Elderly patients with limited physical and/or mental ability are just as vulnerable as children. It is easy for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of them or treat them with disrespect. According to recent research, every 1 in 10 elderly patients in nursing homes are abused in some shape or form. This is an alarming statistic and paints a grim picture of how at-risk this population is. The issue is common enough that some lawyers specialize in it. Here’s a look at how nursing home abuse lawyers can help.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is any sort of physical, mental, psychological harm done to the patient by a caregiver at a long-term care facility. If there is abuse, you can hold the nursing home accountable for it. Here is a list of the types of abuse patients can experience in such facilities:
- Physical Abuse – This involves things like hitting, pinching, pushing, and using physical force on an elderly patient. The abuse causes both physical injury and mental trauma. The injuries can be serious enough to shorten the lifespan of the elderly patient.
- Mental or Psychological Abuse – This abuse doesn’t leave behind clear signs like physical abuse does, which means it is more difficult to spot. Mental and psychological abuse includes verbal abuse, shouting, gross intimidation, and things like gas lighting and withholding mail.
- Sexual Abuse – This is also unfortunately common in nursing homes. Some caretakers use patients for sexual pleasure. This can come in many forms from inappropriate touches to full rape.
- Neglect – Nursing home employees are hired to take care of their patients. This often involves things like checking in often, treating bed sores, bathing, and other such care. If the employees don’t perform these duties, they are neglecting their charge and that is considered a form of abuse as well. Neglect compromises the quality of the resident’s life.
- Manipulation and Exploitation – Elderly residents are vulnerable to manipulation, especially if they’re mentally compromised. Some abusers can convince elders to invest is unreliable assets or loan them money. This is considered fraud and abuse as well.
Research suggests that abused elders are 300% more likely to die within 3 years of abuse than elders who weren’t abused. It is important to act quickly if you see any glaring signs of abuse.
How Does a Lawyer Help?
An experienced lawyer in this field is familiar with all the relevant laws and judgments. They will make sure there is abuse, look for evidence, and build a case to represent your interests. Here are some of the factors a nursing home abuse lawyer will look into:
- Negligent Hiring – If the nursing home employer doesn’t conduct a thorough background check and interview process before hiring an abuser, they’re held responsible. Negligent hiring is often the reason cited in cases because individual employees don’t have money to pay for the damages.
- Lack of Supervision – It is possible for bad employees and caretakers to fall through the cracks even if the employment process is thorough. Most nursing homes need to keep an eye on their employees to make sure they’re not abusing their charges. Lack of thorough supervision can also make the nursing home liable.
- Assessment from Third Party – In such cases there’s a thorough assessment from a third party. They conduct medical assessments and investigate the matter through interviews before presenting their opinions to the lawyer.
If you suspect your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, it is important to contact a qualified lawyer immediately. Call our nursing home abuse attorneys at Costa Ivone, today. We will analyze the case and make sure your loved one gets the justice or compensation they deserve.