Plainfield nursing home abuse lawyers
More than three million Americans live in long-term care or nursing home facilities, and some estimates state that one in every ten of these individuals who are at least 60 years old have experienced or will experience elder abuse. This is a serious concern that anyone with a loved in a nursing home needs to be aware of.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
One of the reasons why nursing home abuse is such a widespread and prevalent problem is because it comes in numerous forms. The most obvious form of abuse that may come to mind first is physical abuse. This commonly includes hitting, pinching, pulling hair and even unnecessarily restraining the person physically. Physical abuse may also include neglect in the form of poor hygiene habits, withholding food and more.
Sexual abuse is also common in nursing homes. It may involve forcing an individual to participate in sexual acts. This may be more prevalent in patients who have dementia or who are otherwise unable to physically state their objections. Photographs and videos involving seniors in various stages of dress and involved in different acts are also types of sexual abuse.
Some of the other types of nursing home abuse include psychological abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. All types of abuse are commonly believed to involve a staff member at the nursing home. However, residents may also be guilty of abusing other residents.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Loved One Is Being Abused
There are two primary steps that you should take to protect your loved ones in Plainview area nursing homes. First, you need to be aware of the signs of various types of abuse. These can include everything from unexplained bruises and other marks on their body to a change in demeanor, poor hygiene, unexplained financial loss, lack of desire to eat or participate in activities that were once enjoyable and more. In some cases, seniors are able to verbally explain the situation. In many cases, however, you must be observant. Consider stopping by more frequently and at times when you do not normally visit. Ask other family members and friends to drop by frequently as well. Through observations, you may be able to piece together what is happening. Some concerned relatives have even installed spy cams in their family member’s room.
Second, as soon as you have firm evidence of abuse or if you have enough evidence to cause serious concern, contact the authorities. A formal investigation into the matter can help you to resolve the situation. Remember that you may also make plans to relocate your family member to another nursing home.
How a Lawyer May Help You
Abuse is a serious issue, and some studies have indicated that elder abuse may decrease the victim’s lifespan. In addition to this unfortunate possible outcome, there may be additional costs that you must absorb. This could include medical costs, relocation expenses and more. A lawyer who specializes in this area of the law can help you to learn more about your rights and can be an important advocate for your loved one. This individual may represent your loved one in criminal proceedings as well as civil proceedings. Remember that a civil lawsuit may be filed against the individual, against the nursing home and against any other responsible parties. This type of lawsuit may result in recouping expenses that can be used to improve your loved one’s quality of life.
As soon as you have a suspicion of elder abuse in the Plainview area, consult with a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. The attorney can help you to learn more about the steps that may be needed to build a case and about the steps that you can take to protect your loved one in the meantime. Now is a wonderful time to request a legal consultation.