At Garcia & Artigliere, we focus on helping victims of elder abuse and their families get the justice they deserve. When someone is a victim of physical or financial abuse, they may suffer from physical, emotional, or psychological effects. If you notice your loved one has experienced harm while in a nursing home or under the watch of a caretaker, contact the elder abuse hotline and an experienced elder abuse attorney.
Most Common Injuries Caused by Elder Abuse & Neglect
More than one in ten nursing home residents suffer from bed sores (pressure ulcers). This is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from being left in one position for too long. Bed sores tend to develop mostly around the shoulders, hips, ankles, heels, and tailbone, where the bone is closest to the skin, and causes the area to crack, break, or tear.
Severe bed sores, pressure sores, and decubitus ulcers can all be direct signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. They are not part of the natural aging process.
Bowel & Bladder Injuries
Bowel and bladder injuries can often cause serious, and even fatal, complications for an elderly person. These types of injuries are often a result of negligence, including dehydration, inadequate nutrition, lack of cleanliness, infrequent adult diaper changing, or improper catheter care.
Senior citizens are more susceptible to these types of injuries when the nursing home or in-home caregiver fails to attend to the elderly person’s needs.
Burns are a serious injury, particularly for the elderly. As open wounds, they are painful and prone to infection. Burns can result in scarring, the need for amputations or skin grafts, and fatalities. Burns can occur from multiple sources, including scalding hot water in a bath or shower, hot liquid burns from beverages, chemical burns from cleaning fluids, untrained staff administering treatments, or nursing home violations of fire code.
Residents can accidentally burn themselves when they are left unsupervised. Unfortunately, serious burns on an elderly person can also be a result of physical abuse. If you or your physician suspect that a burn may be caused by neglect or abuse, action should be taken immediately.
Fractures and other injuries to the bone can take many forms. Each one is serious and can lead to further health issues, such as infections. In the United States, 40% of all nursing home residents fall each year, and as many as 70% of nursing home residents die from complications within one year of breaking a hip.
Fractures can happen when an elderly person is left unattended under caregiver watch or at a nursing home. This is unacceptable, as senior citizens are more accident-prone. It also takes longer for their fractures, bruises, cuts, and sores to heal due to the aging process.
Healthcare & Financial Fraud
Healthcare fraud is a growing epidemic, costing our country tens of billions of dollars each year. While anyone can be the target of this, our elder population is most susceptible. Unethical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals may seek out vulnerable senior citizens and take advantage of them.
Healthcare fraud can take on many forms, including overcharging or double billing for medical services, or charging an elderly person for services they never received. Healthcare fraud also involves over- or under-medicating, performing unnecessary procedures, or recommending remedies for a medical condition that the elderly person does not have.
Restraining an elderly person through physical or chemical restraints should be a very rare necessity, not an everyday occurrence. Restraints are anything used to restrict or prevent movement, including sedatives, wrist restraints, belts, bed sheets, and vest restraints, which may be used to tie patients to their beds or wheelchairs. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries, fractures, bedsores, emotional abuse, and even wrongful death.
Restraints can induce fear in patients, making the situation more difficult to detect and address. Elder abuse lawyers have the legal knowledge to deal with these situations quickly, efficiently, and with the respect you and your loved one deserve.
Malnutrition & Dehydration
One of the most dangerous effects of mismanaged care facilities is malnutrition and dehydration. At least one third of the more than 1.6 million nursing home residents in the United States suffers from malnutrition or dehydration. These are very serious, life-threatening conditions that can lead to additional health issues, such as infection, sepsis, kidney failure, and even death.
If an elderly person is suffering from dehydration or malnutrition, it is considered abuse and neglect, and the nursing home or healthcare provider must be held accountable.
Mismanagement of Diabetes
Elders need special care, especially when they have pre-existing medical conditions that make them more susceptible to developing further health issues. Insulin-dependent diabetics are at an increased risk of serious problems if not carefully looked after in a nursing home. Mismanaged diabetes can lead to other serious health problems, such as infections, cataracts, diabetic coma, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, increased risk of developing bed sores, kidney and heart failure, and even death.
A senior citizen who has a preexisting health condition such as diabetes does not have time to wait for proper care. If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from elder abuse or nursing home neglect that is making their diabetes condition worse, you need to contact an elder abuse attorney today.
Physical & Sexual Abuse
Nursing homes and in-home care should provide a safe, caring, worry-free environment for our elders. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes and in-home caretakers share this belief. Nearly 44% of nursing home residents say they have been abused, while 93% say they have been neglected or seen another resident be neglected. Physical and sexual abuse makes up for 36% of abuse complaints in U.S. nursing homes.
If you suspect your loved one is being sexually abused or physically abused, it is important to know the signs. An elderly person may become more confused, disoriented, angry, scared, depressed, or withdrawn after being victim to elder physical and sexual abuse. They may have a marked loss in appetite or refuse to leave their room. The abused elderly person may refuse to discuss their abuse with anyone else because they are afraid of retaliation from powerful nursing homes.
As our loved ones age, they often need supportive devices like walkers, canes, or wheelchairs to assist with the retention of mobility. When walking becomes an issue, many family members choose to have their elderly loved one live in a nursing home, where they can be closely monitored and assisted with moving around.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,800 nursing home residents die each year from falls in nursing facilities. When repetitive falls continue in a nursing home, it can be a sign of either nursing home abuse or neglect. Repeated falls can lead to serious injuries, such as bruises, fractures, tears in the skin, and death.
According to the CDC, one to three million serious infections occur in nursing home facilities each year. The consequences a patient suffers from untreated infections can be severe and life-threatening. Risks are meningitis, streptococcal infections, and other bacterial infections that can lead to the death of an elderly person.
When a loved one is placed under the trusted care of a nursing home, they should never have an untreated infection. If you know a loved one’s health is being mismanaged, contact an elder abuse lawyer near you.
It is easy for an elderly person to become confused, especially if they suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This can make elders susceptible to wandering off. When this happens, it can be a terrifying experience for both the family and the elderly person.
Families often choose the care of a nursing home to ensure their elder loved one receives 24-hour supervision and monitoring to prevent wandering off. It is extremely frustrating for the family and dangerous for the elderly person when the nursing home doesn’t provide this promised care. When you place your loved one in a nursing home or elder long-term facility, you expect them to get round-the-clock complete care, so that the elderly person doesn’t wander off.
Contact a Skilled Professional
If you suspect your loved one may have suffered any type of injury or harm as a result of substandard care or abuse at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or elder care center, do not wait to seek legal counsel. An experienced elder abuse attorney will determine if you are able to be compensated for any emotional or physical suffering that may result from nursing home negligence or elder abuse.
To get started, contact the skilled trial lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere. We have over 100 years of experience and have offices in California, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Florida to assist clients nationwide. Se habla español.