Nursing home abuse and neglect leads to serious and life-threatening injuries to thousands of seniors every year in the U.S. alone. Older adults are one of the most vulnerable populations in our country, and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that at least one out of every 10 Americans aged 60 and older has experienced some type of elder neglect or abuse, and studies suggest that only one out of every 14 cases of nursing home negligence actually gets reported to the proper authorities. As such, the figures for elder abuse are likely much higher. Indeed, some studies suggest that upwards of 5 million seniors suffer abuse in the U.S. every year.
Learning that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect can be devastating, especially when that abuse could have been prevented. Sometimes nursing home negligence happens when staff members are not properly vetted and engage in harmful acts of physical or emotional abuse toward patients. In many situations, nursing home neglect injuries occur because a facility is significantly understaffed, and there are not enough workers to provide proper care to each patient.
The aggressive nursing home neglect lawyers at MG Law are committed to fighting elder abuse and can speak with you today about your options for seeking financial compensation. We fight for the rights of seniors while providing compassionate service to each of our clients and their families. If you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s injuries, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for immediate help. You can contact us online or by calling (770) 766-0935.
Different Types of Elder Abuse
Did you know that the elderly population rose by nearly 15 million people between 2000 and 2016? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that, as of 2016, seniors aged 65 and older account for more than 15 percent of the total American population, or about 49.2 million people. That number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and experts predict that the population of older adults will reach 78 million by the year 2035. Given that the elderly population continues to grow, it is important to understand the different types of elder abuse and just how prevalent they are in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
The NCOA identifies that following as different types of elder abuse that can cause serious harm to seniors:
- Physical abuse, or the infliction of physical pain;
- Sexual abuse, which can include any non-consensual sexual act;
- Emotional or psychological abuse, which can include harassment, threats, intimidation, bullying, and other behaviors designed to embarrass the senior;
- Confinement, which involves restraining or isolating the senior for reasons that are not medical in nature;
- Neglect, or the failure to provide necessary care—such as food, medication, shelter, clothing, physical assistance —to a senior;
- Willful deprivation, or willfully denying a senior such necessities as food, medication, shelter, clothing, or physical assistance; and
- Financial abuse, which involves the intentional misuse, theft, or withholding of an elderly person’s financial resources.
Common Injuries Caused By Nursing Home Negligence
The NCOA emphasizes that seniors who have been victims of nursing home neglect and abuse are at a 300 percent higher risk of death than older adults who have not suffered injuries. Common injuries caused by nursing home negligence include but are not limited to:
- Fall-related injuries, including broken bones or fractures, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Infection and sepsis, which can be deadly in many seniors with compromised immune systems;
- Dehydration and malnutrition, which can lead to additional physical injury;
- Sexually transmitted infections; and
- Medical mistakes, including delayed diagnosis, missed diagnosis, or prescribing the wrong medication.
Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Given that there are so many different types of nursing home negligence, families with elderly loved ones should know that there are a wide variety of signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you notice any of the following indicators of negligence, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible:
- Pressure marks;
- Fractures or broken bones;
- Unexplained emotional withdrawal;
- Unexplained depression;
- Change in level of alertness;
- Strained relationship with one or more staff members;
- Arguments with staff members;
- Bed sores;
- Poor hygiene;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Lack of necessary medical devices;
- Unexplained heavy medication;
- Unexplained new medications;
- Fear of another resident or staff member;
- Patient isolated from other members of the nursing home community;
- Frequent hospitalizations;
- Illnesses or injuries that have occurred but have not received medical attention; and
- Any changes in behavior that cannot be explained.
If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility and recognize any of the signs or symptoms listed above, you should contact MG Law today to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact MG Law online or call us (770) 766-0935 to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney today.