When your loved one requires assisted living or nursing home care, you expect that they’ll be well-treated, that their needs will be met and that they won’t suffer needlessly because of carelessness or neglect by caregivers. Unfortunately, the nursing home business can be highly profitable and there’s a lot of demand for these services. Accordingly, there are many nursing home operators who are primarily or exclusively interested in profit and see resident care as less important. Statistics show that one in every 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse.
Understanding Elder Abuse
According to the National Council on Aging, elder abuse can take many forms, from physical and emotional trauma to financial exploitation, abandonment and even sexual abuse. There are telltale signs that your family member or loved one is being victimized:
- Physical abuse — Look for frequent and unexplained injuries, bruises or black and blue marks. If your loved one is seeking medical treatment on a regular basis, that may be a red flag.
- Neglect — Malnutrition and dehydration are common problems in nursing homes. If your loved one is always thirsty, seems unusually tired or weak, gets chills or has dry skin, these can be symptomatic of dehydration. Weight loss is a clear indicator of malnutrition, but you should also look for dizziness or fatigue, a bloated stomach, tooth decay, swollen or bleeding gums or decreased bowel movements.
- Emotional abuse — One of the clearest signs of emotional abuse is a desire to withdraw. If your loved one doesn’t want to see family and friends, has had unexplained changes in personality or mood swings or seems anxious, there may be emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse — Bleeding around the groin, genital or anal discomfort or diagnosis of STDs
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.