Elderly people are the most vulnerable population to require long-term care in our society. At a certain age or level of impairment, many elderly people move into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility where they depend on paid staff to administer daily care. Often these aged people receive attentive care and live out their remaining years in relative comfort. However, sometimes these individuals are abused by the very people on whom they are reliant.
An estimated one to two million Americans aged 65 or older are injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone each year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Elder abuse can occur in any situation in which an elderly person receives care from a paid professional, whether it is an in-home nurse or the care is within a facility. Skilled nursing facilities, commonly called nursing homes, employ many people with varying levels of education and experience. Some of these people may engage in physical, emotional and/or financial abuse of the elderly and people who depend on them. Other people who come into contact with an elder may also abuse them in one of the ways noted below or another manner. Any time a person takes advantage of an elderly person, it is a case of elder abuse.
If you or a family member are the victim of elder abuse, please contact our office and speak with a member of the firm. The applicable statute of limitations is likely already running, so timing can be critically important to your case. Contact us today for a free, no obligation, confidential legal consultation.
TYPES OF ABUSE
Physical harm is the most well known form of elder abuse. Sometimes the abuse involved assault on an elder; other times the abuse occurs through neglecting care of an elder, such as not performing expected duties to ensure the comfort, health and safety of an elderly person. Physical abuse may include:
Financial abuse can take many forms, from people or companies swindling or tricking elders into fraudulent investments to those in close contact with elders stealing cash from them. In some instances, financial abuse can completely drain an elder, leaving them without enough money to live out their remaining years. This money may be recoverable through a lawsuit and additional damages may be assessed to the elderly victim.
Emotional abuse such as taunting or insults is the hardest to prove. Without proof such as a recording, it is the word of the elder against the healthcare provider. In some cases, an elder may be so incapacitated that he/she cannot communicate
the abuse to friends or family and must suffer through it without recourse. This kind of abuse is particularly tragic, but a skilled lawyer may be able to find witnesses or other proof of the abuse that will allow the elder to win a suit against and receive compensation from the abuser.
An elder who is being abused or a family member who suspects abuse of an elder may file a claim against the abuser. The claim could result in compensation for any ensuing medical costs of the abuse, financial losses and pain and suffering. Additionally, the lawsuit could prevent the defendant from abusing countless other defenseless elders.
Raynes Erickson, Attorneys at Law focuses its practice on the legal representation of clients who are victims of medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, or wrongful death. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and how our litigation team can help you receive the compensation you deserve.