According to the World Health Organization, one out of every six people 60 years and older has experienced some form of abuse in a community setting in the past year. Moreover, two out of every three staff members in nursing homes or long-term care facilities report that they have committed some kind of abuse in the past year.
Experiencing elder abuse can have serious physical effects as well as long-term psychological consequences for nursing home residents. In some cases, both physical and psychological abuse can even lead to death.
Some Physical Signs of Elder Abuse
Many physical effects are also signs of elder abuse. Look out for the following:
- Welts: These appear as raised bumps on the skin.
- Bruises: Elderly people often bruise more easily, but unexplained bruising may be a sign of abuse.
- Bedsores: Bedsores can be an indicator of neglect.
- Lacerations: Lacerations can be a sign of abuse.
- Broken bones: While fragile bones can easily break in an accident, broken bones can also be an effect of abuse or neglect.
- Head injuries: Head injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be a sign of a simple accident as well as abuse or neglect on behalf of the nursing care facility.
- Malnutrition and dehydration: Malnourishment could be a sign that a patient is not receiving proper nutrition or has lost their appetite due to trauma.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): The appearance of a new sexually transmitted infection can be an indicator of sexual abuse.
Some Psychological Signs of Abuse or Neglect
When the only signs of trauma are changes in behavior, abuse and neglect can be more difficult to detect. It is important to talk with your loved one if you note a change in their behavior. Some of the more common signs of psychological abuse can include:
- Anxiety: Elderly residents who were abused may exhibit signs of fear and anxiety.
- Aggression: Sudden, uncharacteristic aggression or even violence can be a defense mechanism for an elderly person who was abused.
- Depression: Signs of depression, such as withdrawal from social settings or a lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed, can be signs of abuse.
- Learned helplessness: If you notice that they suddenly expect others to do tasks that are within their abilities—which they used to do on their own—their helplessness can be a sign of abuse.
- Low self-esteem: A sudden and noticeable decline in self-esteem can be a sign of abuse.
These are only a few effects of elder abuse. Your loved one may exhibit alternate mood or personality changes.
Potentially Recoverable Awards in an Elder Abuse Case
There is no way to estimate all the potentially recoverable financial awards in your loved one’s case without having a lawyer examine the related details. However, some awards that victims or families recover in cases of elder abuse can include:
- Medical costs like ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgical procedures, medication, and doctor’s examinations
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket costs
If the victim loses their life as a result of the abuse or neglect, the family may be able to recover awards to cover:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages from time off work caring for the deceased
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses left to the family
- Loss of consortium
A lawyer can take on:
- Valuating your loved one’s damages
- Gathering and analyzing data
- Forming a case
- Fighting for fair compensation
- Communicating with all relevant parties
- Keeping you and your family updated at all stages of the case
- Filing paperwork within appropriate timelines
- Representing you in court, if necessary
A lawyer may be able to help your family in other ways. Reach out to us today.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Wants to Help With Your Elder Abuse Case
If a nursing home staff member abused or neglected your loved one, you have the right to hold that person responsible for the effects of elder abuse. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free, no-risk review of your case. Our clients pay nothing upfront and nothing out of pocket. We only take our fee from the settlement if you win the case. In other words, you have nothing to lose. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336. We want to help you protect your loved one from any future harm.