As America’s population continues to grow older, many people are changing in their living conditions. Unable to care for themselves anymore, many seniors are moving into assisted living facilities. While the vast majority of these facilities are reputable and do an outstanding job of taking care of their wards, there are a few instances where elder abuse does occur.
Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a tough choice to begin with, but when you discover that they may have been the victim of abuse, it can result in waves of guilt and make an emotionally charged situation even more so.
Abuse takes on many forms
There are numerous stories about elderly nursing home patients being abused, robbed, neglected, or otherwise mistreated. All of this, despite family members investing large sums of money and digging deep to make sure a facility is up to snuff, it is estimated that as many as 2 million seniors are victims of nursing home abuse every year. And that abuse can take many forms:
- Bruises, cuts and other unexplained injuries
- Clothing that has blood on it or that is torn
- Bed sores or ulcerating skins lesions
- Complaints from the patient of humiliation or intimidation by yelling or by threats
- Mocking a patient
- Ignoring or isolating a patient
- Improperly administering medications
- Unsanitary living conditions including a lack of bathing or dirty clothes
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Financial abuse, including stealing money from a patient’s account, identity theft, or forged signatures
Contact an elder abuse lawyer if you suspect something is wrong
If you suspect abuse, you need to make two phone calls immediately. The first should be to a local law enforcement agency since it is likely that the abuse is a criminal matter. The other call should be to an experienced elder abuse lawyer. In addition to protecting your loved one’s health, you should also pursue damages for pain, suffering, and any other type of neglect that may have occurred.
The Law Offices of Donald D. Hiney serves clients in San Diego, Chula Vista, and surrounding San Diego communities.