Sadly, elder abuse is a very real problem in the United States, and seniors living in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable. It can be devastating to learn your parent, spouse, or loved one suffered harm at the hands of the people you charged with their care.
Many times, abuse is committed against those least able to protect themselves. Many nursing home residents need care because they suffer from chronic physical conditions and decreased cognitive functioning that make them dependent on others. They may be unable to report abuse or are afraid that telling someone will lead to retaliation.
Abuse, if left unchecked, can lead to dire consequences, including death. Our population is aging, and the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts the number of people aged 60 and older will increase from 900 million in 2015 to 2 billion in 2050. As the population of older adults rapidly increases, so will the occurrence of elder abuse.
It is important to fight against elder abuse and to hold abusers responsible. If your loved one suffered harm while in the care of a nursing home, a Savannah nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek a financial award against those liable for their suffering. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more.
Types of Abuse
More than 3 million Americans live in nursing homes, and instances of abuse and neglect may be more common than you think. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), a survey of 2,000 nursing home residents found that 44 percent reported being abused, and 95 percent said they were neglected or witnessed another resident being neglected.
Abuse can take several forms:
Neglect is the failure to meet a resident’s basic needs and care for them in a manner that does not cause harm or pain. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Sometimes, in cases of unintentional neglect, it could be that a nursing home is understaffed or the staff is poorly trained. Regardless of the cause, neglect is a form of abuse and should not be tolerated.
This type of abuse occurs when physical pain is intentionally inflicted upon a resident. This includes hitting, shoving, force-feeding, pushing, slapping, burning, or any other type of physical violence. Physical abuse can cause pain, injury, functional impairment, or death.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Examples of this type of abuse include verbal and non-verbal threats, humiliation, harassment, isolation, and ignoring a resident.
This includes improper touching, coercion to perform sexual acts, or sexual harassment.
Financial abuse is the unauthorized and illegal use of a resident’s money, benefits, belongings, or property for the benefit of someone other than the resident. Examples of this may include theft of personal property, such as jewelry, or stealing from a resident’s bank account or retirement fund.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect
The following signs may indicate your loved one is not being properly cared for and could be suffering from abuse or neglect, according to the National Institute on Aging and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care:
- Weight loss
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, and scars
- Lack of bathing and proper hygiene
- Lack of toileting or changing of soiled clothing
- Lack of assistance with mobility
- Malnourishment and dehydration
- Acting withdrawn, confused, or depressed
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of assistance eating and drinking
- Displaying signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth
If you believe your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect, you should report it immediately. Make a detailed, dated, written compliant with your loved one’s nursing home administration. You may also wish to report abuse to the local police, adult protective services, or an agency that advocates against elder abuse.
In Georgia, nursing home regulation is overseen by the Georgia Department of Community Health. You can file a complaint with the Department by calling (800) 878-6442. If you witness abuse as it is happening, call 911.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Abuse can have lasting physical and psychological consequences and should never be tolerated. A Savannah nursing home abuse lawyer can help you address claims of abuse and neglect and hold responsible parties accountable.
You may be able to seek awards to compensate for your loved one’s medical expenses related to abuse. You may also seek awards for their pain and suffering. If your loved one passed away because of abuse, you may be able to seek compensation on their behalf, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. A nursing home abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can offer legal assistance. Call today for your free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Protect Your Loved One’s Rights
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a pervasive problem in our society. If your loved one suffered harm while in the care of their nursing home, it is not your fault. We are here to help you fight back against abuse, negligence, and wrongdoing, and hold the nursing facility and its staff responsible for any damage you and your family suffered.
We are here to help you through every step of your case so that you can focus on helping your loved one heal. A Savannah nursing home lawyer can help you gather evidence such as medical records, eyewitness statements, and expert testimony. A lawyer can help you identify all parties responsible for your loved one’s injury or death, and make sure you are seeking the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. Our team only collects a fee if we win a settlement for you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm risk-free to discuss your case.