Is Someone Assaulting My Loved One?
When you retire your elderly loved one to a nursing home, you are probably aware of the dangers of nursing home abuse but feel like it happening now is essentially not a possibility. The reality of the situation is quite harsh. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), which is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), roughly 10% of all elders in nursing homes or care facilities will be abused; about 10% of that percentage will experience nonfinancial abuse, such as assault. If you have an elder in a nursing home, you must be aware of the potential dangers they face and be able to confidently answer the question, “Is someone assaulting my loved one?”
Most Prevalent Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
While financial abuse, or stealing from or exploiting an elder, is wholly unacceptable, it does not involve the risk of physical harm coming to your loved one; you may be afforded some time to investigate the problem thoroughly. When it comes to physical abuse and assault against your elder, time is of the essence. You must be able to spot telltale signs of physical abuse and react quickly and accordingly.
Five of the top signs of assault on elders in nursing homes are:
1.Unexplained bruises or cuts.
2.Stories of falling multiple times.
3.Fear of being left alone.
4.Apprehensive behavior near particular people.
5.Falling into a comatose state.
Who Is Committing This Immoral Act?
The NCEA does not have entirely comprehensive data pertaining to who exactly abuses elders in nursing homes, but one study did find that 47% of elders with dementia would experience abuse from their caregivers. Another survey of 2,000 elders in nursing homes concluded that 44% had been physically abused at least once and a staggering 95% said they had been neglected, some to the point of physical suffering. It is information like this that makes it clear that nursing home attendants must be held accountable for any harm they commit.
On the other hand of the information, many elders reported being abused by fellow residents. Not only are the aggressors liable for their actions but the care facility is as well, for their staff should have been able to stop the abuse. For an elder who is being hurt by another resident and not being afforded the care and protector of the orderlies, they can feel as if they are trapped in a hopeless situation, ultimately leading to emotional trauma as well as physical harm.
Putting an End to Nursing Home Abuse
In so many elder abuse cases, the chance to put a stop to the abuse falls directly into the hands of their loved ones. Younger family members not committed to the nursing home must take it upon themselves to stand up for their rights. The effort to help them begins by notifying the authorities, especially when the situation may constitute an emergency, but must continue by pursuing litigation and compensation against the offenders.
For caring and tenacious legal representation supported by a professional yet personalized touch, contact me, Long Beach Elder Law Attorney Travis Siegel. For more than 13 years, I have been a leading advocate for the rights and protection of our elders. I would be happy to discuss your case and concerns today during a free initial consultation.