Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse

Jacky Gale | May 14th, 2013

New York Nursing Home AbuseWhen the time comes to place your loved one in a nursing home, you likely have certain expectations regarding the quality of care. Unfortunately, many seniors fall victim to New York nursing home abuse. Nationwide, about 2.1 million seniors annually suffer from some type of abuse at a care facility. While there are many employees at facilities who genuinely care for the residents, others may be negligent in their duties or they may commit overt acts of abuse. There are a few different types of abuse and possible signs to watch out for.

Types of nursing home abuse

Seniors often fall prey to emotional abuse at nursing homes. This form of victimization refers to physical actions or words that cause emotional distress to the senior. It can also be characterized by the forcible social isolation of a person. Neglect, also called abandonment, is another common type of New York nursing home abuse. This occurs when an employee of a care facility fails to execute his duties regarding any aspect of the senior’s care. Neglect may be intentional or unintentional. In the latter case, the employee may have been poorly trained in his duties or unaware of an obligation that requires attention. Physical abuse refers to any intentional action that causes physical harm to the senior. This action may result in an injury or impairment.

A fourth type is sexual abuse, which can take many different forms. Inappropriate contact for which permission was not given may be one form of sexual abuse. It could also refer to actions such as humiliating a senior by showing him pornography or forcing the senior to disrobe.

Financial elder abuse is thought of as a criminal act perpetuated by a senior’s family member or assisted living caretaker, but it can also take place directly inside a nursing home. Healthcare fraud might include Medicaid fraud, charging for services that were not provided, double-billing, over-charging, or over-medicating, among other problems.

Signs of nursing home abuse

Many seniors may be unwilling to disclose that they are victims of New York nursing home abuse. Sometimes, if they suffer from cognitive decline such as memory loss, elders may be unable to get help for themselves. This is why it’s critical to be cognizant of the possible signs of victimization.

In the case of physical abuse, these signs may be more obvious. You might notice unexplained bumps or bruises, or more significant injuries like fractures. In a nursing home in which prescription medication dosages are supposed to be carefully controlled, an overdose could also be a sign of physical abuse.

Other potential signs of nursing home abuse can include:

  • Unusual changes in behavior
  • An argumentative caretaker-senior relationship
  • Bloody or torn undergarments
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Inadequate medical care
  • Charges for unnecessary healthcare services

Consulting NY personal injury lawyers

If you believe that a family member or someone you care about has been the victim of any type of nursing home abuse or elder neglect, talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine your eligibility for filing a lawsuit on their behalf. The employees and/or the nursing home itself may be held liable for a variety of acts, such as negligent supervision, improper maintenance of premises and equipment, and negligence in hiring employees.

Contact NY personal injury lawyers immediately to stop the abuse and get your loved one the care and respect that he or she deserves. The Sanders Firm will fight for your rights and those of your loved one. Please call us today at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY for a free consultation.

HELPGUIDE.org, Elder Abuse and Neglect: Warning Signs, Risk Factors, Prevention, Help, http://www.helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm