If your elderly loved one served in the armed forces, they deserve comfortable care when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Whether that takes place in a traditional nursing home or a facility, the Veterans Administration (VA) operates, your loved one is entitled to certain rights regarding their privacy, safety, and care.
Unfortunately, not every facility will provide America’s aging veterans with the care they deserve. Some facilities negligently provide inadequate care through understaffing, poor hiring decisions, or crumbling physical infrastructure.
If your loved one has experienced neglect or abuse, they have the right to take legal action. If you want to pursue holding the at-fault party responsible for your loved one’s injuries, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 today. You can schedule a free consultation and learn how a Louisville veterans neglect and abuse lawyer can help.
Veterans and the Risks of Abuse
All senior residents of nursing homes face some risk of neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, veterans are often particularly at risk for both abuse and neglect. Many veterans—especially those who experienced combat—are more likely than most nursing home residents to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD occurs following severe trauma like live combat or a severe accident. This condition can cause depression, anxiety, and flashbacks, among other things.
PTSD symptoms can leave a veteran unable or unwilling to report incidents of neglect or abuse. In other cases, caregivers might lack the skill or experience to meet the needs of a person suffering from PTSD. In cases where a resident is difficult, some nursing home caregivers will ignore or avoid them. This can have a devastating impact on a veteran’s mental and physical health.
Substance abuse is also common among veterans. Years of stress and the PTSD that is common among service members can result in an array of substance abuse issues. This can lead to cognitive issues that increase the risk of neglect or abuse.
Finally, many veterans suffer lifelong disabilities during their military service. These physical limitations can also result in abuse or neglect. When caretakers neglect a resident with physical limitations, it is not uncommon for the resident to injure themselves while attempting to meet their own needs.
The Legal Rights of Veterans
Nursing home residents—including veterans—are protected by state and federal law. These rights are broad, covering everything from their ability to manage their own finances and make decisions about their medical care. These rights also guarantee a nursing home resident an environment free of neglect or abuse.
Although these legal rights extend to VA-operated facilities, that does not mean compliance is guaranteed. According to a survey conducted by the VA Community Living Center, the shortcomings at these facilities are substantial.
If you believe the rights of your loved one were violated, it is imperative that you seek the guidance of legal counsel right away. The attorneys of the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can protect the rights of the veteran in your life. Call us today to schedule a free consultation where you can learn more about how a Louisville veterans neglect and abuse lawyer could help your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Louisville Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer serving Louisville, call (800) 794-0444
Types of Abuse and Neglect
Abuse and neglect come in many forms. Understanding the nature of this abuse can be helpful for any friends or family members concerned about the well-being of an elderly veteran in their life. While it is not possible to perfectly categorize every incident of abuse, they generally fall into one of five categories.
Any unauthorized or inappropriate physical contact that causes injury is a form of physical abuse. This could come in the form of unnecessary rough handling by a caretaker. Alternatively, acts of physical violence are also forms of physical abuse. Examples include kicking, biting, slapping, or punching a resident.
Additionally, the unnecessary use of restraints on a nursing home resident also is a form of physical abuse. This includes both physical and chemical restraints.
Any non-consensual sexual contact with a nursing home resident is a form of sexual abuse. This type of abuse is common in nursing homes, given that many residents lack the capacity to consent. The reporting of these incidents is also low for the same reasons. Sexual abuse includes anything from sexual assault to forced nudity to unwanted exposure by the abuser.
Emotional abuse—also known as verbal abuse—is any form of non-physical harm inflicted on a resident. This could include anything from humiliation to fear. Threatening harm or ridiculing a nursing home resident are both examples of emotional abuse. This type of abuse can be challenging to prove because it usually does not leave visible injuries.
Nursing home residents often face the risky combination of being able to access their finances but have cognitive issues, too, which make them an easy target for fraud. Financial abuse includes anything from the theft of family heirlooms to fabricating a last will and testament that benefits the abuser.
The act of neglect involves a caregiver failing to provide for a veteran’s basic needs in a nursing home. Some acts of neglect are intentional. However, many are due to other conditions in the nursing home. Improper training and understaffing are common causes of neglect.
Louisville Louisville Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Your Loved One Could Recover a Monetary Award Following Abuse or Neglect
If the veteran in your family has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, do not hesitate to seek the legal guidance of the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our team is ready to assist in holding the abusive party accountable for their actions.
To move forward with a lawsuit, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to schedule your free consultation. You can learn more about how a Louisville veterans neglect and abuse lawyer could help and get your questions and concerns addressed.