As Americans continue to live longer and longer, long-term care for the elderly has become a real necessity. While it is a difficult decision to put your old parents or grandparents in a nursing home, or even for full-time care by a family member, you do your best to choose the option that best benefits your parents or grandparents. Unfortunately these institutions cannot always be trusted and often the elderly do not have the capacity to speak for themselves when they are treated poorly and that is why it is important to be alert, to know the signs of abuse and to understand how to handle the situation if their being Loved one is abandoned or abused.
While it is not a pleasurable topic and you will never want to imagine something terrible happening to your loved one, it is important to know the types of abuse so that you can understand how to better protect your elder against them. The majority of abuses in the care of the elderly happen in two different categories:
Financial Abuse of the Elderly
This typically occurs when your loved one no longer has the ability to monitor their own finances. In some situations, it can be as simple as having a family member take control of your bills and seek to receive your inheritance. In other cases, it may be more difficult to distinguish abuse. Sometimes a person may seek to have the confidence of their old relative, only to use that position of trust to force their loved one to sign on a property, or to falsify themselves signatures. If you notice unusual expenses, unpaid charges on time, or if your elderly family member is being isolated from the rest of the family, this may be a sign that you are being exploited financially.
Abuse and abandonment in asylum
While we entrust the care of our loved ones to nursing homes and nursing homes, it is important to remember that these facilities are still business. Which means that they are looking for profit, and in doing so; May not always have the best interest of your family member in your heart. Often, nursing homes may be understaffed, and sometimes the staff they employ is underpaid or untrained for the position. Unfortunately, this can lead to the abandonment of their parents or grandparents, which is to be detrimental to their health by being abused.
In more violent cases, physical abuse has occurred in nursing homes and nursing homes. Abuse can range from physical damage, sexual or emotional abuse, to stealing belongings from your elder’s room.
Now that you know how abuse and neglect normally occur, it is important to know the signs of abuse. If you are aware and look at these signs, you are taking steps to protect your loved one. If your aged loved one shows signs of abuse, such as unexplained injuries, sudden fear of certain care personnel, or personal belongings missing; It is time to act.
Here is what to watch for when an elderly loved one is in the primary care of an asylum or nursing home:
If your loved one has been abandoned, you may notice the following:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Sores or other unmet medical needs
- Dirty linen or sheets
- Unhealthy housing conditions
- Medications improperly administered
- Unmanaged Medications
If your loved one has been abused, you may notice the following:
- Unexplained bruising or scratching
- Most frequent falls
- Pain stronger than normal
- Extreme personal injury, such as broken limbs without explanation
- Unusual episodes of depression
- Your loved one looks more fearful than normal
Abuse also occurs in the psychological and verbal. If your loved one seems to be afraid of their caregivers, a particular caregiver or in general looks more fearful than usual, this may be a warning that they are being emotionally abused. Any kind of excessive shouting, scolding, isolation, humiliation or mistreatment of your old person are all forms of verbal and emotional abuse that cannot be tolerated.
Additionally, the most common form of abuse in the care of the elderly is financial exploitation. Unfortunately, if you’re loved one is not able to handle your own finances, your caregiver may take advantage of your finances. Most situations regarding the exploitation of finance fall into the following categories:
- Misuse of checks, credit cards or financial accounts of the elderly
- Theft of checks, money, or valuables
- Forgery of your signature
- Authorization to withdraw or transfer money from what the person disagreed with
- Patient Identity Theft
What can you do?
Sadly, most cases of elder abuse are not reported. Whether the family member is unaware of the situation, or the elderly person cannot report the problems on their own, it can be difficult to identify and stop the elder’s abuse or neglect. However, if you suspect any type of abuse or neglect, it is important that you report the situation quickly and immediately. If your loved one is in immediate danger, you should also quickly call local authorities. After the parties have been alerted and the situation has been neutralized, it is time to talk to an experienced elder abuse lawyer about your loved one’s legal rights.
While the most correct thing to do is to file the complaint to the appropriate authorities, this is normally a slow and painful process of what may not end in the results you want. It is important to present the complaint in order to make the situation known, in case the officers have to close the facilities, and thus help many families to avoid going through the same situation of poor care that their loved one received. However, by simply filing a complaint, you will not give your loved one the compensation you deserve for the injuries you received when you were supposed to be under the care of the institution.
This is where an experienced lawyer takes place. An attorney who has handled similar cases in advance can help you know who owns the asylum or facility and make sure the accountable people are accountable for the poor care of your loved one.
If your loved one was abused or abandoned, or exploited financially, he deserves compensation, even if he cannot represent himself. If you suspect any type of abuse, call Epstein Law Firm today, Jack Epstein has taken many cases of abuse in the care of the elderly, and has the experience to get your loved one the compensation they deserve.