Nursing Home Abuse

One of the most difficult and heart wrenching decisions a person can make is to place an elderly loved one in either a nursing home or an assisted living facility. This scenario happens millions of times across the country each year. The reasons for this are as many and varied as there are families. Perhaps the family has spread out across the country and no one person is able to care for the elderly loved one. It may be that the loved one wants to stay in his or her community and does not wish to relocate to another community. Perhaps the loved one has deteriorated in his or her health to the point where family members simply cannot care for him or her. Regardless of the reason, sometimes it is simply necessary to admit our loved ones to a care facility. When we do that, we depend on those running the facility to provide the same level of care to our loved one that we would give. Fortunately, for the most part, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are managed by people who really care about our elderly family members. However, occasionally that is not the case. Nursing home abuse and neglect is becoming more common in the United States and when it happens, the results are tragic. When these tragic things happen here, your Idaho nursing home abuse attorney can help spell out options and guide you through difficult decisions. Here at Racine Olson, we have had these types of cases and have the experience to solve these issues for you. After all, Racine Olson has been around for 70 years.

Millions of the Elderly are Abused

In recent years, more than a million elderly people fall victim to elderly abuse whether it is emotional, physical, sexual, or simply neglect. Frighteningly, research has indicated that for every case of elder abuse which is reported, there may be as many as five cases that go unreported. This tragedy has individual impacts on each of our loved ones who may suffer from it. Research has informed us that these abused loved ones of ours usually die earlier than those who do not suffer from these conditions.

Types of Elder Abuse

There are several types of elder abuse. Obviously the one that is most common is physical abuse. However, elderly people are also subject to emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

Physical Abuse of the Elderly

There are some signs that you can watch for to determine whether or not your loved one has been physically abused. They include unexplained bruises and cuts, torn or bloody clothing, or even broken bones. It seems like it should go without saying that a person who suspects these things should ask questions about how the injury occurred. If the answers are not satisfactory, contact the authorities immediately.

Emotional Abuse of the Elderly

Emotion abuse is varied but usually takes the form of humiliation, ignoring the patient for long periods of time, isolating the patient, mocking the elderly or yelling and making threats.

Neglect of the Elderly

Neglect may have similar signs as emotional abuse. For instance, your loved one may be neglected if their medications have not been provided to them, they have soiled clothing or bed linens, or perhaps they are malnourished. In one Idaho case, an elderly woman was in a skilled nursing facility. Mattox v. Life Care Ctrs. of Am., 157 Idaho 468, 337 P.3d 627 (2014). Unfortunately, after a history of falls at the facility, she fell and fractured her femur. Given the fragile condition she was in, the doctors were unable to correct the break and she passed away a short time later. This case has many things that can be taught including the standards of care that govern the duty and responsibility that these specialized health care facilities must adhere to. This includes federal and state regulations as well as the interplay they have with Idaho Code Ann. §§ 6-1012 and 6-1013. It is necessary that you have someone on your side that understands these principles.

Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

Financial exploitation can usually be found if belongings are missing, checks are stolen, signatures are forged, or the elderly person’s checks are missing. Recently, identify theft has been on the rise and should be watched for as well.

Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

Finally, a loved one may be exploited sexually. This tragic form of abuse generally manifests itself through bruising around the breasts or genital area, bloody undergarments, or bleeding. Occasionally, it can result in venereal disease as well.

This is a difficult topic and one that is unpleasant for family members. They may feel guilt for placing their loved one in a nursing home facility or assisted living home. If you are aware that a loved one has been abused or neglected at the hands of their caretaker, its time to take action. An Idaho nursing home abuse attorney can help. We at Racine Olson have addressed these types of claims before and we will be happy to help you solve the problem. Give us a call.

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