If you think your loved one is a victim of abuse, you must establish evidence. You also have to build proof in court that the abuse took place. To do so, you need to understand both what abuse is and how you can prove it. Some types of nursing home abuse include neglect, financial exploitation, and even healthcare fraud. Here, you can learn about different types of abuse and how they might affect your loved one.
In general, women and people with disabilities get targeted the most for different types of abuse. There are many factors that may cause nursing home abuse. Those factors may be age, social stigma, job stressors, and education. Social stigma and ageism mean that some people do not view the elderly as normal. This view makes it easier to justify mistreating them.
Also, many nursing home employees are overworked. This causes them to feel stressed. They might lose their tempers more easily. Also, less educated employees may cause unintended injuries. Those injuries could have been avoided if the employee received proper training and schooling.
Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse is any unwanted or unwarranted physical contact. When it comes to homes, some employees have gotten caught punching or hitting a resident. This is considered physical abuse.
Sexual Abuse is as any unwanted sexual contact. Some forms of sexual abuse include coerced nudity, unwanted touching, and sexually explicit photography. Any type of sexual contact is illegal and unacceptable in any nursing home. It may be punishable in a court of law.
Neglect occurs any time a staff member fails to provide basic needs for a resident. Employee obligations are outlined in the contract that residents must sign. Neglect can stem from lack of care for the personal hygiene of the resident to lack of attention. Neglect and abuse go hand in hand. Where someone is neglected, in some cases, they may also face abuse and not even know it.
Financial Exploitation is when someone takes advantage of another’s financial state. This can be anything from forging signatures, stealing money, or even healthcare/insurance fraud. There are many signs of financial abuse you may want to watch for. They include unexplained changes in finances and phony account activity. Also consider large withdrawals from accounts, and any changes to a Will or title.
There are many warning signs of abuse which include:
- Bedsores (on ankles, heels, tailbone, spine, elbows, hips, etc.).
- Emotional withdrawals.
- Silence around nursing home staff.
- Sudden and unexplained financial problems.
- Unexplained bruises.
- Obvious physical discomfort.
- Changes in behavior.
- Unexplained injuries.
- Improper hygiene.
- Weight loss.
To prove that one or more of these types of abuse have occurred, there are a few things you must do. For starters, you must try to remove your loved one from the nursing home as soon as possible. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused, the nursing home is a dangerous environment for them. Your loved one should not have to stay there and interact with their abuser. This could lead to more abuse and repeated emotional trauma for your loved one.
After you remove your loved one from the home, you must then report the abuse to someone. You might report it to the head of the nursing home, the police, or an attorney. All of these entities should know about the abuse. As the case moves forward, these people will become more and more involved.
Once you report abuse, make sure to gather evidence to help prove your case. This evidence can be pictures of injuries, journals, and medical documents. Sit down with your loved one and document every incident as best as you can. This will be a big help if the case goes to court.
To prove any type of abuse, you must first gather evidence. This evidence can be a useful tool in court. Look out for any signs of abuse when visiting your loved one so you can stop any more harm that could come to them. Once you determine that your loved one is the victim of neglect or abuse, remove them from the home. Also make sure to report the wrongdoing.
At Ruane Attorneys, we believe that it is a good idea to consult with an attorney if your loved one got abused. Many times, families are not prepared to deal with a personal injury case on their own. Even if you don’t know if you want to file a claim, contacting a lawyer can help. A lawyer can answer your family’s questions. They can also advise you on the next steps to take.
If your family wants to hire a lawyer, we can help. Contact us for a referral. We can help you find a qualified and supportive lawyer to take on your loved one’s case. Don’t go through the process of gathering evidence and filing a claim on your own. Get the help of someone who has been there. A lawyer can help you sort through types of abuse. They can make the whole process easier.