As our senior population grows, more and more families will rely on nursing homes and caretakers to look after their elderly loved ones. It takes a great deal of trust to allow a stranger to take care of your aging parent or relative, and while most health care professionals who work with seniors are compassionate and skilled, there are some who are not.
Substandard elder care has led to shocking instances of abuse and neglect among one of society’s most vulnerable populations. Too often, families aren’t aware of this abuse, especially if the abused senior has an illness like dementia or Alzheimer’s and cannot report the abuse on their caretaker. Other times, elders are threatened or shamed into silence by an abusive caretaker.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys at Morgan & Morgan believe that no senior should face abuse in their golden years. If you suspect your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected, we can help. Our attorneys in Tavares may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
While these signs may not always be indicative of nursing home abuse or neglect, if you observe any of them from your elderly loved ones, be sure to investigate further into the cause, as it could be potential abuse:
- Mysterious and recurring bruises;
- Dehydration or malnutrition;
- Consistently poor hygiene;
- Extreme fear or anxiety;
- Unexplained infections; and
- Unexplained injuries.
Other Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse doesn’t just happen in nursing homes. It can also happen in the senior citizen’s own home, and trusted family members, friends, or caregivers can be the perpetrators. Domestic elder abuse isn’t limited to simple physical abuse and neglect, and can be difficult for family members and friends to spot it. Stay aware of the following forms of elder abuse identified by the National Center on Elder Abuse:
Physical: This includes the intentional or negligent infliction of harm or injury to a senior. Some signs include:
- Broken bones;
- Use of excessive restraints; or
Emotional: This is the intentional infliction of fear, degradation, or anguish to an elderly person. Signs of emotional abuse or neglect may include:
- Unusual behavior such as sucking, rocking, or biting;
- Depression or development of other psychiatric disorders;
- Low self-esteem; or
- Unexplained confusion or fear.
Financial: This occurs when a caretaker uses the money or assets of an elder for their own personal use.
Examples of financial abuse may include:
- Forged signatures on important documents or checks;
- Unexplained loss of valuable possessions;
- Unexplained or frequent withdrawals from a bank account;
- The appearance of new names on the resident’s bank card; or
- Sudden changes to the resident’s wills, deeds, or trusts.
How Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help
Although no amount of money can erase the physical harm and emotional damage done to your loved one and family, our attorneys will do what we can to hold the nursing home or individual responsible for their abusive conduct.
As your nursing home abuse attorney works to bolster your case, he or she may:
- Work with medical experts to determine the exact cause and extent of your loved one’s injuries;
- Ensure the nursing home does not attempt to block access to relevant information;
- Gather photographic evidence;
- Review security videotape from the time of the abuse;
- Review business records to determine the nursing home’s hiring practices;
- Interview other employees and residents of the nursing home;
- Interview witnesses to the abuse, if possible; and
- Determine the cost of non-economic damages from the abuse, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Our attorneys want to help restore normalcy to your elderly loved one’s life. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused by a nursing home or caregiver, fill out our free case evaluation form today to learn what our attorneys in Tavares may be able to do for your loved one.