Nursing home abuse is a common problem that affects millions of seniors annually. The National Council on Aging report shows that one out of ten Americans has experienced resident abuse. Unfortunately, this menace is a growing problem that can have devastating consequences for elders and their families. Therefore, people need to know the different types of abuse in nursing homes and the legal actions they can take if their loved one is abused.
Nursing home settlements pay plaintiffs compensation for:
Disability: Abuse or neglect can cause disability. Your loved one can be compensated if they incur disability-related expenses such as purchasing mobility aids, treatment, and physical rehabilitation.
Medical bills: Seniors can be compensated for medical costs for injuries or illnesses in a nursing home. Medical expenses include emergency transportation, hospitalization, or surgery.
Wrongful death: If your loved one dies due to neglect and abuse, you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit
Pain and suffering: Residents can get compensation for emotional distress, mental trauma, or physical pain they experience in a nursing home.
Types of Abuses at Nursing Homes
Nursing Home Neglect
This form of abuse occurs when staffs fail to take care of a resident by failing to give medication as prescribed, failing to provide necessary assistance, and allowing a resident to lie on the floor for a period after a fall. This is a common form of abuse in New York nursing homes, as reported by the New York Department of Health. If your loved one suffers this abuse, seek the services of a New York personal injury attorneys.
The common types of physical abuse for seniors are; hitting or slapping, withholding water or food, and pushing or tripping. As a New York Resident, if you see bruises or cuts, unexplained weight loss, dehydration, poor hygiene, and unexplained changes in behavior in your loved one, report it to the nursing home and the authorities. Seniors have rights to protection as outlined in the governing document” Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State and Nursing Home Responsibilities.”
Psychological abuse in nursing homes is the intentional infliction of pain, distress, or fear to seniors by other residents, caregivers, or family members. The common signs of emotional abuse are yelling, calling names, threatening and isolating the seniors from family and friends, and withholding affection. Although it’s challenging to recognize emotional abuse since it’s conducted behind closed doors, you can check the following signs: Your loved one seems depressed, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, losing weight, or unexplained injuries.
Most seniors experience this kind of abuse, such as sexually explicit, coerced nudity, non-consensual touching, rape, and sodomy or unwanted touching. If your loved one has unexplained bleeding or pelvic pain, recurring UTIs, bloody or ripped underclothing, or difficulty sitting or walking, they may be undergoing sexual abuse. If you notice such signs, talk with the center’s management to investigate the matter or inquire from the resident or caregivers.
Financial abuse refers to the improper use of a resident’s money, belongings, assets, or benefits by others other than the senior. People abuse seniors by manipulating them for their own gain, stealing cash or checks, embezzlement, forgery scams, and identity theft. If a loved one has unexplained changes in finances, has lost valuables, signed documents they don’t understand, is under pressure to make changes in the will, or struggling to pay for their care, they may be financially abused.
Seniors are vulnerable to different types of abuse at nursing homes. Unfortunately, many cases go unnoticed or unreported. If you suspect an elder is abused in any way, it’s essential to take legal action. Consult a nursing home abuse lawyer to get compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering and medical costs.