Should I contact a lawyer if I suspect nursing home negligence with regard to the care being provided to my parent in a long-term care facility? Is this likely or probably just a part of the aging process?
It depends. According to some data, nearly 10%, or roughly 150,000, seniors experience elder abuse or neglect each year inside the walls of our nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This can be from failure of proper medical care and response to health issues to abuse by another resident or staff member. Although some of these are quite serious and even result in the death of a loved one, many of these cases go unreported.
Nursing home abuse/neglect is a difficult issue to recognize, analyze and recover under. Neglect or abuse of the elderly exists in many forms, many of which may not be evidenced by clear, physical signs. Most victims are frail and vulnerable. As a result, they are often unable to protect themselves or seek the help they need, nor are they necessarily of the mental capacity to relay abuse. Thus, elder abuse can be difficult to prove, even if you have the highest suspicions. It is estimated that roughly 1,800 deaths each year occur due to elder abuse.
Neglect or abuse of the elderly, or nursing home negligence, most commonly occurs when a resident does not receive proper medical, physical, or emotional attention. In certain cases, neglect may escalate to or be physical or emotional abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing some form of neglect, you should contact an Indiana nursing home negligence attorney.
Again, there two types of abuse or neglect that can occur among the elderly in nursing homes. Physical abuse occurs when actual bodily force is used with the intent to cause harm against a victim. This can include hitting, scratching, shoving, biting, and inappropriate use of restraints. Physical abuse has the most obvious warning signs (bruises, bit marks, scratches). For an attorney nursing home neglect Indianapolis, physical abuse may be easier to prove than other less obvious forms of elder abuse, such as negligent care.
Emotional abuse or general or medical neglect is more difficult to prove for obvious reasons. Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver or other individual causes emotional distress within a victim. Emotional abuse may result from ridicule and humiliation, intimidation, terrorizing, or ignoring an elder. Demeaning behavior, scapegoating, and blaming are also considered emotional elder abuse. Indiana lawyers for nursing home neglect will understand the signs and symptoms, as well as have relationships with other professionals who will perform evaluations on your elderly loved one to substantiate the emotional abuse. Medical neglect is sometimes only apparent in the resident’s charting, such as inaction to repeated concerns relayed by the resident that is not acted upon.
Another type of elderly abuse is sexual abuse, a subset of physical abuse. Sexual abuse takes place when non-consensual sexual contact is made with an elder. In many cases, physical and emotional abuse may also play a role. Elders who are sexually abused may be tricked, coerced, manipulated, or forced into sexual contact. Nursing home negligence lawyers possess the skills necessary to determine any links between these forms of abuse together, and with specialty help, distill what is a part of the normal aging process versus actual physical abuse or neglect. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. handles these cases throughout the State.
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