Contact an Elder Abuse Lawyer Today
Most people resist the demands of old age. They are reluctant to accept its limits and debilities. Your elderly loved one may have been unwilling to go into a nursing home. It may have been a difficult process and highly emotional when you found out about the elder neglect and abuse.
When you put your loved one in a nursing home, you enter a covenant of trust with the professionals in the facility. You expect them to adhere to the highest standards and to ensure that your parents or grandparents are well taken care of.
That is why the discovery of neglect and abuse is so utterly shocking. Your loved ones deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and they deserve to spend their final days in peace and contentment. To be subjected to the abuse of predatory and unscrupulous carers in a nursing home is an outrage.
The nursing home and all who participated in the abuse should be held accountable. If your elderly loved one has suffered at the hands of nursing home workers, then you should hire a personal injury lawyer for elder abuse. Suing a nursing home for gross negligence is one of many options that are available to you. A family law attorney in Los Angeles can help you get to the bottom of things and take the appropriate legal action, which may include financial compensation and even a restraining order.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is any action or non-action that leads to the harm of an elderly person or that puts them at serious risk of harm. The staff of a nursing home must provide a legally defined standard of care to their patients.
Neglect is a serious problem in many nursing homes. The failure of professional carers to act when they should act can lead to serious injury and even death. If your loved one has suffered from abuse and neglect, you have a case to make against the nursing home.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse comes in a variety of forms. Physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse and exploitation are just a few of its manifestations. It is not always easy for elders to report what they have suffered. A recent study indicates that elders are more likely to report financial exploitation than physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
It is up to you to watch out for the signs of such abuse. And it is up to you to hold the nursing home accountable. Here are some of the kinds of abuse that elderly people suffer and warning signs that you should look for:
- Physical abuse
Elder physical abuse is the intentional use of force against an elderly person that causes them harm. The following signs may indicate that your elderly loved one is being physically abused:
- Discomfort from the elder toward certain individuals
- Repeated hospitalization for the same injury
- Poor explanations for an injury
- Trips to different emergency rooms to avoid suspicion
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact of any kind. This includes sexual contact with an elder who suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that prevents them from giving consent. Elders can be sexually abused by anyone, including other residents, nursing home staff, or other family members and friends.
Here are the warning signs:
- Bleeding from anus or genitals
- Bruised genitals or inner thighs
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Social withdrawal
- Suicide attempts
- Torn, bloody, or stained undergarments
- Psychological and emotional abuse
This type of abuse is meant to inflict mental fear, pain, and distress on an elderly person. If you notice the following, then your loved one may suffer from it:
- Visibly disturbed or scared
- Cannot sustain eye contact
- Inability to eat or sleep
- Low self esteem
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
Elder neglect is the result of a failure to protect a senior from harm or to meet their basic needs. Neglect is not the same thing as an honest oversight or mistake. It is the result of systematic carelessness and a complete disregard for the health, safety, and well-being of an old person in care.
The nursing home in which your loved one lives must provide the following basic care or they can be held accountable for elder neglect:
- Medical care
- Food and drink
- Regular exercise and recreational activities
- Shelter and protection from danger
Neglect is the most common type of elder abuse. It is especially high in nursing homes in which carers are overworked and underpaid.
Elderly people can also suffer financial abuse when in care. In fact, this is the most subtle and insidious form of abuse because it is not always easy to detect. If you notice a sudden and significant drop in your loved one’s bank account or a surge in check writing, you may want to dig further. Certain con-artists become nursing home carers so that they can get close to elderly people and defraud them of their savings and pensions.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Los Angeles lawyers specialize in getting justice for people who have been abused in nursing homes. Elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles know how to conduct the kind of investigation that will produce the evidence needed to prove your case. Nursing home neglect attorneys know how to interview elderly people so that they tell the truth about what was done to them. They also know how to speak to members of staff in order to learn the scale and scope of the abuse.
You should report any nursing home neglect you notice. You should hire lawyers for elder abuse and neglect before you report the abuse. And if your lawyer is able to gather enough evidence of wrongdoing, filing a lawsuit against a nursing home for negligence is your best option.
The case may not get to court. The nursing home may prefer to settle rather than engage in a protracted legal struggle, as is what happens in civil cases. Suing a nursing home for neglect will allow your lawyer to subpoena documents and take depositions. This will provide them with the facts they need to pressure the nursing home to offer a good settlement. Contact our family law attorney today!