Every year, millions of elderly Americans will spend time in a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents will suffer from abuse or neglect at the hands of their caregivers.
According to a study reported by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), a survey of 2,000 nursing home residents found that 44% said they had suffered abuse, and 95% had been neglected or witnessed neglect. Another study found that more than 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating a resident during the previous year.
When you hear the word “abuse,” you may only think of acts of physical harm, such as hitting or pushing, but abuse can take many forms, including emotional abuse. Psychological abuse accounted for 21% of nursing home abuse complaints.
The mistreatment of the elderly, in all its forms, is wrong. If your loved one suffered emotional abuse while in the care of their nursing home, a Newark emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek justice. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for more information.
Types of Elder Abuse
Emotional abuse is any verbal or non-verbal behavior that causes fear, distress, anxiety, and mental anguish. This type of abuse may include threats of punishment, physical harm, deprivation, humiliation, ridicule, cursing, isolation, and ignoring a resident.
If your loved one is being abused emotionally, there could be other forms of abuse occurring in their care facility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse can take the forms of:
This is any physical pain inflicted intentionally upon a resident. This type of nursing home abuse can lead to injuries and even death, as nursing home residents are often in weakened health.
This type of nursing home abuse includes unwanted sexual interaction of any kind. Sexual abuse may include coercion to perform sexual acts, unwanted touching, or sexual harassment.
Financial abuse is the misuse of a resident’s monetary assets, including their property, belongings, or benefits. Examples of this may include theft of personal property, such as jewelry, or stealing from a resident’s bank account or retirement fund.
Neglect is the failure to meet a resident’s basic needs for necessities like food, shelter, and medical care. Neglect sometimes is committed unintentionally when staff is overworked or poorly trained, resulting in substandard care.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Often, people reside in nursing homes because of chronic physical or mental conditions that make them reliant on others for their care. Because of this, they are particularly vulnerable and may be afraid or unable to report abuse. As loved ones, it is important to know and recognize these signs:
- Unexplained injuries, like cuts, bruises, and burns
- Lack of assistance with mobility
- Malnourishment and dehydration
- Lack of hygiene, such as dental care and bathing
- Dirty hair and clothing
- Lack of assistance toileting, or failure to change soiled disposable diapers
- Weight loss
Changes in behavior also can be warning signs of abuse or neglect. Be aware of whether your loved one shows signs of depression, anxiety, trauma (like rocking back and forth), aggressive or violent behavior, difficulty sleeping, or becomes withdrawn and loses interest in activities they once enjoyed.
If you suspect any form of abuse or neglect, you should file a detailed and dated written report with the nursing home administration. You may also wish to file your report with local law enforcement, adult protective services, or an agency that advocates for the elderly.
The Department of Health is the licensing and regulatory agency for nursing homes in New Jersey. You can file a complaint with the department online or call 1-800-792-9770. The hotline for reporting is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you witness abuse as it is happening, or the situation is otherwise an emergency, call 911.
If you suspect your parent, spouse, or other loved one has suffered emotional abuse, a Newark emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help you investigate conditions in their nursing home facility. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Newark, call (800) 794-0444
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
When you put your loved one into a nursing home, you are trusting the staff with their care. You expect them to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity. When that trust is violated, and your loved one suffers, those responsible should be held accountable for their negligent or wrongful actions. A Newark emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for:
- Medical costs: If emotional abuse led to psychological or physical injuries, you might be able to seek awards to cover the costs of medical care. This may include hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, therapy, and ongoing treatments.
- Pain and suffering: You may seek compensation for mental anguish, stress, anxiety, trauma, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one died because of abuse, you might be able to seek compensation on their behalf, as well as awards for your pain and suffering.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we are serious about fighting elder abuse in all its forms. Our firm was founded in 1985 with the intent of helping nursing home residents and their families. We want to help you seek justice and compensation.
We have helped thousands of clients nationwide seek settlements. Our goal is to achieve the best possible settlement for you so that you and your family can focus on healing.
Let our team shoulder the legal burden so that you can get back to caring for your loved one. We can help you through every step of your case, and we collect no fees unless we win your case. For more information, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a risk-free consultation.