Our nation’s elderly are our greatest living accounts of history. They’ve lived through many of our nation’s greatest moments and often have a story to tell. Unfortunately, not everyone treats senior citizens with respect. Nursing home abuse and negligence are on the rise – a recent study from Cornell University found the actual incidence of elder abuse is about 24 times higher than reported to law enforcement or social services. Of the many types of abuse, psychological abuse is the most common. Learn about elder abuse, the signs of neglect, as well as when you should consult an attorney.
As defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is any type of abuse or neglect of someone age 60 or older, performed by a caregiver, loved one, or anyone with whom there is an expectation of trust. Nursing home professionals, for example, should take care of residents.
While many types of abuse show a specific intent to harm, neglect is a little different. Nursing home neglect involves a breach of duty or providing substandard care to a patient, resulting in harm.
Just as there are many types of abuse, there are also several different forms of nursing home neglect. The main kinds include:
Generally, nursing home neglect will present warning signs. Such signs differ based on the type of neglect. Unfortunately, the elderly are often unable to advocate for themselves, occasionally lacking the mental capacity to do so. Like many victims of abuse, they may be afraid to speak up. If you have a loved one in a nursing facility, be on the lookout for signs of neglect:
The presence of any of these signs don’t necessarily mean elder neglect, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Report any suspected abuse or neglect to Adult Protective Services (find your local office by calling 800-677-1116). The agency will launch an investigation into your loved one’s case and take action if necessary.
If your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, talk to a personal injury attorney.