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What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse refers to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver (including nursing homes and assisted living facilities) or a person who causes the elder harm or exposes the elder to a serious risk of harm.  Abuse may be:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect/Abandonment of Caregivers
  • Financial or Exploitative Abuse – Financial or exploitative abuse is the illegal taking of the elderly person’s funds or property.  This typically occurs when a relative, friend, or caregiver gains the elder’s trust for the purpose of having the elder transfer his or her savings to the relative, friend, or caregiver.  All too often, the person who is entrusted exploits this trust by using the elder’s money for personal use.
  • Healthcare Fraud and Abuse – Professional care providers can commit healthcare fraud by not providing proper healthcare but charging for it, overcharging or double billing the patient, over or under medicating the patient, etc.

What is the cause of elder abuse?

The main cause of elder abuse in nursing homes stems from staffing problems. Most nursing home employees are overworked, underpaid, undertrained, and many nursing home facilities are understaffed. The culmination of chronically understaffed or untrained staffing problems results in cases of neglect and abuse among nursing home patients.

What are warning signs of elder abuse?

Although any one sign does not necessarily mean an elder is being abused, there are some warning signs which may indicate neglect or abuse.  They are:

  • Bruises, burns, abrasions, pressure marks, broken bones, neglect, or mistreatment
  • Bruises around the breast or genital area resulting from sexual abuse
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden and unexplained change in disposition and depression can indicate emotional abuse.
  • A sudden unexplained change in financial situation resulting from exploitation
  • Bed sores, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss and unattended medical needs may indicate neglect
  • Dehydration
  • Fractures from falls
  • Overmedication

How do I choose the right nursing home?

It is important to choose the right nursing home for your loved one in order to protect him or her from elder abuse and neglect.  With so many nursing facilities to choose from, choosing the right one can seem a daunting task.  Click here for tips on how to select the right nursing home.

Contact York Law Firm

If your loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse or neglect, contact York Law Firm today.  We work tirelessly to obtain justice and will work diligently to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.