Putting an end to elderly abuse and neglect requires identifying individual and systematic cases of abuse and neglect and in taking action against individuals and entities. There are many different forms of elderly abuse, including financial abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and exploitation. While some forms are visible and may come with warning signs, other types of abuse are more difficult to identify and report.
According to recent reports, 5 million older Americans will suffer some kind of abuse each year. Unfortunately for many of these individual patients, the abuse will come in more than one form.
Nursing home care facilities in Florida are constantly under investigation for allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to providing advocacy and support to individuals and families who have suffered. We will take the time to review your case, identify responsible parties, and explore every opportunity, including legal action, to hold individuals and entities accountable. Here are some of the many forms of elderly abuse.
Neglect: Once a patient has been admitted to long-term care, a nursing home facility has a duty to ensure that the patient is properly fed, hydrated, and cared for. This includes grooming, medical treatment, and all other forms of personal care and necessities. Though neglect is a “passive” form of abuse, it could result in serious injury, deprived medical care or treatment, and in some cases, death.
Physical abuse: Physical abuse involves the use of force that results in injury, pain, or in severe cases, permanent impairment. Some forms of physical abuse may include punching, hitting, striking, slapping, kicking, pushing, or even burning. Signs of physical abuse may be bruising or scars, unexplainable markings or even changed behavior in the patient.
Emotional or psychological abuse: The mental abuse of a patient could include verbal abuse, yelling, intimidating, frightening, or threatening a patient. For many of these patients, the emotional and psychological abuse could cause them to become isolated. Keeping a patient in a confined space, using abusive behavior, or humiliating a patient could be considered emotional abuse.
Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse occurs when a caretaker or other perpetrator engages in sexual activity with a patient though threats or force. The patient will often be taken advantage of because they lack the ability to consent.
Financial abuse: The Administration on Aging (AOA) estimates that financial exploitation costs the elderly over $2.6 billion every year. Financial abuse may involve a family member, caretaker or other individual responsible for the property and finances of an elderly patient. Abuse may occur through forgery, deception, theft or coercion.
Reporting misconduct, abuse and neglect: According to the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, over 53,000 cases of abuse were reported in Florida in 2012, compared to an average of 16,500 incidents in other states. As the number of elderly persons in the state continues to rise, families and caregivers should be aware of the potential risk of abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse as well as local advocates can help you to detect and prevent elderly abuse.
Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
A Silent Killer: Untreated Bedsores Can Be Lethal, June 5, 2014, Broward County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog