Recent data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that as of 2016 there are about 15,600 nursing homes operating in the United States. Those nursing homes provide care for more than 1.3 million people. Unfortunately, many of the nation’s elderly don’t receive the care their loved ones intended for them when they decided to enlist the help of a nursing home.
Many families trust nursing homes to provide their elderly loved ones with the extra care and assistance they need. Most decide to hire the services of a nursing home because they feel they can’t give their older relatives the proper care and attention they need by themselves. Sadly though, instances of abuse by the very people entrusted to care for our older family members are much more common than you might think.
The Widespread Problem Of Elder Abuse
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about one in six people over the age of sixty have suffered some form of abuse. The likelihood of abuse is also higher in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Making matters worse, the WHO predicts that the rate of elder abuse will only rise as the number of people in the world over the age of 60 is expected to more than double by 2050.
Suing A Nursing Home For Abuse Or Negligence
If you or a loved one have been abused or neglected while staying in a nursing home, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages for what has happened. Abuse takes many forms. It can be a deliberate action meant to cause harm, or inaction and neglect when help or care is needed.
As experienced Boston nursing home abuse attorneys, we have successfully handled cases involving many different types of elder abuse perpetrated by nursing home staff including:
Physical abuse is a deliberate act meant to inflict pain or injury on any nursing home resident.
Sexual abuse is any type of touching, fondling, intercourse, or other sexual activity with an older adult when that person is unable to understand, unwilling to give consent, or otherwise threatened or forced into performing a sexual act.
Emotional abuse can be inflicted through verbal assaults, threats of physical abuse or punishment, harassment, or intimidation.
Confinement can mean isolating or restraining an elderly person for reasons other than something which is medically necessary.
Neglect is when the facility or its employees do not provide a resident with necessities such as (but not limited to) food, water, shelter, clothing, or medical care.
Willful deprivation is defined as when nursing home staff intentionally withholds necessities such as food, medication, medical care, physical assistance, or therapeutic devices and exposes someone in their care to physical, mental, or emotional harm.
Financial exploitation can mean withholding, stealing, or using some kind of deception to obtain money from a vulnerable senior citizen.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse To Watch For
If you suspect that someone you care about may be suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, there are some common signs to watch for.
Physical abuse will often leave behind visible signs of the abuse. An abused person may have unexplained bruises, pressure marks, abrasions, burns, or even broken bones.
When someone is being neglected, they too will often exhibit physical signs. Some common indicators are bedsores, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, and unattended medical needs.
Someone suffering from emotional abuse will often show unusual changes in their behavior or personality, such as becoming withdrawn from those around them.
Financial exploitation can be spotted through unexplained withdrawals from a bank account or repeated requests for money that don’t seem to make sense.
Some signs that can be common to all types of abuse include:
- Tense attitude or anxiety
- Requests not to be alone with or attended by a certain person
- Unusual mood swings
- Refusing to talk about certain things or people
- Unusually watchful, alert, or jumpy behavior
If you are being abused or suspect that a loved one is being abused by nursing home staff, you can report it through the National Adult Protective Services Association. If you feel there is an immediate danger or threat to life, you should call 911 or your local police.
An Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
If you know of or suspect nursing home abuse, the Law Firm of Parker Scheer can help. When nursing home abuse occurs, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages and compensation. Our skilled and knowledgeable team will stand with you to protect your rights and make sure that you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
If you want to file a claim or have questions about suing a nursing home, a competent and experienced Boston nursing home neglect lawyer is ready to talk to you. You can contact us online anytime or call (617) 886-0500 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to evaluate your case and discuss what we can do to help you.
Eric J. Parker, the Managing Partner of Parker Scheer LLP, has over 30 years’ experience representing victims in complex personal injury cases. He is active in many legal associations and has won many awards for performance and principles. Eric believes in giving back to the community and supports young scholars and law students by acting as faculty and mentor to them.