If your elderly loved one served in the armed forces of the United States, they have the right to access the resources and services of a Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Living Center. There are over 100 VA Community Living Centers throughout the country, offering a place for elderly veterans to stay and receive care as their health declines.
Unfortunately, these VA Community Living Centers may fail to uphold the required standard of care for our veterans, resulting in elderly residents of these communities suffering neglect and abuse. Elder abuse impacts the growing senior veteran population by increasing the likelihood of hospitalization and mortality.
If you suspect that your elderly veteran suffered neglect or abuse while they were a resident in a VA Community Living Center or other nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get a Riverside veterans neglect and abuse lawyer to help ensure your veteran receives justice.
Veterans Are at an Increased Risk for Abuse or Neglect
All elderly seniors are at risk for neglect and abuse due to their inability to defend themselves, decreased cognitive functions, or lack of mobility; however, veterans are at an even higher risk for neglect and abuse as residents of VA Community Living Centers, due to “general knowledge” of benefits they may receive for their service, according to a study published in the Federal Practitioner.
Abusers May Take Advantage of a Veteran’s Mental State
Many elderly veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following their time in combat. Many elderly veterans continue to struggle with the mental and psychological challenges of war or combat, even years after their experience. PTSD may cause severe reactions such as hallucinations, depression, anxiety, or the inability to function appropriately.
Sometimes, staff members may be ill-equipped to care for or treat veterans with PTSD, as they may not have received proper training; as a result, the staff members can become frustrated and overwhelmed. Staff members in this position may abuse said veterans to force them to remain subservient or “easier to manage.”
PTSD is not the only type of mental health issue facing veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that almost one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a diagnosable mental health condition.
With so many veterans facing emotional and mental challenges, some nursing home employees will simply leave the elderly veteran alone and ignore their repeated requests for food and water, or for assistance to the bathroom. A nursing home employee could physically assault a veteran struggling with a mental health disorder or forcibly restrain them in order to obtain compliance.
Veterans Who Struggle With Substance Abuse Could Be Targets
Unfortunately, some elderly veterans struggle with substance abuse. In some cases, the abuse of drugs or alcohol is a maladaptive coping mechanism they use to attempt to deal with the horrors of war or combat. Alcohol and drugs inhibit a person’s cognitive functions and their ability to correctly deal with situations, making them even more vulnerable to elder abuse and neglect.
Abusers May Also Target a Veteran With Physical Limitations
While many elderly people suffer from some physical challenges that limit their mobility or movement, some elderly veterans have additional challenges due to disabilities suffered during their service in the military.
How to Spot Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
When a nursing home fails to provide what the medical community determines to be an appropriate standard of care, they could be liable for any abuse, injuries, or pain and suffering the resident suffers. Some of the ways staff members could neglect elderly residents include:
- Failing to provide adequate amounts of food or water
- Failing to assist residents in going to the bathroom, resulting in elderly seniors attempting to get up from their bed or wheelchair and subsequently falling and injuring themselves
- Failing to assist a resident in going to the bathroom, resulting in soiled clothing
- Failing to provide assistance regarding basic hygiene needs, such as bathing, brushing teeth, or cleaning bedsheets and clothing
- Failing to respond to requests from residents who lack mobility
- Failing to safeguard residents against emotional or physical abuse from other residents or other persons in the facility
- Intentionally abandoning a resident either due to their challenging behavior or the nursing home employee’s inability to attend to their needs due to understaffing
- Failing to provide accurate medication at the appropriate times
These are only some examples of how veterans can suffer from neglect as a resident of a VA Community Living Center or other nursing home. If you suspect that your elderly veteran suffered any kind of neglect as a resident of a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get a Riverside veterans neglect and abuse lawyer to help ensure your veteran receives justice.
For a free legal consultation with a Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Abuse of Veterans Can Appear in Many Forms
Unfortunately, elderly veterans can also suffer from direct physical or emotional abuse as well as neglect as residents of VA Community Living Centers or nursing homes.
Elder Veterans May Suffer Physical Abuse
When nursing homes or VA Community Living Centers remain overworked and understaffed, or when certain employees feel frustrated or overwhelmed, these employees can lash out at elderly veterans and physically abuse them.
Physical abuse in nursing homes can include:
- Physically or medically restraining an elderly person
Physical assault of any person is illegal under 720 ILCS 5/12-1, and nursing homes have a duty and obligation to care for their residents—so abuse against residents is even more egregious. Elderly veterans may lack the ability to defend themselves or may not possess the strength to fight back against abuse.
Riverside Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
If you believe that your elderly veteran suffered any kind of abuse or neglect as a nursing home resident or as a resident of a VA Community Living Center, you have the right to seek justice on their behalf with a Riverside veterans neglect and abuse lawyer. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you pursue compensation for your loved one.