About Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a serious issue which unfortunately affects far too many individuals throughout US communities, including those who may be residents of long term care facilities or nursing homes. Elder abuse consists of those actions by an elder’s caregiver that causes harm or creates a serious risk of harm to the vulnerable elder, including failure by a caregiver to satisfy an elder’s basic needs.
How Prevalent is Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes?
It is unclear the true amount of elder abuse in nursing homes that occurs, as many acts of abuse go unreported. Several studies into the issue shed a chilling light on the fact that our vulnerable loved ones who have been entrusted to nursing homes to receive quality care are unfortunately on the receiving end of violence, neglect, and financial exploitation.
- • According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 7% of all complaints regarding institutional facilities reported to long term care Ombudsmen were complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. 1
- • In a study which interviewed 2,000 nursing home residents, 44% reported that they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected. 2
- • A 2010 study revealed that 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating older patients through physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect within the prior year.
- • A May 2008 study conducted by the U.S. General Accountability Office revealed that state surveys understate problems in licensed facilities: 70% of state surveys miss at least one deficiency and 15% of surveys miss actual harm and immediate jeopardy of a nursing home resident. 3
Signs of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes.
Understanding the signs of elder abuse can help family members recognize when adequate care and attention has not been given to their loved one. Often it is only on the family members to be diligent to recognize that the care their loved one should be receiving has failed them, as many patients are unable to adequately communicate about the abuse or neglect. Any one or more of the following could be signs of potential abuse or neglect and warrants investigation:
- • appearance of pressure sores (also known as “bedsores”, “pressure ulcers”, and “decubitus ulcers”)
- • skin rash
- • urine and/or feces odor
- • lack of attention to the resident’s personal hygiene
- • falls as a result of inadequate precautions or assistance
- • the presence of unjustified physical or chemical restraints
- • bruises, contusions, or lesions
- • bone fractures
- • weight loss
- • dehydration
- • unexplained mood changes
- • disorientation
- • depression or isolation
- • fear or anxiety
- • unexplained refusal or inability to communicate
- • indications of sexual assault
Take Action against Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Family members with loved ones who are residents of nursing homes must never take the resident’s care for granted and assume adequate protections are in place. The elder nursing home patient’s only protection may be the family member’s diligence in reporting any perceived problems. Filing an elder abuse lawsuit is often a way to use the justice system as powerful tool to hold the nursing home and others accountable who have done harm through negligent or abusive care to the elderly loved one to which their well-being had been entrusted. According to the report from the American Association for Justice, Standing Up For Seniors, it was through litigation brought on behalf of residents that was a catalyst for exposing the incidents of abuse and neglect which occur within nursing home facilities. If your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse in a nursing home, contact our law firm to get help.
Don’t Miss the Deadline for Filing Your Nursing Home Lawsuit.
Time is of the essence when pursuing an elder abuse lawsuit. Indiana law imposes strict deadlines (also called “statutes of limitations”) in an elder abuse lawsuit that will forever bar the claim if it is not filed in a timely manner. The law relating to the deadline can be exceedingly complex; therefore, one should not delay in consulting a qualified nursing home attorney to determine the applicable statute of limitations and review the case.
Request a Free Evaluation of Your Claim Today.
If you believe you may have a potential nursing home lawsuit, the Powless Law Firm, P.C. would like to help. You can request a free case consultation today by calling us at 877-769-5377 or by submitting the free case consultation request form on this page.
Here is important information you should know about us:
- • We concentrate upon medical malpractice and nursing home neglect claims only, and have years of experience and success in doing so.
- • We never represent the negligent hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare providers or their insurers.
- • We offer free consultations.
- • We never require any retainer fee.
- • We accept cases on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if we obtain a recovery for you.
- • We work with a variety of highly qualified medical experts to thoroughly evaluate and present our cases.
- • We are committed to providing the attention and resources required in these complex cases to help make a difference for those harmed by medical malpractice, and to help force changes that will help protect others.
- • We accept cases anywhere in Indiana.
We would like to help You. Please contact us now for a free consultation. Click above to be directed to a contact form, or call us toll-free at 877-769-5377
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging. (2010). 2010 National ombudsman reporting system data tables. Washington, DC: Author. ↩
- Broyles, K. (2000). The silenced voice speaks out: A study of abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. A report from the Atlanta Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and Atlanta Legal Aid Society to the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. Atlanta, Ga: Authors. ↩
- U.S. Government Accounting Office (2008). Nursing Homes: Federal Monitoring Surveys Demonstrate Continued Understatement of Serious Care Problems and CMS Oversight Weaknesses (Publication GAO–08-517). ↩
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