When your loved one is put into a nursing home, you expect them to be secure and safe. They should be cared for to the best of the staff’s ability. Neglect and abuse are probably the furthest thing from your mind when placing a member of your family into a nursing home. But, unfortunately, it is much more common than you may think. According to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), the prevalence of elder abuse is seen in about 10% of the elderly population. This includes neglect, physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial exploitation. What is even more alarming is the rate that elder abuse is reported. The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study showed that for every case, 24 went unreported.
Know the Signs
Elder Abuse is a serious problem facing the growing population of Americans over the age of 65. Common signs of Nursing Home Abuse are assault and battery, rape, unnecessary restraining, over/under medication, prescribing or administering unnecessary drugs, physical marks such as bruises or welts, or unexplained/unexpected death of the resident. Common signs of neglect include deprivation of food/water, bed sores, malnutrition, depression, isolation, unclean living conditions, or sudden changes in behavior.
Listen to Your Family Member
One reason many cases of Elder Abuse go unreported is the failure of the family to follow up on claims that there is a problem. Families may often assume that the cry for help is simply a product of the aging mind, or a simple misunderstanding. If your loved one claims that there is an issue, take it seriously. Other signs that an elderly person may have been abused can include reluctance to speak near staff members, being extremely withdrawn and non-communicative, and illness that isn’t quickly reported by the staff to you.
Seek Legal Action
Nursing homes often have their own legal teams and people on staff to try to negate claims of Elder Abuse or Neglect. While most nursing homes do not tolerate abusing residents, they try to avoid going to court for fear of bad publicity. To help you and your family during the difficulties of Elder Abuse cases, D’Agostino and Associates, P.C. is here to help.
For over 25 years,we have been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from Nursing Home Neglect to Auto Accidents. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C. Call us at 1-888-245-2924 for a free consultation, or click here to contact us.