A physical disability, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is any physical condition that makes it more difficult for a person to perform certain activities. Physical disabilities can vary greatly in severity. Those with minor disabilities can still maintain independence and it may not dramatically affect their lives. Those with more severe physical disabilities may require help on a daily basis.
Sadly, one demographic that frequently suffers from the effects of physical disabilities are veterans. Those who serve in the military are at a higher risk of injury due to the nature of their service. This can occur domestically or abroad, during times of peace or in combat. Unfortunately, some injuries incurred during service can lead to disabilities and the need for long-term healthcare.
Learning more about physical disabilities and how they can affect the health and needs of others is important, especially if a person in your life is suffering.
Types of Physical Disability
There are many ways in which a person may be physically disabled. Physical disabilities can affect mobility, vision, dexterity, and any other aspects of physical health. Some disabilities begin early in life, while others are born able-bodied and become disabled due to injury or other circumstances. Veterans, for example, could become injured during service and require care after their service in the armed forces.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 60 million Americans are living with some form of disability. This accounts for nearly a quarter of the adult population in the United States. The statistical probability of a physical disability increases with age. According to the same study, nearly 40% of adults over the age of 65 suffer from a form of disability.
Potential Causes of Injury and Disability
Disabilities can be caused by genetics, accidents, injuries, side effects of medications, and for other reasons. In the case of veterans of service, the most likely cause of physical disability is an injury. Some common injuries and other causes of long-term physical disabilities include:
- Diabetes and other diseases that can affect physical mobility over time
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Traumatic injury including car accidents
Living with a physical disability can be very difficult for the individual as well as their family and loved ones. It can affect your life in many ways including financial stress due to expensive medical needs. If you or someone in your life suffers from a physical disability and long-term care is needed, one option is nursing homes.
Nursing homes can be a great option for those who are dependent on others in their daily life. Facilities are generally staffed with trained individuals who can help with medication administration, daily hygiene, nutrition, and more. These types of facilities also offer around-the-clock care, recreational activities, and social opportunities. It is easy to see why this is an appealing option for people with long-term physical disabilities.
Abuse and Neglect
Unfortunately, not everyone who lives in a nursing home has a pleasant experience. Even for veterans being treated within the VA healthcare system, it is sad to consider that abuse and neglect sometimes occurs in these settings. This can be very troubling for disabled individuals and family members who put a great deal of trust in caregivers.
Abuse occurs when physical or emotional harm is inflicted on another person. Neglect describes the failure of a caregiver or facility to act or react appropriately to medical needs. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 mandates that all nursing homes treat their residents with the highest possible standard of care. If abuse or neglect is occurring, this is in direct violation of federal law as described in this act. Not only is the mistreatment of others immoral, it is also illegal. Some victims of nursing home abuse and neglect choose to explore their legal options if another party may be responsible for suffering and ongoing damages.
Contact Us Today for Legal Support
If you or someone you love is living with a physical disability as a veteran and experienced a form of abuse or neglect while under the care of others, you may be able to take legal action. If you are interested in learning more about your options, the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to discuss your situation. Call (800) 842-6336 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.