How to Prove Elder Abuse in Kansas City
Posted in Elder Abuse on November 13, 2018
Elder abuse is a sad and unfortunate reality many of our seniors face today. You may have entrusted a loved one to the hands of a senior facility and believe he or she is getting great care, physically and emotionally. After all, you believe you’ve done your homework in finding the best facility available.
What if your loved one has been abused by a facility staff person – how do you prove it and what steps do you take after you do?
If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of abuse, speak to a Kansas City elder abuse lawyer today.
Alarming Statistics Abound for Elder Abuse
The statistics of elder abuse are alarming. Of 2,000 patients surveyed, over 40% said they experienced abuse at least once, while 95% had witnessed abuse of another resident. The sad fact is much of this goes unreported. The abuse includes biting, slapping, shoving, pushing, kicking, beating, striking with an object, burning, using physical restraints, and force-feeding.
Keep a Record of Your Loved One’s Injuries
The first thing you’ll need to do is take an “inventory” of your loved one, photograph and note some of the injuries on his or her body that are apparent to the eyes. Sometimes the signs are obvious – bruising on the upper arms, an unexplained or untreated bone fracture due to a fall. State laws regulate nursing homes and elder care facilities. We expect them to adhere to general standards of care but unfortunately, not all of them do.
If you see bleeding, bruises, discoloration, swelling, open wounds, or other unexplained physical marks, these are signs of physical abuse. And while the statistics are not definitive, the Nursing Home Abuse Center says that only one out of 14 people come to the attention of the authorities. The fact that it goes widely unreported makes it difficult to say how many people are being abused.
Abusing Elder Finances
Financial abuse is also common among our elderly and can include the improper use of a person’s assets, cashing of checks and forging of signatures to legal documents, as well as unexplained banking activity. Learn more about financial elder abuse here.
Watch for Signs of Sexual Abuse
Our elderly population also faces the possibility of sexual abuse. Those signs might include bruising or bleeding around the genital area, torn or stained undergarments, or genital infections or diseases. Much of this abuse also goes unreported. Other forms of abuse include neglect, emotional and psychological injuries and abuse and abandonment.
With many people in nursing home facilities nearing the end of their lives, questions about their passing sometimes go unanswered. We expect that they were well-taken-care-of, yet sometimes there is a situation where neglect occurred, and someone at the facility may indeed be responsible for the death. This would be a wrongful death situation. If someone at the nursing home facility can’t answer your questions surrounding the death of a loved one, it might mean they were negligent, and you should seek the counsel of a Kansas City personal injury attorney.
With these issues facing some of our elderly today, how do you prove your loved one has been abused? Who’s liable in this type of situation, and how can you prove that liability and neglect in their case?
See Signs of Abuse? Contact a Skilled Lawyer
The best way to help in the defense of your loved one is to contact a reputable law firm. They will help you with litigation. This process can be complex, and you’ll need their expertise to help sort through the particulars. Your loved one may be seriously injured and require assistance. Several parties could be at fault, and a lawyer can help you sort out who is responsible. If the case goes to trial, you will need an attorney to help handle your case.
The way to make sure this doesn’t happen to our elderly population is to make people aware of the problem. Being there for our elderly can help assure their care and safety overall.