Placing the safety of your loved one into the hands of a nursing home is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Abuse of older and disabled adults (at-risk adults) is one of the most undetected and underreported problems in the U.S.” You are entrusting the nursing home staff, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers to take care of your loved one and to treat them with love, tender kindness, and with dignity and respect. No one expects for their loved ones to be mistreated, neglected, ignored, or as “just another high paying bed” in the nursing home.
Types of Elder Abuse:
- Physical abuse: This is using physical force to coerce or to inflict bodily harm. It often, but not always, causes physical discomfort, pain, or injury. It may include the willful deprivation of essential services, such as medical care, food, or water. Some of the more common signs of physical abuse are unexplained bruises and cuts, broken bones, and bloody and torn clothing.
- Emotional abuse: This can be either verbal or non-verbal, and includes harassment, insults, intimidation, isolation, or threats that cause mental or emotional anguish. Non-verbal abuse can take the forms of ignoring the patient, isolating them from friends, or terrorizing them. It diminishes the person’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.
- Sexual abuse: Includes any sexual behavior directed towards an at-risk adult without the person’s full knowledge and consent. A spouse, partner, family member, or other trusted person can perpetuate sexual abuse. This can involve physical sex acts but also includes showing pornographic material or forcing the elder to undress.
- Neglect or abandonment by caregivers: Occurs when a caregiver refuses or fails to provide essential services (food, water, shelter, medical care, etc.) to the degree that it harms or threatens to harm an older or disabled adult.
- Financial abuse and exploitation: Involves improperly or illegally using a person’s resources for the benefit of another person, for example, using a Power of Attorney to gain access to an adult’s assets for personal gain or using undue influence, false representation and other means to gain access to an adult’s monthly government checks.
- Healthcare fraud and abuse: This is carried out by unethical doctors, hospitals, and other providers by not providing healthcare and charging, overcharging, or double-billing for services.
Potential Types of potential claims:
- Decubitus ulcers (bed sores)
- Failure to diagnose/treat
- Fall-related injuries
- Injury during physical therapy
- Medication overdose
- Slip and falls