Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Accidents
Elder abuse and nursing home accidents happen every day across the country, and it is no different in New York. It is an unfortunate circumstance, but one that needs to be taken seriously. Understanding the facts around elder abuse and nursing home accidents will make you better prepared to deal with what comes next. Our elder law attorneys are here to help you with this process.
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Questions And Answers
Elder abuse is when an older adult, usually aged 60 or more, is physically or emotionally harmed by someone who they trust. This usually takes the form of a caregiver or other person trusted to take care of the individual.
Elder abuse can take several forms. There are seven designated areas of elder abuse put forth by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). They are physical elder abuse, financial elder abuse, negligence, elder abandonment, emotional and psychological abuse, sexual elder abuse, and self-neglect.
A lot of older adults need attention around the clock and are put into nursing home facilities where they are meant to be taken care of. However, accidents still occur in these facilities. When an accident occurs in a nursing home, it can be the result of abuse.
Nursing home accidents come in a variety of forms. Some of the most common include falls, broken bones, sprains, bedsores, and infections.
There are many factors that play a part into the susceptibility of the elderly. One of the main reasons is that as people get older their mental and physical abilities decrease. As a result, they are unable to defend themselves or, in certain circumstances, even be aware of the situation they are in.
Signs of elder abuse can take many forms. However, there are certain things you should be on the lookout for. These include any physical changes, such as burns, bruises, or cuts. Likewise, if you see soiled or dirty clothing, unwashed hair, or a bad odor that surrounds them, these can be signs of abuse or neglect. Some signs, however, will not be as obvious. These can include subtle mood changes, such as depression and withdrawal from group activities.
Residents of nursing homes have the right to remain free from emotional and physical harm. Even if the facilities itself does not have its own regulations, the rights of the individual are protected under the laws of the state in which they reside.
Unfortunately, victims of elderly abuse do not often report their cases. Generally, only one in fourteen will do so. This means that most cases go undetected.
Anyone who believes that a loved one, or someone they know, is being abused at a nursing home can report it. In addition, staff members who believe residents are being abused must report abuse.
Yes, there are laws in the state of New York pertaining to elder abuse. In the state of New York, it is law that any staff member of a nursing home or assisted-living facility must report any suspicion of abuse they may have. The law protects anyone coming forward with information regarding elderly abuse.
The New York State Department of Health’s Division of Nursing Homes and ICF/IID Surveillance regulate nursing homes in New York. Additionally, at the federal level, the U.S. Department of Health also regulate nursing homes across the country.
Neglect is when the person’s essential needs are not met. This can include failure to provide their medication, their meals, or any other accommodations they need to live day-to-day.
Financial elder abuse is when someone takes advantage of the elder’s finances. This can include misappropriating funds, stealing their money, and more. Financial elder abuse can be tougher to detect, but there are signs to be cognizant of. These include unusual bank account activity, unauthorized persons using the elder’s debit or credit cards, inactive accounts suddenly becoming active, and more.
No, not all instances of nursing home accidents are considered neglect or abuse. Accidents can be one-off occurrences that truly happened by accident. However, if there are repeated occurrences of certain issues, then a person may have a case. This is not to say that a one-off occurrence could not be abuse, but there needs to be solid evidence to support that claim.
It is common for the staff of the facility to commit acts of abuse or neglect, unfortunately. However, family members who visit may also commit these acts, as well as strangers who target the elderly; so, it is important to talk with the elderly thoroughly about their situation.
There are several reasons why abuse can occur in nursing homes. Generally, it comes about because of staff members who are not trained properly, staff members who have not been vetted properly, and the overall isolation of the elderly in the facility.
An elder abuse lawyer has extensive knowledge that will help advocate for the victims and their families. In addition, an elder abuse lawyer will help the aforesaid victims and their families navigate the stress of this terrible situation. They will fight for their clients so that they get the compensation and mental rest they deserve.
Yes, there are penalties for elder abuse. These penalties are different depending in which state you reside. These penalties can be criminal. Civil restitution is also available, which will result in either the abuser (or institution) being held liable for any damages, monetarily and emotionally, inflicted upon the victim.
The best way to know if you have a case is to consult an elder abuse lawyer. They will review all the facts of the case and determine whether you should move forward. It is important to make sure you have as much information as possible to help make the process run smoothly.
If you suspect there is an elder in immediate danger in a nursing home then you should call 911. However, if it is a recurring issue over a period, you should call an elder abuse lawyer to discuss your next steps.