Our elderly loved ones mean the world to us; they deserve dignity, respect, and care. It’s hard to conceive that anyone would knowingly hurt or take advantage of this seemingly vulnerable demographic but the facts don’t lie. It is estimated that anywhere from 2-10% of adults over the age of 65 have suffered from some form of elderly abuse through mistreatment, exploitation or injury by a caregiver. This translates to 1-2 million people in the United States alone.
When we place our loved ones in a nursing home, we are entrusting that facility to provide care for them on our behalf. Whenever any form of abuse occurs within a nursing home setting it is considered nursing home neglect or abuse. Hiring an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in the Chicago area, like Micahel J. Brennan means that you and your family can rest assured knowing that their case is being handled by a professional.
Elder abuse is the abuse of a senior by a person in a position of trust (caregiver, adult child, nursing home staff, etc.). This abuse can be physical, mental, sexual, or emotional and it isn’t always obvious at first.
Images of bruised or battered individuals usually play through our minds when we think of the word ‘abuse,’ but the term actually encompasses a much broader spectrum of actions. When applied to the elderly it includes any act carried out, whether intentionally or negligently, that results in harm or serious risk of harm to that of an older adult. These acts can include:
Any form of physical mistreatment of a person that results in injury. Signs of physical abuse to watch for can include bruises, broken bones, rapid weight loss or gain, and slap or restraint marks. Other actions, such as improper dosing of medications or refusal to take injured persons for medical treatment if necessary, also fall under the category of physical abuse.
More difficult to perceive sometimes, emotional abuse can be just as traumatic as physical abuse. This type of abuse includes threatening or controlling behavior from caregivers, forced isolation, insults, and belittling. To watch for this form of abuse your loved one could exhibit unexplained agitation, non-communicative behavior, or actions that imitate dementia such as rocking, biting or sucking.
It is hard to believe that anyone would take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable in such a terrible way but this form of abuse does occur. Signs to look for would be bruising of breasts or genital area, unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, bloody underclothes, or venereal disease or genital infection.
If any individual in an elderly adult’s life steals money or valuables from them or misuses their financial assets it is considered financial exploitation of the elderly. This can include unusual account withdrawals both in amount and frequency, suspicious charges on credit cards, selling of items or assets without a person’s consent, or numerous unpaid bills.
The simple refusal to provide care necessities to elderly people who cannot provide it for themselves is considered neglect. It can include allowing one to live in unsanitary or unsafe living conditions, failure to provide proper nutrition or medications, improperly clothing one for weather conditions, or straight out desertion.
Other forms of abuse that can occur in nursing homes include healthcare fraud, where patients are duplicate billed for medical services, overmedication/under-medication, or inadequate care by staff, either in the form of not enough or not properly trained.
If you feel that your loved one is a victim of any form of elderly abuse don’t hesitate to contact an elder law attorney to share the circumstances of the concern. With over thirty years of experience serving as a personal injury lawyer in the Cook County area, we can help you, not only determine whether you have a case but educate you in the steps you can take to make sure your family member does not fall prey to continued mistreatment.
When it is estimated that only 1 out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse is actually reported, it is important to act in these situations. To protect those that are incapable of protecting themselves. Our office was established on the belief that every person has the right to the highest level of legal advice; this is especially true of our elderly loved ones. As a former state’s attorney Michael has developed a solid reputation for prompt service, aggressive representation and securing the highest possible compensation for clients. He personally handles each and every case and when it comes to the delicate nature of elderly abuse cases this can make all the difference in the world.
Whether you are looking for an elderly abuse lawyer or a nursing home neglect lawyer in or near the Orland Park area, the Michael J. Brennan Injury and Accident Lawyer offices will handle your case with respect and dignity. With offices in Chicago and Orland Park, you’ll always have an attorney nearby. We will work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice. Call (708) 460-9300 for a free consultation today.