Protecting Elderly Loved One from Nursing Abuse

Many Americans have a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facilities. Soon, the elderly will outnumber newly born babies. In fact, by 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age. This means that many more will be subjected to abuse and/or neglect.

About Elder Physical Abuse

Unfortunately, physical abuse of an elder is more common than most people would think as well. Physical abuse is any force that causes personal injury or pain. This includes striking, hitting, beating, shoving, among other actions. Physical abuse also can mean tying down an elder with unnecessary or brutal restraints that limit movement. This can lead to muscle atrophy and further degeneration of the muscles.

Physical abuse against the elderly may be perpetrated by an acquaintance, doctor, nurse, caregiver, family member or another individual in the life of an elderly person. According to the US National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), most perpetrators of elder physical abuse are unemployed, single and live with the elder in his or her own home.

Steps to Protecting an Elderly Loved One

A 2017 CNN investigation uncovered that between 2013 and 2016, the US government cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse at their facilities. Also, over 100 had multiple citations for the same abuse in a single year. Plus, there are thousands more that aren’t even investigated since aging minds are normally not believed. Because of this, it is important to recognize the signs of abuse. Even if a loved one can’t or won’t talk about, families can witness the signs.
Physical signs of nursing abuse include bruising in genital areas, breasts, and inner thighs, unexplained vaginal infections or bleeding. Also, victims describe pain or irritation in the vaginal or anal areas, and torn, stained or bloodied underwear or linens. Additionally, look for a sudden difficulty walking or sitting.

Research Nursing Abuse

It is important to check the national registry of Medicare-funded nursing homes before choosing a facility. The registry details citations for sexual abuse and or neglect for the last three years.  However, not all victims report the crimes. Therefore, experts say to ask about staff training, frequency of check-ins, and criminal background checks of staff, volunteers and vendors.

Also, it is important to know the rights of a loved one. Any nursing home or facility receiving funds from Medicare or Medicaid fall under federal law. The law says every 90 days every resident need a medical exam performed by a medical doctor or physician’s assistant. These exams not being performed could be a sign of abuse. Watch for facilities not giving a meeting place. Federal law says that when two or more relatives of a facility meet, the residence must give them a place to talk.

Free Consultation

invokana damageIf you suspect abuse or neglect, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. When an abuser injures a resident at a care facility, it is not always obvious what happened and legal liability.  The evidence available is often incomplete and may be self-serving for the defendant – the nursing home. This is why a free consultation with us is so important. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.

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