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August 19, 2019

How to Protect Your Loved One From Elder Abuse

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

Personal Injury Lawyer

Millions of elderly Americans suffer negligence and abuse at the hands of relatives, friends, caretakers, scam artists, people they trust, and nursing care facilities. However, less than 20% of this conduct is reported to the authorities. When elders and their loved ones have been the victims of intentional or negligent abuse, a nursing home law attorney can represent their best interests in a lawsuit.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is an act perpetrated by a caregiver or any other person on a vulnerable aging adult. The abuser acts knowingly, intentionally, or negligently, and may cause harm or a severe risk of harm to the victim. When a family member must place a loved one in an elder care facility, an assisted living facility, a rehabilitation facility, or a nursing home, they rely on the institution for personalized and professional care.

Sadly, neglect and abuse are all too commonplace. When a vulnerable loved one is taken advantage of, it can often go undiscovered. When the negligence or abuse is finally brought to light, it can be an emotionally devastating revelation.

Violating an elder’s fundamental rights can happen on different levels, including these abuses:

  • Physical 
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Financial 

If you notice any of the following signs, your loved one may be suffering neglect or abuse:

  • Abnormally pale complexion
  • Bruises, cuts, welts, wounds, or scrapes 
  • Fractures, sprains, strains
  • Bedsores, infections, skin rashes, or soiled bandages
  • Dehydration (evidenced by low urinary output, dry and sore mouth, dry and fragile skin, lack of energy, apathy, or mental confusion)
  • Malnutrition (the senior may be confused or disoriented)
  • Absence of needed eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids, wheelchairs, or walkers
  • Poor personal hygiene 
  • Unattended health problems
  • Fleas, lice, or dirt on the senior adult (or in their room)
  • Animal or insect infestations
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other important financial documents
  • Theft of money or property
  • Unexplained withdrawals in bank accounts
  • Unusual activity in bank accounts
  • Absence of heat or ventilation
  • Emotional distress (crying, despair, or depression)
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Weight loss (excessive or sudden)
  • Fear of the caregivers or nursing home staff
  • Fecal or urine odors
  • Torn clothing or broken personal items
  • Improper clothing for the weather
  • Overcharging for services or products
  • Signs of medical mismanagement
  • Empty, unmarked, or outdated prescriptions
  • Property or possessions used without permission
  • Caregivers and staff who isolate the senior from friends, relatives, and the outside world, friends or relatives

Bringing a Nursing Home or Elder Abuse Claim

A family member, close loved one, or guardian who believes abuse may be taking place can report it to the proper authorities. After that, the next best step may be to consult an attorney on behalf of the senior adult being abused. Sometimes victims are not able or willing to report the abuse. If that is the case, it can generally only be stopped when the abusers have been brought to justice.

The right nursing home law attorney can work to ensure your case is moved forward to a favorable outcome. For more information or to set up a consultation, contact an elder care abuse lawyer today.

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