According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 640,000 nursing home abuse cases were reported between 2002 and 2016 in the United States. In addition to abuse and the non-fatal injuries that abuse often leads to, there were also an estimated 20,000 homicides during this timeframe, equivalent to 100 older adult homicides every month. Abuse in a nursing home is a well-recognized and documented public health issue but the unfortunate reality is that it is so widespread.
Was your elderly loved one abused in a nursing home, or do you have reason to suspect that he or she may be a victim of abuse? We may be able to help. A Patchogue nursing home abuse lawyer with Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help investigate your case and determine whether your loved one suffered abuse. If he or she did, we may be able to assist you with a personal injury claim for nursing home abuse. Contact our office at (631) 600-0000 to learn more.
Understanding Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
There are many ways elders can be abused, and they are disproportionately affected by physical injury and are therefore more likely to suffer long-term and/or life-changing injuries as a result of abuse. For example, CDC figures show that three million older adults are treated in hospitals and emergency rooms because of slips and falls every year. These accidents cost society over $50 billion annually. Many of these slip and fall cases occur in nursing homes as a result of abuse or neglect of the elderly.
In addition to falls, nursing home residents can suffer bedsores, ulcers, and other open wounds if they are not given the physical, nutritional, and emotional care they require. Older adults can also be killed by negligence, mistakes, or abuse that they suffer at the hands of their caretakers. According to the Mayo Clinic, abuse can be identified by the presence of bruises, cuts, broken or fractured bones, hair loss, weight gain or weight loss, and changes in behavior.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse in nursing homes can take many forms, but the CDC defines nursing home abuse as intentional acts that harm the wellbeing of an elderly resident of a nursing home. Some of the ways nursing home residents can be abused are as follows.
- Physical abuse: This involves the use of physical force to hurt or restrain a resident. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) includes broken or fractured bones, bleeding, and cuts as common indicators of physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse: This involves the use of threats, verbal attacks, and taunting to hurt or distress a resident.
- Neglect: If a member of the nursing home staff ignores the needs of a resident or prevents him or her from accessing food, medicines, or even clothing and access to grooming materials, this can be defined as neglect.
- Abandonment: This is when nursing home staff or even the loved ones or relatives of the resident abandon the resident and fail to make accommodations for his or her wellbeing and/or care.
- Sexual abuse: This involves subjecting a resident to, or having the resident participate in, activities of a sexual nature against his or her will. Stained undergarments and bruising on or around the genitals are signs of sexual abuse.
- Financial abuse: This occurs when nursing home staff or relatives of the elderly resident try to steal or redirect the use of the resident’s financial holdings or personal assets in an illegal, unfair, or unapproved manner.
Nursing Home Abuse of the Elderly Can Occur in Various Forms
In addition to the above, there are other ways nursing home residents can be abused. Contact a Patchogue nursing home abuse lawyer with Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. for assistance with any of the types of elder abuse outlined above. Call us at (631) 600-0000 for assistance or if you suspect that any of the forms of abuse described above or below may be occurring at your elderly loved one’s nursing home.
If a nursing home resident is given contaminated medicines, the wrong prescription, or the wrong dosage of medicines or drugs that he or she needs, this is a form of medication abuse. Administering medicines or drugs the wrong way, such as via injection instead of orally, is also a form of medication abuse.
Physical Activity and Movement
Some studies have found that 10% of nursing home residents are affected by bedsores. If a resident cannot or is not allowed to move, is not provided with physical therapy that is needed, does not have his or her clothes, sheets, or position changed regularly, bedsores can develop, and this is abusive.
Medical Device and Treatment Abuse
The use of substandard and/or low-quality medical devices and treatment equipment is common in nursing homes that do not have the finances to provide their residents with the care they need. The use of such dangerous devices and/or equipment can place the wellbeing of residents at considerable risk, and this is a form of neglect and abuse.
Patient Protection and Care Management
A failure to provide residents with the safety, security, and protection from harm that they need and expect, as well as a failure to adequately plan for the care and needs of residents, are forms of abuse. Nursing homes must have the staff, materials, medications, and resources to care for their residents, and this includes everything from clothing and temperature maintenance to hiring security guards and staff to assist residents with, for example, eating, bathing, and taking medications on time.
Learn How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Patchogue Can Help You During a Free Case Review
There are many ways nursing home abuse can occur where elderly residents can be harmed, injured, or mistreated. It is not always easy to identify when or how abuse of the elderly may be occurring, but if your elderly loved one was abused or you suspect that they are being abused, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000.
Our team handles nursing home abuse cases on Long Island, NY, and the five boroughs of NYC. Our Patchogue nursing home abuse lawyer can help you gather evidence and file a claim for compensation for nursing home abuse if your case warrants one. Call us today to determine the legal standing of your case.