New York City Elder Abuse Lawyer
When our loved ones can no longer care for themselves, we turn to nursing home facilities to provide care and keep them happy and safe. Many nursing home facilities do provide compassionate care for our nation’s elderly population – unfortunately, however, this population is vulnerable to abuse. According to the National Council on Aging, about 10% of our nation’s population over the age of 60 experiences some form of abuse each year. This means in any given year, 5 million of our nation’s elders struggle with abuse. Yet, elder abuse is also a silent problem, with nearly 92% of cases unreported.
If you suspect your loved one is experiencing elder abuse in a nursing home setting, you have legal options. Learn the signs of elder abuse and when to contact an experienced New York City elder abuse lawyer.
What Is Elder Abuse?
The National Council on Aging defines elder abuse as any offense that creates potential or actual harm to an elder physically, financially, emotionally, or mentally. There are four broad categories for elder abuse, particularly in a nursing home setting:
- Neglect is unfortunately common in nursing home settings, especially when patients are too incapacitated to advocate for themselves. The presence of painful bedsores or pressure ulcers may be a sign of elder neglect, as they can result from caregiver inattention.
- Emotional or mental abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member, or even a loved one, manipulates an elder such that they fear for their safety or the safety of others.
- False imprisonment occurs primarily in nursing homes when a staff member keeps a resident from exiting or entering certain areas of a facility by restricting his or her mobility (such as by preventing access to his or her wheelchair or cane).
Financial abuse is an increasingly common form of abuse in which a staff member or loved one coerces an elder to amend a deed or will, or simply restricts their access to cash. If you believe that your loved one is experiencing any of the aforementioned types of abuse, reach out to a compassionate NYC personal injury attorney experienced in elder abuse cases.
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
Unfortunately, some “career criminals” are skilled in disguising the symptoms of their abuse. If you suspect a loved one is experiencing elder abuse, be on the lookout for these red flags:
- Suspicious or unexplained bruising, especially those resulting from “slip and fall accidents”
- Unexplained changes in spending habits
- Avoidance of certain areas during visits, especially common areas
- Weight loss that is sudden, dramatic, and can’t be better explained by other factors
- Any concerning changes in behavior
- Fear around particular people
When to Contact a New York City Elder Abuse Attorney
If you suspect a loved one is experiencing elder abuse, take immediate action. Remove them from the setting and take them to a safe place. Contact the police and district attorney’s office and let them compile enough evidence to hold the guilty parties responsible.
You also have the legal right to pursue civil charges on top of any criminal action. A personal injury settlement won’t erase your loved one’s memories of his or her painful experience, but it can provide financial relief and a means to find a safer, better place for your loved one to stay and heal.
Elder abuse is a crime. For more information about filing a civil action against someone who committed elder abuse in New York, contact our office to arrange for a free initial consultation with a New York City elder abuse lawyer today.