provided the following information to help inform the public about the details of elder abuse.
Elder abuse in care facilities can come in many forms:
Physical/Sexual Abuse. The nonaccidental use of force against an elderly person is considered physical abuse. Extreme force to a resident can cause pain, and ultimately death, if injuries due to said force are untreated. Physical abuse can also include the inappropriate use of medication to incapacitate a resident. Sexual abuse will typically occur between the caretaker and the resident. Sexual abuse is not restricted to physical touching. Signs may include inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns, or unexplained sexually transmitted diseases.
Neglect. Mistreatment of a resident that results in any type of harm can be considered neglect. This usually includes the failure to provide basic needs for the resident. Signs include lack of basic hygiene and medical aids (glasses, walker, teeth, hearing aid and medications,) unsupervised residents with mental disabilities and unsuitable living conditions.
Psychological/Emotional Abuse. The manner in which elderly residents are spoken to while in the care of others can cause a lasting impact. Passive emotional abuse can be unintentional, but the effects are extremely damaging. Signs include unexplained or changed behavior or alertness, or withdrawal from normal activities. A caregiver may also isolate the elder, become verbally aggressive, demeaning, controlling or simply uncompassionate.
Financial Exploitation. One of the more common forms of elder abuse is financial manipulation. Exploitation often comes in the form of a slow depletion of savings via nonexistent fees or charges to the resident for nondelivered services. Signs of healthcare fraud and exploitation can include a failure to provide lack of affordable amenities, the resident “voluntarily” giving uncharacteristically excessive financial reimbursement/gifts or even signed property transfers (power of attorney, new will, etc.) while resident is unable to comprehend its meaning.
Prevent Elder Abuse:
- Look for the red flags that may suggest elder abuse and neglect.
- Call or visit an elderly loved one and ask how he or she is doing.
- Provide a respite break for a caregiver.
- Contact your local adult protective services or long-term care ombudsman (an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration) to learn how to help at-risk elders and adults with disabilities.
If you have any additional questions about the types of abuse that elders may experience in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, please call Hupy and Abraham for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today, at 800-800-5678.