Elderly veterans remain particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect in both Veterans’ Affairs (VA) nursing facilities and private nursing facilities. As a response to the inadequate service and blatant abuse and neglect veterans received, VA implemented a new directive for reporting abuse and neglect in their facilities that hold all VA personnel accountable for preventing such violations to occur.
If you or a loved one qualifies as an elderly veteran and sustained injuries due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you may have a right to compensation for the losses you have suffered through a nursing home abuse lawsuit. The Berwyn veterans neglect and abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help investigate your individual situation, stop the abuse from continuing, and seek the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Recognizing Abuse and Neglect of Veterans
According to the article “The Impact of Elder Abuse on a Growing Senior Veteran Population” in Federal Practitioner, the following are forms of abuse and neglect and the signs and symptoms you should look for:
- Physical abuse: Involves inflicting or threatening to inflict physical attacks, and includes assault, punching, shoving, scratching, or burning. Signs include bruises, lacerations, unexplained fractures, and falls.
- Emotional and psychological abuse: Involves willful infliction of mental anguish through threats, humiliation, demeaning behavior, and verbal assault. Signs may include depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.
- Sexual abuse: Involves unwanted, nonconsensual sexual touching or attention, such as rape, molestation, or any sexual conduct with an unwilling veteran who does not meet the mental capacity to give consent. Signs can include sexually transmitted disease, bleeding and bruising of the genital area, and personality changes.
- Financial abuse: Involves illegal and nonconsensual misuse, appropriation, or concealment of bank accounts or funds of an older veteran. Signs include an inability to account for money or property and a loss of Social Security and VA benefit or pension checks or funds.
Neglect, or failure to provide proper care for the elderly in nursing homes, can occur either willfully or unintentionally. Signs include malnutrition, poor hygiene, misused medication, and repeated hospital admissions.
Veterans in Nursing Homes May Be at an Increased Risk for Abuse
People committing abuse may target veterans because of their combat-related injuries and disorders such as PTSD make them more susceptible to abuse. Veterans may find themselves without sufficient social support systems, friends, and family networks, and do not get proper mental and physical health care services.
Issues such as psychological and physical damage from combat put veterans at increased risk for nursing home abuse and neglect. Veterans who have had traumatizing wartime experiences may find it difficult to maintain regular personal relationships, which then increases dependency on nursing home caregivers as these veterans age. Mental disorders, illnesses, or emotional trauma can place veterans at greater risk for neglect or abuse. And physical problems such as loss of a limb, sight impairments, or hearing loss make elderly veterans more dependent on nursing home care and at an earlier age than the general population.
In addition, since veterans are more likely to suffer from PTSD and other behavioral disorders, their risk of caregivers needing to restrain them physically and chemically increases. While the use of such restraints may make it easier for caregiving staff, restraints can often prove harmful to the veteran.
For a free legal consultation with a Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer serving Berwyn, call (800) 794-0444
Regulations Addressing Veteran Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The government has enacted the Elder Justice Act as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, which authorized federal funds to address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. An Elder Justice Coordinating Council and an advisory board led to the development of an elder justice roadmap to foster a coordinated approach to reduce elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The roadmap includes initiatives such as the development of an interactive, online curriculum for attorneys to identify and respond to elder abuse.
VA health care system introduced VA Directive 2012-022: Reporting Cases of Abuse and Neglect, which states that all veterans facilities must ensure that policies and procedures addressing the identification, evaluation, treatment, referral, and mandatory reporting of abuse and/or neglect are in compliance with the applicable state laws.
Elder abuse and neglect remain illegal under state laws, so if you or a loved one suffered harm from this behavior, you should contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney for help immediately. In addition to a settlement, you may qualify to file a nursing home lawsuit, your attorney can take steps to stop the abuse from continuing, rectify the conditions that led to the abuse, and ensure that the nursing facility complies with the law.
In a successful nursing home abuse case, you may receive compensation for both economic losses, such as the costs of medical bills and rehabilitative care, and noneconomic damages for less tangible losses, such as pain and suffering.
Berwyn Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Help Today
Abuse in a nursing home cannot and should not go unchecked, as it can lead to serious physical injuries, financial downfall, serious depression, and death. A Berwyn veterans neglect and abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help protect abused veterans by investigating the situation, interviewing witnesses, examining medical and nursing home records, and holding negligent parties responsible for losses.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket or up front. Contact us today so we can evaluate your situation and get an abusive situation to stop immediately. Call us as soon as possible. Certain deadlines may apply in your nursing home abuse case, so the sooner you call, the sooner we may begin building your case.