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Nursing Home Abuse
It's difficult to grapple with the fact that nursing home abuse is so prevalent in the United States. When you bring your elderly loved one to a nursing home, you expect they will receive the care and attention they need and deserve. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home abuse is a serious problem in the United States, with an estimated 5 million elders abused every year, according to Nursing Home Abuse Justice.
Sadly, 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 60 experience abuse, either physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, or financially. With more than 52 million people in the United States over the age of 65, we only expect these numbers to increase. Although anyone can commit elder abuse, the most frequent abusers are caregivers, family members, and other residents. To protect our loved ones as they get older, we must understand just how serious nursing home abuse and neglect are. Our lawyers have your best interests in mind and are here to ensure justice is served.
With an estimated 74 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. today, it is important we raise awareness about what goes on in long-term care facilities. There are numerous steps you can take to protect your loved ones, many of which we will go over below. If you suspect your elderly loved one is the victim of abuse, contact Shamieh Law today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Before we look at the various signs of nursing home abuse and facts aimed at helping you understand what a growing problem it is in the U.S., let's talk details. Nursing home abuse is any abuse, neglect, or harm that comes to elderly residents in long-term care facilities or their own homes. This includes, but is not limited to, physical and emotional injuries, sexual assault, financial exploitation, and any other form of neglect. With an estimated 1 in 5 people in the U.S. expected to be 65 or older by 2030, we only expect the problem to continue.
Due to the nature of these crimes, nursing home abuse claims often involve serious injury or wrongful death. According to nursing home regulations, nursing home abuse includes the following:
- Failure to assist with personal hygiene
- Failure to provide food, clothing, and shelter
- Failure to provide adequate medical care
- Failure to prevent malnutrition
- Failure to prevent dehydration
- Failure to prevent slips, trips, or falls
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
As mentioned, there are several different types of nursing home abuse you should be aware of:
- Physical Abuse - This is the most common form of abuse. It occurs when someone intentionally causes injury, pain, or impairment to another person. Examples include the inappropriate use of restraints, unexplained broken bones, burns, bruises, and sores.
Warning signs of physical abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Broken glasses
- Rope marks on wrists or other signs of being restrained
- Welts, cuts, lacerations, sores, or other marks
- Sexual Abuse - This type of abuse occurs when any non-consensual sexual contact takes place. Touching, caressing, and any other form of non-consensual sexual activity are all examples.
Warning signs of sexual abuse include:
- Bruises or other marks around the breasts or genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Torn, stained, or bloody clothing
- Emotional Abuse - Another common form of nursing home abuse, emotional abuse, includes threatening behavior, harassment, intimidation, or humiliation.
Some warning signs of emotional abuse include:
- Threatening, belittling, or controlling behavior
- Unexplained withdrawal from regular activities
- The caregiver does not allow you to see your family member without supervision
- Financial Abuse - A lesser-known type of elderly abuse, financial abuse involves exploiting a person’s assets. This may include manipulating their bank accounts, real estate property, and other assets, or pressuring the senior to sign financial documents they do not fully understand.
Common signs of financial abuse include:
- Family or friends who were once distant that now are very involved in the older adult's life
- Suspicious signatures on accounts
- New names added to bank accounts
- Sudden change in the older adult's financial situation
- Irregular spending or withdrawals
- Neglect - When you admit your loved one to a nursing home, there is an expectation that they will be adequately cared for. When the individual or entity tasked with your loved one's care fails to provide the necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care, medication, assistance, or a safe environment, it is considered neglect.
Some of the top warning signs of neglect include:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Bedsores or other untreated physical problems
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
- Not being bathed
Are there any other signs of nursing home abuse?
We discussed some of the specific warning signs of abuse or neglect, but let's now look at a few additional symptoms to watch for:
- Broken bones
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Medication errors
- Starvation and dehydration
- Weight loss
- Poor personal hygiene
- Emotional changes
- Fear of nursing home staff
The effects of nursing home abuse can be severe, whether physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. If you suspect nursing home abuse, file a report right away and contact an experienced Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your options. The well-being of your loved one is our top priority, and we will do everything we can to support you and your family.
Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
If your elderly loved one has suffered an injury or died because of the actions of a healthcare provider, you should seek counsel from a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases.
Nursing home abuse cases are often challenging - and expensive. There are many reasons for this, such as the time it takes to compile and review medical records. Because of this, many lawyers will not accept these types of cases. At Shamieh Law, we are committed to representing clients who believe they have a nursing home abuse case. If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected while under the care of a nursing home or other long-term memory care facility, please give us a call today and schedule a free consultation.