One of the most difficult decisions a family often has to make is whether to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Millions of families each year consider placing an elderly loved one in a facility so that their medical needs and day-to-day living needs are met. Families want to believe that they are entrusting their loved ones with people who will provide a standard of care that is high. However, this is not always the case with nursing home abuse reaching epidemic levels.
There are a variety of ways nursing home abuse can occur, including:
- Emotional Abuse – This type of abuse can include acts, verbal or non-verbal, that are designed to inflict emotional anguish or suffering. This can include threatening, harassing, intimidating, demeaning, embarrassing, and treating a patient like a child. Patients may also be isolated from other patients or family or ignore the patient entirely.
- Financial Exploitation – The unauthorized use of an elderly patient’s personal funds, assets, or property is considered financial exploitation. This can include forging the patient’s signature to cash checks, abuse of Power of Attorney rights, using coercion to access funds, or stealing cash from the elderly person.
- Neglect and Abandonment – This type of abuse occurs when the nursing home staff fails to fulfill their responsibilities, and as a result the patient suffers harm. Neglect and abandonment includes not providing a patient with the basic necessities of life, including food, water, clothing, a clean and safe living environment, personal hygiene, and comfort.
- Physical Abuse – When deliberate application of physical for is used and injury, pain, or impairment results, this is considered physical abuse. Types of physical abuse can include hitting, striking with an object or without, slapping, pushing, punching, pinching, tripping, kicking, and burning. Injuries that result from this type of abuse can be particularly serious since elderly people are particularly susceptible to injury.
- Sexual Abuse – When non-consensual sexual acts are committed on an elderly resident, the person who commits the acts can be held liable for sexual abuse. This can include coerced nudity, exposure, sexually explicit photography, delivering unwanted pornographic material to the patient, unwanted touching, unauthorized “peeping,” and any type of sexual battery that is harmful or offensive unlawful touching.
If your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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