Many family members make the decision to place their elderly loved one in a nursing home specifically because they suffer from chronic diseases or have physical or cognitive challenges and need extra care. Unfortunately, it is due to those same reasons that elderly residents in nursing homes are a target of nursing home abuse and neglect.
With limited physical and cognitive facilities, elderly residents are often unable to defend themselves against abuse, or in cases of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, unable to remember that the abuse even occurred.
If your elderly loved one suffered from abuse in a nursing home, learn how an Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer may help you receive compensation for their injuries. Consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Types of Elder Abuse
According to the National Research Council, elder abuse may actually be nearly as widespread as child abuse. Elder abuse can appear in several different ways in a nursing home, and as a family member of an elderly resident, always remain watchful for signs of any type of elder abuse.
Physical Elder Abuse
Any time an elderly resident of a nursing home receives any kind of unwanted physical touching or harm, it is elder abuse. In some cases, when a nursing home remains understaffed and overworked, nursing home employees will physically restrain an elderly resident in order to ensure that they do not wander off the property or simply get up to walk and injure themselves. However, any type of restraint is abuse.
When nursing home staff employees become frustrated with a resident due to non-compliance for any reason, they could withhold food, water, the ability to go to the bathroom, or grab their wrists or shake them in order to obtain compliance.
In other more egregious cases, a nursing home staff member will actually sexually abuse a resident that they know has dementia or cognitive issues and may not understand what occurred, or even be able to remember it at a later time.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility, always check them carefully for any markings of any kind that would show either physical abuse, sexual abuse, or abuse with any type of restraint.
For a free legal consultation with a Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 794-0444
Emotional Elder Abuse
Elderly residents of nursing homes remain completely dependent on the caregivers at the nursing home. If a nursing home employee inflicts any type of psychological abuse upon a senior resident, the results are oftentimes devastating. Emotional elder abuse includes yelling, humiliating, frightening, demeaning, threatening, wrongly accusing, berating, shaming, or in any way inflicting psychological damage upon an elderly resident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elder abuse can produce post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological problems in elderly residents. Always take note if your elderly loved one begins to demonstrate strange or unusual behavior, as these may indicate signs of emotional or psychological abuse.
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The neglect of an elderly person’s basic needs in a nursing home is also a form of elder abuse. If a nursing home resident fails to receive water, food, medications, clean clothes or sheets, clean diapers, proper hygiene, bathing or showers, or even repositioning to prevent bedsores, it is a form of elder neglect and can result in serious injuries or even death to elderly residents of nursing homes.
If your elderly loved one is a resident of a nursing home, always make sure to ensure that they have proper care and receive appropriate daily care according to their specific care plan. If you notice any physical changes or significant changes in the mental state of your elderly loved one, these may be signs of elder neglect in the nursing home.
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When nursing home residents move to a facility, typically a family member will be in charge of their finances under a power of attorney. In other cases, a nursing home resident will retain some form of control over their own finances. In these cases, it remains possible for a nursing home employee to abuse their trust and manipulate the resident so that they can either obtain credit cards, cash, or access to bank accounts.
In other cases, a nursing home staff member may even attempt to have a senior resident actually change their will and make them a beneficiary to their estate. If your elderly loved one has control of any of their finances in a nursing home, make sure to check on their accounts and estate planning documents periodically to ensure that there is no abuse of power or financial abuse from employees of the nursing home.
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Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Every situation is different regarding nursing home abuse; however, in all cases, an elderly resident of a nursing home has a legal right to pursue justice. First, contact the management of the nursing home to alert them to the abuse. Next, consider contacting the police, depending on the severity of the situation.
You can also make a determination whether or not you should contact Adult Protective Services or the National Center on Elder Abuse, which can provide resources and guidance if you find yourself in a situation where your elderly loved one suffered abuse.
You also have the right to consider an Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer for legal representation with your case.
Legal Representation with an Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you believe you witnessed physical, sexual, or financial elderly abuse in a nursing home, or the neglect of an elderly resident, consider contacting the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation. Learn how an Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer may help you with your next steps.