Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, Virginia
When helping an elderly friend or loved one move into a nursing home, you trust that he/she will be cared for by attentive, respectful, and competent staff members who will properly provide for all of his or her needs. Unfortunately, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that millions of cases of elder abuse and nursing home negligence have been recorded, with still more remaining unreported.
Employees at elder care facilities should be thoroughly screened, but even the best screening cannot prevent all cases of elder abuse. Families and friends of elderly individuals in nursing homes need to be vigilant in looking for signs of elder abuse, especially for those whose physical and mental difficulties make it harder for them to defend themselves.
Types of elder abuse
Physical abuse is the most easily recognized form of elder abuse because it will leave visible evidence such as unexplained bruises or other injuries. Medication errors and other improper care can also be considered physical elder abuse. Victims of medication errors may exhibit changes in behavior or complain of ineffective pain management.
Emotional abuse may not produce the visible signs that physical abuse causes, but proper supervision of employees should quickly identify emotional elder abuse. Emotional abuse involves treating residents disrespectfully, such as yelling or name-calling. Neglecting a resident’s emotional needs or interfering with social interactions can also qualify as emotional elder abuse.
Sexual elder abuse refers to any sexual contact with a resident without their consent, as well as exposing a resident to pornographic materials without prior consent.
Neglect is also considered elder abuse. Specifically, neglect means failing to properly attend to a resident’s needs, such as not bathing or feeding the resident in the appropriate way. Any circumstance in which the resident does not receive the proper level of care is neglect.
How to report elder abuse
If you have suspicions of elder abuse in a nursing home or any other institution, demand to meet with management immediately. They should quickly and thoroughly fix the problem and ensure that the proper level of service is rendered.
If management is unwilling or unable to solve the problem, take your loved one out of the facility and contact the appropriate authorities. At this point, the wisest course is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer such as those at Kalfus & Nachman.
Because not all elderly individuals are able to speak up for themselves, especially those dealing with physical or mental difficulties, any suspicion of elder abuse should be reported immediately. Do not hesitate to go over your legal options with an attorney that knows the issues surrounding elder abuse.
If you suspect elder abuse in any Virginia elder care facility, please contact Kalfus & Nachman online to schedule a consultation. Kalfus & Nachman elder abuse lawyers serve the communities of Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach.