We love our elders, we respect them, and we owe them greatly for the ways in which they took care of us when we were growing up. So when they grow old, we desire nothing but the best for them, and if we are not able to provide loving, hands-on care ourselves, sometimes the best available option is placing them in the care of a nursing home or extended care facility. By transitioning the care to specialized professionals, we hope and believe that their state of well-being will improve. If a son or daughter is unable to provide adequate attention and day-long care to their parent, it truly is the best to seek a better alternative. In a small of percentage of cases, however, nursing homes do not live up to the expectations we set upon them. Instances of abuse or neglect do, albeit infrequently, arise, causing massive amounts of emotional distress. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have great vicarious compassion for your elders and we likewise want what is best for them.
How To Determine Abuse
Often times the hardest part of rectifying a situation of abuse is discovering and then exposing the abuse itself. In the case of the elderly, many of whom are plagued with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, or other problems affecting memory and the accurate separation of reality from fiction, taking hold of the true root of a story and recognizing it as abuse is oftentimes the hardest part. At the onset of investigation, it is the nature of the abuse that should be first determined. Historically, there are three types of abuse that are more common than others: physical, mental and financial abuse. Here are some things to look out for, that may indicate that your loved one is suffering at the hands of an abusive caretaker:
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Bumps, cuts and bruises. Check the most obvious areas first- the wrists, the arms. If you strongly suspect physical abuse, however, and these locations do not yield results, it may become necessary for you or an outside physician to check the entirety of the body.
- Has your loved one undergone dramatic and dangerous-looking weight loss? This may be a result of malnutrition or dehydration.
- In severe cases, broken bones are reported, or signs of strangulation may be visible. If something as severe as this has taken place, call the police immediately.
Signs of Mental Abuse
- Mood swings may be something to watch out for. Not just in the classical sense, where the elderly person in question aggravates quickly. Be sure to be on the lookout for the opposite as well- if certain circumstances traditionally triggered an emotional response, noticeable apathy may be a red flag.
- Unusual reticence. Many conditions suffered by aging people causes them to speak far less than they did in their younger days. But if an abrupt or dramatic decrease in talking occurs, or their speech seems otherwise strange or scattered, it may be a sign that they’ve been mentally abused.
- Sometimes, the best way to diagnose mental abuse in one individual is by observing their behavior in larger groups. Antisocial behavior, especially newfound distance or distaste between purported friends, may be caused by distrust instilled in an elderly person after a caretaker has been emotionally aggressive with them.
- Many of these symptoms could very well be ascribed to the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. However, you shouldn’t let suspicions grow too large or for too long. If you suspect foul play, it may be best to at least consult an outside opinion.
Signs of Financial Abuse
- The withholding of assets is one glaring fault perpetrated by some illegally-operating nursing homes. A care facility may insist that they’re safeguarding their patients’ money, stocks, and valuables, but failure to relinquish control of such assets at the patient’s request is unlawful.
- A facility may engage in price gouging. The inflation of rates for services may not seem obscene, but small, illegal price increases levied against each patient, multiplied over long periods of time equal large profits for such companies. If you believe that the facility your loved one belongs to is engaging in unlawful pricing practices, our skilled team of attorneys can help investigate and find out for sure.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
We at Kaplan Lawyers PC know how hard a decision to make it is, arranging for outside care for your parent or grandparent in the first place. In your heart, you know it’s a far better thing to place them in a facility where attentive, all-day care can be provided, and where, in the case of an emergency, they will be immediately tended to. However, this doesn’t shed you of the feelings of love and filial responsibility that you have. When something goes wrong, the sorrow you feel on behalf of your loved one is echoed in the guilt you feel for having not been there. That’s why it is the opinion of Kaplan Lawyers PC that those responsible for the harm should pay. By contacting us as soon as you suspect something afoul, we can begin compiling the evidence necessary in mounting a strong case, and we will start fighting for your rights immediately. Our consultations are free and easy. We can help you file the proper nursing home complaint forms and contact the proper authorities. Nothing is more important than protecting the ones you love, so reach out to us today.