Coming to the decision that your loved one needs full-time nursing home care is never easy. Once you’ve done the research and found the right facility for your family member, however, knowing that he or she is safe and well cared for is a major consolation. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse happens more often than most people realize. Knowing the common signs of such abuse can help you protect your aging relative from harm at the hands of a caregiver. If you believe your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Vacaville personal injury lawyer immediately.
Elder Abuse Defined
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define elder abuse as a caregiver’s intentional act – or failure to act – that causes or creates a risk of harm or injury for an older adult (60 years or older) in his or her care (with whom there is an expectation of trust). CDC separates elder abuse into distinct categories that include:
- Physical Abuse – Physical abuse encompasses the intentional use of force that causes either injury, pain, illness, emotional distress, functional impairment, or death.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse – Emotional or psychological abuse involves verbal and/or nonverbal communication that causes anguish, psychological pain, emotional distress, or fear. Examples include threats, taunts, humiliation, the exertion of control, and/or isolation.
- Abusive Sexual Contact – Abusive sexual contact is any forced or non-consensual sexual interaction. When a sexual act is directed at a person who is incapable of consenting, it qualifies as abuse.
- Financial Exploitation or Abuse – Financial exploitation or abuse refers to the improper, unauthorized, and/or illegal use of a nursing home resident’s resources for someone else’s benefit.
- Neglect – Neglect relates to any caregiver’s failure to protect an elder in his or her care from harm or to a caregiver’s failure to meet an elder’s reasonable needs for medical care, shelter, daily living, nutrition, hydration, and hygiene.
If you suspect that any of these categories of abuse apply to your loved one, it’s time to consult with an experienced Vacaville personal injury lawyer.
Nursing Home Abuse Happens
While it’s difficult to comprehend, the fact is that nursing home abuse happens more often than you want to believe. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) shares some important statistics in support of this fact, including that:
- Elder abuse is underreported.
- The prevalence of elder abuse is estimated to affect about 10 percent of the nursing home population.
- The absence of a strong social network greatly increases the risk of nearly every form of elder abuse.
If You Have Concerns about Elder Abuse, Consult with an Experienced Vacaville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
No one wants to believe that caretakers would abuse their elderly charges, but elder abuse is on the rise. The dedicated legal team at The Cartwright Law Firm, Inc. in Vacaville, California, has the experience, skill, and compassion to aggressively advocate for the best possible resolution of your loved one’s case. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys are here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (415) 433-0444 for more information today.