Whether the result of neglect or intentional actions, physical abuse of the elderly is a tragic yet all too frequent occurrence. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities which are understaffed or which hire untrained and unskilled workers to care for their patients, often create situations where the residents become victims of malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and other illnesses which can prove debilitating or fatal to this generally physically frail population. Injury can come about by intentional abuse as well. Whether in a nursing facility or at home under the care of a family member or full-time caregiver, frustrations and anger are sometimes taken out on the elder individual. The abused person is often unable to communicate or afraid to speak out. He or she may be under the abuser’s control, or totally dependent on the caregiver for essential needs. Often there is no one around to notice the abuse and put an end to it. The Kansas City elder abuse attorney Janelle Bailey is committed to holding the perpetrators of elder abuse responsible and holding the facilities where such abuse has occurred accountable for the actions of their employees.
How Common is Abuse of the Elderly in Nursing Homes?
Increasingly, crimes against the elderly are committed by an individual or individuals caring for the elder adult. Elder abuse can occur in home or institutional settings. According to the National Center for Elderly Abuse (NCEA) “domestic elder abuse” refers to the maltreatment of the older person by family members and caregivers in the victim’s residence or the residence of the caregiver. The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study conducted by the NCEA found that close to one-half million elderly adults in domestic settings were abused or neglected. The study estimates that for every reported incident of elder abuse or neglect, five others go unreported. More than two-thirds of those committing elder abuse are members of the victims’ families.
It is an unfortunate truth that those elderly citizens who lack the strength or cognitive ability to protect themselves all too often become victims of abuse or neglect. Patients suffering from dementia have it the worst. It is estimated that half of all nursing home residents with dementia are abused.
How to Detect Elderly Abuse
Elder abuse can take many forms, including failure to:
- Assess fall risks or to implement fall prevention programs
- Prevent malnutrition or dehydration
- Prevent bed sores
- Monitor residents adequately
- Protect residents from physical or sexual abuse by nursing home staff or other residents
- Prevent wandering or elopement
- Provide access to medical care
Many nursing home residents are already physically fragile. A fall-related injury or an infection can trigger a rapid decline that can quickly lead to death.
If you have an elderly family member in a Kansas City nursing home and suspect abuse, try to pop in often at random times without calling ahead. Making unscheduled visits is the best way to determine that the care your loved one is receiving is up to standard. Signs of possible neglect or abuse include excessive weight loss, extreme thirst, bedsores, bruises, unexplained injuries, vaginal bleeding, torn clothing, restraint marks on ankles and wrists, withdrawn or fearful demeanor, and frequent trips to different hospital emergency rooms. Be especially suspicious if staff members appear evasive when questioned.
Protect Your Elderly Family Member with a Kansas city Elder Abuse Lawyer
If you see signs of neglect or abuse, call Senior Protective Services and look for a better environment for the patient. Then contact the Kansas City personal injury lawyer Janelle Bailey and schedule an appointment to come in for a consultation. Find out if you have a cause of action to recover damages from the abusive or neglectful home on behalf of your family member.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities may not be the ideal place to live out your last years, but this form of elderly care is the only option available to many families. Abuse of the weak is unconscionable, and the Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney Janelle Bailey is deeply committed to defending the right of Missouri’s elderly citizens to a safe environment and humane treatment in these facilities. The Law Office of Janelle Bailey holds nursing home and long term care facility owners accountable when they’ve allowed abuse and neglect of their residents to occur.
Pay Nothing Unless You Win
At The Law Office of Janelle Bailey, we accept nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee agreement, which means that you won’t pay us anything until we recover money for your loved one. If we don’t win, you pay nothing at all. Call Janelle Bailey, Injury Attorney, today for your free consultation at 816-286-3625.