The effects of elder abuse can include threats to the elder’s health, relationships, psychological well-being, community, and overall quality of life. If you are watching for signs of abuse while you have a loved one in a nursing home, you can respond to said abuse by taking legal action with the help of local authorities and a legal representative.
Identifying Elder Abuse In A Nursing Home
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), our seniors can fall victim to a myriad of abuses while in a nursing home or under the care of another party. These forms of abuse can include but are not limited to:
- Physical abuse – causing injury or pain to an elder.
- Emotional abuse – demeaning, insulting, isolating, or otherwise psychologically harming an elder.
- Sexual assault – performing sexual activities with an elder who cannot consent, cannot understand, or who has been forced into participating in sexual activities.
- Financial abuse or healthcare abuse – the non-consensual use of an elder’s finances for personal needs or for purchases of which the elder is not aware.
- Neglect – the failure of a caretaker or institution to meet standards of care that would preserve an elder’s quality of life.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
The Consequences of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse in its many forms can result in long-term consequences for both the victim and for the victim’s family. Those consequences can appear in varying degrees of severity depending on whether or not the abuse comes to light.
Individual Health And Elder Abuse
All manner of abuses can put a strain on a senior’s health. Physical abuse has the clearest effect, with the elder suffering broken bones, bruises, fractures, or other physical ailments as a result of a caretaker’s actions. Emotional and sexual abuse, too, can cause an elder’s physical and mental health to decline, with the effects being reflected in their ability to care for themselves or willingness to interact with others. Financial abuse, as well, can result in an elder not receiving the food, utilities, or care they need to preserve their overall quality of life on a daily basis.
Relationship Strain And Elder Abuse
The emotional abuse of a nursing home resident can take on many forms, including isolation. This isolation can be the physical isolation of the elder from other parties in a nursing home or from family members who come to visit. It can also be the isolation of the elder through manipulation, with a caretaker or care staff convincing an elder that her family members or loved ones mean her harm. The lack of communication and sudden change in attitude that comes with this kind of manipulation can result in relationship strain up until the elder’s death, if the abuse is not detected.
Additional Psychological Consequences
An elder may also develop other psychological disorders or mental illness as a result of long-term emotional abuse. These developments can include:
- The onset of anxiety or depression
- Increased problems with memory
- Post-traumatic stress disorder related to nursing homes, caretakers, and the emotional abuse
- Lowered self-esteem
- Tendency to want to remain isolated
If you choose to pursue legal action against the party that abused your loved one, you may receive compensation for treatment meant to remedy or at least ease the symptoms of these conditions.
Medical Care After Elder Abuse
An elder who has suffered from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse while in a nursing home may require medical care to recuperate from their experience. These procedures can include but are not limited to:
- Surgeries to repair muscle damage, nerve damage, or bedsores
- Medication for pain or infections
- Treatments not yet received to compensate for earlier trauma
- Physical therapy to return a person’s quality of life
If you and your loved one receive damages in response to abuse through a nursing home or issued by a caretaker, they may cover the cost of these procedures and any other medical needs related to the abuse an elder endured.
Reporting Elder Abuse and Seeking Legal Aid
When you first detect signs of elder abuse, you will want to reach out to legal representatives in your area to try and remove your elder from the situation that may be causing her harm. Adult Protective Services (APS) can also work to prevent an abuser from continuing their treatment of the victim while you seek out legal assistance.
If you believe an elder may be suffering from any manner of abuse while in a nursing home or under the care of a caretaker, you can work with a nursing home abuse lawyer to seek compensation. The team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can discuss your case with you when you call 800-959-1444.