Elderly Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

By Prev Info - February 23, 2022

Elderly Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Overview

Elder abuse and nursing home neglect affect millions of individuals in the United States each year. Although some of the most extreme forms of elder abuse take place in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, elder abuse occurs most commonly within an individual's home. The elderly are abused in their home by other relatives such as their children, siblings or spouses as well as other individuals.

Elder abuse consists of any intentional or negligent actions or behavior towards an elderly individual that places the elderly person at serious risk of harm or does them actual harm. Elder abuse has many causes that include a lack of understanding of the appropriate ways to handle and care for elderly individuals who have extensive needs, a long-term pattern of domestic violence, or the mishandled stress of relatives put in a position of full time caregiver on top of their other responsibilities.

Elder abuse is a widespread and very serious problem that should not be ignored. Measures to prevent or stop abuse may include confronting the individual perpetrating the abuse, contacting local authorities, or contacting an experienced lawyer knowledgeable about elder abuse.

How Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Occurs

Unfortunately, social agencies dedicated to protecting elder rights and preventing elder abuse are not numerous enough to protect the entire elderly population. Additionally, family members within a dysfunctional and abusive family may not notice abuse or neglect or feel able to prevent or stop it.

There are many factors that contribute to elder abuse and nursing home neglect. Family members abuse or neglect their elderly relatives because of the stresses and financial burdens of caring for them, or a persistent pattern of domestic and family violence. Family members and caregivers may also have problems with mental illness, psychological issues or chemical dependencies and act out their personal agonies on vulnerable and defenseless elderly relatives.

Nursing home staff may be derelict in their duties and commit elder abuse due to over populated nursing homes and under-staffing, or may simply be unscrupulous and unsupervised.

Elderly Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Statistics

An elderly person is abused in the United States every 5 seconds.

California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas have the most cases of elder abuse in United States.

The state of California has 10.6% of all the elderly abuse cases in United States.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse may include neglect, financial or personal exploitation, physical abuse and emotional or psychological abuse. Within a nursing home or assisted-living facility setting, neglect and abuse may take the forms of malnutrition, dehydration, a failure to clean and bathe the elderly individual and a failure to change their bandages, adult undergarments or bedding, over-medication, improper or excessive restraint, theft of money, jewelry, checks or other property from a financial fraud and undue influence if in regards to wills and property.

Elder Abuse: Neglect. Neglect of the elderly occurs when any care giver deprives those under their charge of the basic necessities like water, food, shelter and physical protection. Those suffering from neglect may lose large amounts of weight, suffer from extreme thirst and sunken eyes from dehydration, and may be deprived of appropriate assistance aids as well as suffer from bedsores, infection and malnutrition.

Elder Abuse: Financial or Personal Exploitation. Financial or personal exploitation includes the illegal and secretive use of the elderly's money, credit or property as well as the concealment of property, assets or funds belonging to the elderly individual. Some examples are identity theft, forged signatures, inexplicably large withdrawals from checking or savings accounts and missing property.

Elder Abuse: Physical Abuse. Physical abuse includes actual physical harm or injury and the threat of harm or injury. This may happen through isolation, unnecessary or excessive restraints, the use of prescribed drugs against the victim's will, punching, hitting, pushing, slapping, forcibly shaking, pinching, and cutting and in extreme cases burning. Physical abuse may often be obvious and present itself in the form of broken bones or fractures, cuts, bruises, lacerations, deep wounds, burns, scrapes and scratches and severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Elder Abuse: Emotional and Psychological Abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse includes any verbal or non-verbal action or threats which create a state of pain, stress or mental agony in the elderly individual. Explicit verbal abuse such as degrading comments, severe criticism, verbal insults, threats and screaming and yelling at the elderly individual can create a state of great stress and emotional pain. Non-verbal psychological and emotional abuse can include physical or other intimidation, excessive and unnecessary isolation and the prevention of socializing or participating in activities. Victims of emotional and psychological abuse may have unreasonable fears or paranoid suspicions, may withdraw from friends and family and may become evasive even when answering simple social questions.

Elder Abuse: Nursing Home Neglect. Nursing home neglect may include some or all aspects of the abuse listed above. Although most professional caregivers are honorable and professional, many assisted-living and assisted care facilities are overpopulated and understaffed. The neglect may be due to administrative problems. Additionally, under-paid and under-supervised staff may be tempted to steal, ignore complaints and be derelict in their duties of changing bedding, bathing patients and administering the correct dosages of medication.