As a veteran who served our country honorably, your elderly loved has the right to always have respect. In many instances, a veteran will take advantage of the resources provided to them in a Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Community Living Center.
Whether a veteran makes the decision to live in one of these VA community living centers or in a private nursing home facility, elderly veterans are much more susceptible to abuse and neglect. If your elderly loved one is a veteran and suffered neglect or abuse in their nursing home, learn how a New York City veterans neglect and abuse lawyer may help you understand their legal rights.
Consider reaching out to the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Veterans Increased Risk for Neglect and Abuse
Due to physical frailty, along with diminished cognitive function, some elderly people are more prone to become victims of elder neglect and abuse. Elderly veterans are even more vulnerable due to several unique challenges specific to this demographic.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Veterans may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they witness traumatic events due to their time in military service. Sometimes, those suffering from PTSD never heal completely from the psychological stresses of combat or war. PTSD can cause serious symptoms, such as hallucinations, cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, or the inability to function appropriately in society.
If a veteran suffers from PTSD, they may continue to have difficulty managing their emotions or reacting appropriately to social situations. If a veteran is in any type of nursing home, their reactions may prove challenging and frustrating to the nursing home employees. With great frustration often comes either neglect or abuse. Some nursing home workers may simply abandon the elderly veteran instead of checking on them as often as they should.
In other circumstances, when elderly veterans with PTSD become unruly or angry, nursing home employees may physically restrain or strike them in an attempt to obtain compliance.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Due to the fact that many veterans have experienced traumatic events, some attempt to soothe their emotional issues with maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as excessive alcohol or drug abuse. Alcohol and drugs will often numb the pain of their experiences; however, they never truly get to the true psychological damage, leaving veterans unable to actually heal from their wounds.
If veterans find a way to continue to abuse drugs or alcohol within a nursing home, they will inevitably affect their cognitive functions. Under these circumstances, veterans may develop aggressive or combative tendencies. As a reaction to this, some nursing home employees may either neglect or abuse veterans in an attempt to either avoid the situation entirely or have them comply with requests.
Elderly persons may have some limitations on their physical ability as they age. Additionally, veterans have injuries suffered from their time in the military. With physical limitations and impairment comes the inability to defend oneself against any type of physical abuse.
Additionally, if a veteran does not have independent mobility, they may suffer from elder neglect when they attempt to get food, water, or go to the bathroom without assistance. All of these examples are forms of elder abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes against veterans with physical limitations.
Examples of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse of Veterans
While there are many ways nursing home neglect and abuse may occur against veterans, some of the examples may include the failure of the nursing home staff to:
- Provide food and water in a timely manner
- Assist veterans in changing clothes, going to the bathroom, or getting up from a bed or wheelchair
- Provide medication appropriately and in a timely manner
- Check vital signs for unstable residents
- Reposition residents who are bedridden on a timely basis to avoid bedsores developing or turning into sepsis
- Monitoring all residents to prevent sexual or physical abuse
Along with failing to provide basic needs for residents, which would result in elder neglect, actual elder abuse can include intentionally depriving a veteran of food, water, clean sheets, or the ability to go to the bathroom as a tool to achieve some sort of behavioral compliance.
In other cases, the elder abuse is much more overt and occurs when a nursing home staff employee actually physically restrains a resident in an attempt to prevent them from wandering.
Other cases would include physically harming a resident out of frustration or anger, including shoving, grabbing, hitting, slapping, pinching, or inflicting any type of physical harm. If you feel your elderly resident suffered injuries as a veteran in a nursing home, consider how a New York City veterans neglect and abuse lawyer may help you seek compensation for their injuries.
For a free legal consultation with an veterans neglect and abuse lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 794-0444
Consider a New York City Veterans Neglect and Abuse Lawyer
If you have evidence or even a suspicion that your elderly veteran suffered any kind of neglect or abuse as a resident in a nursing home or VA Community Living Center, consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how a New York City veterans neglect and abuse lawyer may get your elderly loved one the justice they deserve.
Under Section 214 of New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules, you have three years from the date of the suspected abuse or neglect to file a personal injury lawsuit. Call us as soon as you suspect abuse, and we may begin building your case.