Millions of senior citizens in the United States rely on nursing homes to provide reliable care in a comfortable environment. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem that can have physical, mental and emotional consequences.
A large percentage of nursing home neglect cases go unreported. It is critical that residents and their loved ones know the signs of nursing home abuse and the steps to take if the worst happens.
If you or a loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse in Alabama, contact Morris Bart. A Mobile personal injury attorney can evaluate your case to determine if you may have grounds for a claim.
Here is a brief overview of six common types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines physical abuse as any physical force that causes bodily injury, impairment or pain. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, striking, beating, slapping, kicking and pushing. It may also involve inappropriate use of restraints and drugs, and force-feeding or starving the victim.
- Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse occurs when nursing home staff inflicts pain, distress or anguish on the victim. This can happen with either verbal or nonverbal acts.
Emotional abuse often takes the form of insults, verbal assaults, humiliation, intimidation, threats and harassment. Isolating an individual from other people in the home or from family and friends may also constitute emotional abuse.
- Sexual Abuse
Any non-consensual sexual contact constitutes sexual abuse. If the victim is not capable of giving consent due to age or mental status, any form of sexual contact will constitute abuse. Examples include unwanted touching, rape, sodomy or forced nudity.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, neglect is a common problem in nursing homes. One study indicated that 95 percent of nursing home residents claim to have been neglected or seen another individual neglected.
Nursing home staff members have an obligation to respond to the needs of residents. If they fail or refuse to do so, then they may be guilty of neglect.
- Financial Exploitation
Financial exploitation happens when a staff member improperly uses a resident’s money or property. Common examples include stealing cash, forging signatures on financial documents and cashing checks without permission. Coercing residents to pay money may also constitute financial abuse.
If someone assumes responsibility for an elderly person and then subsequently leaves him or her unattended, he or she may be guilty of abandonment. This is common when staff take elderly people to public places or to off-site doctor’s checkups.
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a Mobile injury lawyer from Morris Bart. Our firm has been representing the injured for more than 30 years. Call 800-537-8185.