Poor care provided to a resident in a California nursing home ultimately led to her death.
April 05, 2013
A jury recently found a California nursing home guilty of acting with malice, oppression and fraud in its treatment of a resident. The poor treatment provided to the resident, an 82 year-old woman who suffered from Alzheimer's, ultimately led to her death.
Unfortunately, similar cases of elder abuse are not uncommon. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 experience abuse, neglect or financial exploitation every year.
Elder abuse basics
Elder abuse can take many forms. The six main types are:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Physical abuse, likely the most well known, occurs when an older adult is injured, assaulted or threatened. Physical abuse can also result from being inappropriately restrained or injured in another manner. Ultimately, physical abuse results in bodily injury or physical pain.
Sexual abuse occurs when any form of sexual contact takes place without consent.
Emotional abuse can take many forms including harassment or embarrassment and social isolation.
Neglect occurs when an elder is not receiving basic care to meet his or her physical, social or emotional needs. This can include not providing basic nutrition, hygiene or shelter. Abandonment is a more severe form of neglect and occurs when a caretaker deserts the patient.
The final form of abuse, financial abuse, occurs when an elder's finances are used without his or her authorization. This can include forging checks or coercing one into signing over assets.
Signs of elder abuse
Determining if a loved one is being abused can be difficult. However, some warning signs include:
- Bruises, cuts, broken bones and other physical injuries
- Sudden withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
- Sudden changes in financial situation
The Administration on Aging calls for loved ones to be alert. It notes that those being abused often suffer in silence. As a result, it is important to take any changes in personality or behavior seriously.
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of abuse, compensation may be available to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages are also applied. These monetary penalties assigned to the abuser as a form of punishment.
Navigating these issues and determining the best path can be difficult. As a result, those who suspect abuse should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss their situation and better ensure their legal rights and remedies are protected.
Article provided by Law Firm of Rivers J. Morrell III
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