When you place the care of your loved one in the hands of a nursing home staff, you hope for the best-case scenario for everyone involved. You should feel confident in the skills of your loved one’s nursing home staff, not fearful of what you might not know. Unfortunately, many people do not have the skills or resources required to care for your older loved one, either alone or at a nursing home.
Older nursing home residents are considered a vulnerable population, especially when they have any cognitive diseases that are related to aging. Arizona State University reports that almost one in 20 senior citizens suffer emotional or psychological abuse every year.
Emotional abuse is an example of how someone can experience significant pain without a physical impact. Without direct physical indications of emotional abuse, it can easily go unreported. This is where a Tucson emotional abuse lawyer can help you build a case on your loved one’s behalf. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now to speak with a team member about your loved one’s situation.
Emotional Abuse Defined
The U.S. Government Accountability Office, which is responsible for investigating federal government spending in areas like financial support for nursing homes nationwide, considers emotional or verbal abuse as types of psychological abuse. The GAO defines psychological abuse as the “infliction of anguish, pain, or distress on an older adult through verbal or nonverbal acts.”
Some examples of emotional abuse include:
- Verbal attacks
- Intimidating actions and language
No two cases of elder abuse are exactly alike, and the above list of emotional abuse examples is not complete. The federal government recently initiated data-collecting projects to better understand elder abuse but admits that accurate reporting on elder abuse is still needed. This is concerning for families who need to entrust nursing home staff with caring for their loved ones when it becomes too difficult to do alone.
Laws Concerning Emotional Abuse in Elders
When it comes to nursing home law, Arizona is in alignment with federal legislation. However, there are plenty of legal options depending on the unique circumstances of your case. According to the ASU Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, the following federal and state laws may apply to an elder abuse case:
- Protective orders: Victims of emotional abuse in Tucson are entitled to protection from the perpetrator of abuse before, during, and after a court case.
- Adult Protective Services (APS): Several Arizona statutes offer multiple authorizations to the state’s Adult Protective Services program to protect abuse victims and their families.
- Guardianships: Appointed guardians have a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the individuals in their care.
- State healthcare and nursing home licensing: Licensing ensures that the facility can meet the standard of care necessary to oversee residents.
- Medicare and Medicaid: Federally funded nursing homes must plan for the care of older individuals and follow the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights, summarized here by the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Office of Long Term Care Licensure, to help residents maintain their maximum amount of independence and dignity.
- Specific elder abuse laws: APS enforces Arizona’s elder abuse laws, like ARS § 46-451(A)(7), which says vulnerable adults have the right to be free from neglect, defined as the “deprivation of … services necessary to maintain a vulnerable adult’s minimum physical or mental health.”
- Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: ARS § 46-452.02 spells out how this position investigates and refers cases of abuse and neglect to APS.
- Traditional criminal laws: All parties who commit criminal offenses such as assault, battery, or domestic violence are subject to state and federal criminal laws, which would be initiated by law enforcement agencies.
- Mandated reporting: These laws require licensed medical professionals like doctors and nurses, among others, to report instances of abuse when they become aware of them.
The list above is not exhaustive of all your potential legal options when your loved one suffers emotional abuse at the hands of a nursing home staff member. A Tucson emotional abuse lawyer can help you determine which laws are applicable to your unique case.
For a free legal consultation with an emotional abuse lawyer serving Tucson, call (800) 794-0444
Reporting Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
While fear may keep you and your loved one from reporting abuse, remember that holding liable parties accountable for their actions could prevent abuse for others in the future. In non-emergency cases of emotional abuse, your best resource will be APS, which is managed by the Division of Aging and Adult Services.
In addition, each county in Arizona is designated a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, who can act in the best interest of your loved one by working with you to report suspected abuse. Gather all evidence and remove your loved one from the abusive situation, if possible.
Once you have taken those steps, you may want to contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your options. Call today to get started.
Tucson Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Work With a Tucson Emotional Abuse Lawyer
If you are trying to get your loved one the abuse-free care they deserve, working with a lawyer can help you determine your legal options. Arizona law covers all abuse and neglect, including emotional or psychological abuse. Neither you nor your loved one needs to suffer the consequences of a neglectful nursing home staff.
When you work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our Tucson emotional abuse lawyers can ease the burden of the legal process. We can help you build your case and determine how much compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case review.