Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Kansas City, MO
According to data and statistics from the 2010 Census record, there are more people over the age of 65 than ever before, and by 2050 this age segment will likely account for 20% of the entire US population. While these numbers bode well for the future and show an increase in healthy living and quality of medical care, they also coincide with an increase in elder abuse. If you or someone you care for has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact one of our experienced Kansas City, MO nursing home abuse attorneys at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet for a free case evaluation and or legal consultation, ASAP.
While there is no way of knowing exactly how many elderly individuals are abused or neglected each year, studies suggest the incidence rate is around 7.6%–10.0%. However, those close to the issue believe only one out of every fourteen cases are ever brought to the attention of the proper authorities.
Who is it doing the abusing? While a healthy majority occurs at the hands of family members, another large percentage is attributed to nursing homes and elderly care facilities. In one study of 2,000 nursing home residents, 44% said they had been abused at least once, while 95% said they had either been neglected themselves or seen another resident neglected.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
These statistics and studies are certainly alarming, and the sad truth of the matter is that most of these abused individuals don’t have a voice or platform to be heard from. Whether you live in a nursing home or have a friend or relative under the care of others, it’s important to understand the various forms and types of nursing home abuse.
Physical abuse involves physical force against an individual and usually leads to physical pain, bodily injury, impairment, or visible marks. Common forms of physical abuse include hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, shaking, kicking, beating, burning, throwing an object, or striking with an object. Other forms of physical abuse in nursing homes include force feeding, using physical restraint, and any other forms of physical punishment. The signs and symptoms of physical abuse include bleeding, scratch marks, bruises, scabs, discoloration, swelling, broken bones, open wounds, and more.
Sexual abuse involves any non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly individual. Types of sexual abuse include unwanted touching, sodomy, sexual assault, rape, coerced nudity, and exposure to sexually explicit materials. Signs and symptoms include bruising or bleeding around the breast, anal, or genital area, torn or stained undergarments, genital infections or venereal diseases, and firsthand reports of sexual abuse.
Financial abuse among the elderly is quite common and includes any illegal or improper use of a person’s assets, funds, or property without consent. Types of financial abuse include cashing checks, withdrawing money from savings accounts, coercing an elderly individual into signing documents, forging signatures, and abusing power of attorney or guardianship responsibilities. Telltale signs of financial abuse include sudden changes in bank account or banking activity, the addition of foreign names to an elder’s bank card, unauthorized withdrawals of funds, unexplained money transfers, and more.
Neglect is a form of abuse that occurs when a caretaker fails to fulfill obligations and duties. Other types and acts of neglect include refusing to provide necessities like food, water, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene, medication, security, and comfort. Signs and symptoms include malnutrition, dehydration, bed sores, poor hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, and more.
Wrongful death describes a situation where a person dies as the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, many people depend on nursing homes or long-term care facilities to provide for their loved ones’ medical needs with diligence, trustworthiness, and dependability. Thus, when a loved one has died unexpectedly in a nursing home, we must question whether the facility or one of its employees is responsible.
Because those in nursing homes are nearing the end of their lives, many don’t investigate the causes of their loved ones’ deaths. However, family members and friends can usually tell if their loved one’s death was unusually sudden, unexplainable, or surrounded by vague circumstances. If a medical professional is unclear about the details of your loved one’s death or can’t answer your questions, it could be a sign of negligence.
Other Forms of Abuse
In addition to these types of abuse, other forms of nursing home abuse include abandonment, emotional or psychological injuries and abuse, and material exploitation. However, anything that puts an elderly individual at involuntarily risk can be considered abuse.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one are suffering from nursing home abuse, it’s important to take action. While the large majority of cases go unreported, the ones that are brought to light are usually dealt with. For the health and safety of you and your loved ones, contact a Kansas City, MO personal injury attorney or medical malpractice lawyer today.