When you make the decision to move your loved one into a skilled nursing care home or assisted living facility, you expect that the staff will treat your family member with the dignity and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as nursing home abuse is shockingly common in nursing homes across the country.
No senior should ever have to suffer because of nursing home staff negligence or outright abuse. When your elderly loved one has endured unnecessary trauma and pain because of mistreatment, our Clackamas nursing home abuse lawyers at The Gatti Law Firm can help you put an end to it – and seek restitution for their suffering. We can also help you investigate those responsible for the abuse, and ensure that they are held accountable under the law.
For a free consultation, contact our legal team at (503) 543-1114 today or message us online.
Outright Abuse in Nursing Homes
It’s estimated that over 1 in 10 elderly individuals have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, and yet nursing homes fail to report abusive incidents in nearly a third of all cases. The spectrum for these incidents is broad, and can range from sexual abuse to financial exploitation to a lack of sufficient medical care. Given that 13% of the population is over 65 years old – and that the aging population grows with every passing year – millions of nursing home residents may continue to be affected by abuse and neglect unless these facilities are held accountable.
Elder abuse can manifest as outright abuse, such as physical wounds, or be more subtle such as psychological abuse. Elderly mistreatment is unfortunately rampant in nursing homes and other caregiving situations, but it often goes undetected from loved ones. According to nanha.org, an average of 5 million elderly individuals are abused each year. To put that into perspective, about 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older experience some form of abuse by a caregiver.
Elder abuse can take various forms as defined below:
Psychological abuse encompasses around 11.6% of all elder abuse in the United States. This can include threats, belittling, or an abuse of power. Nonverbal psychological abuse includes ignoring a patient or keeping them isolated from friends and family.
Exploiting the finances of a loved one encompasses about 6.8% of all elder abuse. It can include the following acts of abuse:
- Forging signatures
- Coercion to sign documents or modify wills
- Cashing the elderly person’s check
- Improper use of a power of attorney
Neglect of an elderly patient is a significant form of elder abuse that makes up about 4.2% of abuse. This involves the failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, and whether intentional or unintentional, it can negatively impact an elderly person’s life. Common signs of neglect include malnutrition and dehydration.
As one of the most obvious types, physical abuse incorporates only 2.6% of elder abuse cases in America. This includes scratching, kicking, and hitting.
Sexual abuse is another heartbreaking form of elder abuse. It encompasses around 6.8% of cases nationwide. This can include sexual assault and unwelcome advances.
Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home AbuseIt can often be difficult for family members and loved ones to identify the signs of neglect, however, as they can be quite subtle in some cases. By claiming that seniors inflicted their own wounds, or that senior injuries and illnesses are just “part of the aging process,” nursing homes are often able to get away with carelessness and outright predatory behavior at their facilities.
Here are some of the signs that your loved one may be suffering from abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, bleeding, and lesions
- Poor grooming, such as unkempt hair, long fingernails, and dirty clothes
- Unusual changes in behavior
- Increased depression, anxiety, and paranoia
- Fear or avoidance of certain staff members
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Pressure sores or bedsores
- Unexplained bone fractures and serious injuries
Committed to Protecting Your Loved Ones
No matter what your loved one has experienced at the hands of negligent nursing home staff, our team will get to the bottom of your injury claim and pursue maximum compensation from all parties involved. There’s no room for abuse and neglect at our nation’s nursing homes, and by gathering documentation and preparing a legal case, we may be able to help secure a better financial future for your loved one and family.
Ready to speak with our Clackamas nursing home team? Call (503) 543-1114 to receive a free consultation.