Nursing home abuse is a common problem that often goes unnoticed and unreported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 elder adults are abused or neglected each year. That figure is presumed low due to the fact that victims are too scared to do anything about it, including telling their families.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
The CDC categorizes nursing home abuse by six different types:
- Physical abuse – hitting, pushing, cutting, and punching.
- Sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse.
- Financial abuse – stealing belongings or funds.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines nursing home abuse as: “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
Additionally, neglect also comes into play when elders do not receive the care they need. Neglect may be related to hygiene, medical care, food, shelter, or clothing.
Signs of nursing home abuse may include unexplained bruises, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, malnourishment, poor hygiene, sudden weight loss, bedsores or skin ulcers, missing personal items, unsanitary living conditions, or missing funds in the elder’s bank account.
What You Can Do
Thankfully, there are specific laws designed to rectify the problem and attorneys who specialize in these types of cases. The law provides an entire array of sanctions for nursing home organizations that do not comply with the regulatory care of elders. Some of the penalties may include the loss of government funding, license suspension or revocation, being forced to change operating procedures, and award monetary damages to the families of victims.
Once you file a complaint and notify the proper authorities, contact an experienced attorney to help determine the best course of action, and ensure that the investigation has your best interests at heart. Nursing homes are represented by insurance companies that are typically looking for a quick resolution without a lot of fanfare.
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help. For a free consultation, please call (305) 670-0101 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.