Elder Abuse – Know the Signs
April 22, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
Nursing Home Lawyer
If you are concerned that an elderly loved one may be experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation while living in a long-term care facility, it is important to speak with a nursing home lawyer about your suspicions. All too often, even those older Americans who are ordinarily fully capable of advocating for themselves are compelled to remain silent in the wake of experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation. As a result, the responsibility of standing up for their rights falls to their loved ones.
Experienced nursing home lawyers, including those at Brown Kiely LLP, understand just how difficult it can be for even the most devoted of loved ones to speak up if they are concerned about the kind of care (or lack thereof) that elderly family members may be receiving. Why is it so difficult to speak up? One of the primary concerns that loved ones experience is the fear of accusing an individual or facility of mistreatment if none has occurred. Many types of abuse, neglect, and exploitation are very difficult to identify with certainty. As a result, it can be hard to know “for sure” whether a loved one is being mistreated. However, it remains critically important to speak up if you have concerns, as a failure to do so may result in your loved one’s continued suffering.
How to “Spot” Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation
You know your loved one best. As a result, you need to trust your gut. If something seems wrong or “off,” and there is no reasonable explanation for a shift in appearance, health status, communication, engagement, etc., chances are that you’re worried for a reason. If your loved one is suddenly withdrawn, stops calling, seems undernourished or dehydrated, develops bed sores or other markings on their body, has taken more than a single “fall,” or otherwise seems unwell (emotionally or physically), it is probably time to speak with an attorney. Similarly, if you start receiving fraud alerts related to their accounts, notice strange activity on their social media, email, bank, or nursing home accounts, you should also seek legal guidance in order to better ensure that your loved one isn’t being taken advantage of.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Know that when you consult with an attorney, this consultation process is both confidential and doesn’t obligate you to take action. Therefore, you risk nothing by voicing your concerns and exploring your options. However, by speaking with an objective legal advocate, you’ll gain the peace of mind that accompanies understanding whether your suspicions are likely well-founded or not. In order to better ensure that your elderly loved one doesn’t suffer needlessly, speak with an attorney in a confidential, no-risk setting today in order to learn more about your legal rights and options.