Nursing Home Neglect
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, elder abuse is defined as the “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.” Injuries suffered by the elderly in nursing homes can be physical, emotional, or sexual, or can result from abandonment, neglect, or exploitation. Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that more than two million senior citizens are subject to abuse.
It is hard enough making the decision to place a relative in a nursing home or assisted living facility, but sometimes there are literally no alternatives due to financial considerations and other factors. However, it is simply unacceptable to permit a loved one to undergo conditions which are dangerous, humiliating, disrespectful and potentially financially devastating to the family member. It is estimated that approximately 40% of U.S. citizens over the age of 65 will end up living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, and the 35 million Americans presently over the age of 65 will inevitably increase in number to the improvements in treatments for cancer and other potentially fatal diseases such as AIDS.
The warning signs of elder abuse include the following:
- Physical injuries such as bruises, cuts, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, or burns, which can be an indication of physical abuse, mistreatment or neglect, along with torn clothing indicative of the abuse
- Emotional abuse reflected in depression, sudden changes in mood, a change in alertness or withdrawal from usual activities and interests
- Injuries from neglect including bedsores, medical issues which haven’t been addressed, poor hygiene, or significant weight loss
- Financial exploitation and abuse, such as stealing the patient’s money or belongings, forging their signatures on checks or other documents, or forcing the person to sign documents against their will by intimidation, resulting in major changes in the elder’s financial situation
- Sexual abuse and injuries, including bleeding around the genitals, bruising of the breasts or genital area, or venereal disease. These cases of abuse are more typically seen in elderly women rather than men in nursing homes.
The NCEA also notes that between one and two million Americans aged 65 and older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone they depended upon for care and protection. When relatives are placed in a nursing care facility, there is an expectation that they will be provided proper care in a clean and professional environment. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2008 that 91 % of nursing homes surveyed were cited for deficiencies and departures from good and accepted nursing care.
If your loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, the experienced lawyers at the Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel are here to help. We have well over a quarter century of experience and provide personal and devoted attention to your case. We are litigators who will analyze your case thoroughly, fight the insurance companies and their counsel from our retention through the resolution of the case to protect our clients’ rights at all times, and seek full compensation for all of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial injuries suffered by our clients. Call our office toll free at 1-888-761-7633 or contact us online for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.