ELDER ABUSE ATTORNEYS
Sweet James has a strong reputation for defending the rights of senior citizens and protecting them from the neglect and abuse. Too many facilities and caretakers either allow or turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of our elderly family members. We can help end this abuse and recover the compensation needed to move your loved one to a safe and comfortable facility. If you suspect that a family member or friend is a victim of elder abuse, call us today.
HOW TO IDENTIFY ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Nursing homes can perpetrate elder abuse or neglect in many ways. Abuse is defined as intentionally inflicting emotional or physical harm. Neglect involves the failure of caregivers to provide adequate care. When elder care homes fail to provide adequate staffing, surveillance, and training, residents can suffer from bed sores, falls, malnutrition, and dehydration. See the following examples of physical abuse and neglect:
- Inappropriate Touching
- Failing to provide proper dental care
- Failing to offer and/or help residents exercise
- Failing to regularly change residents’ linens
- Ignoring residents with limited mobility and/or failing to offer activities
- Failing to practice proper wound care
- Failing to assist residents with proper hygiene
- Failing to assist residents use the restroom
- Failing to hydrate residents adequately
- Turning off a call light and taking no action upon the resident’s request
HOW COMMON IS ELDER ABUSE?
More than 40 percent of people over the age of 65 live in nursing homes. Although it may be hard to believe, research shows that 1 in 10 of these homes have violated federal standards and harmed residents. The actual number of abuse and neglect incidents is even higher—for every case of reported to authorities, approximately five more are left unreported.
IS MY LOVED ONE AT RISK?
According to the US Department of Justice, the trauma of elder abuse can result in premature death, the deterioration of physical and psychological health, destruction of social and familial ties, devastating financial loss and more. Senior citizens can be mistreated in multiple settings (homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities) by family members, friends and neighbors, professionals, and even strangers. The following factors increase the risk for elder abuse and neglect:
- Greater limitations in physical functioning
- Presence of cognitive impairment
- Behavioral symptoms including physical aggressiveness
By learning the signs of abuse and neglect, you’ll be able to identify subtle signs and intervene early.
- Staff prevents visitors from seeing a resident.
- Staff refuses to leave visitors alone with a resident.
- Tension exists between caregivers and a resident.
- Staff makes rude or humiliating comments to a resident.
Physical Signs of Abuse
- Unexplained cuts
- Unexplained bruises
- Bone fractures
- Broken eyeglasses
- Broken hearing aids
- Rope burns
- Injuries to mouth, genitals or anus
- Uncharacteristic withdrawal or anxiety
- Sudden changes in personality
- Depression, sadness, or frequent crying
- Increased anger
- Increased anxiety
Signs of Neglect
- Bed sores, pressure sores, and ulcers
- Malnutrition and extreme hunger
- Extreme weight loss
- Occurrence of falls
- Blood clots
- Poor hygiene
- Uncharacteristic withdrawal or anxiety
If you have noticed any of the warning signs above, please contact us immediately.
WHY DO CARE PROGRAMS HARM THEIR RESIDENTS?
Often, care homes fail to adequately perform background checks on employees that perpetrate abuse. One reason for this is understaffing. As care homes need more staff to sufficiently perform background checks, for-profit homes sacrifice patient safety to increase their profits. For this reason, for-profit nursing homes have an average of 47 percent more deficiencies than non-profit nursing homes.
Nursing homes that violate health and safety standards need to take responsibility for their actions that harm America’s most frail individuals. Holding negligent nursing homes accountable will improve their safety policies for future residents.