The National Council on Aging* recognizes the following as forms of elder abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Do you believe that a loved one has possibly been emotionally or physically abused in a nursing home or long-term care facility? This can be a trying time for you and your family, and Palmer Law Group aims to help you through it.
It is unthinkable that those trusted with caring for our elderly loved ones can be negligent, but it happens. When Nursing Home Negligence affects your family, call Palmer Law Group, LLP.
Our attorneys advocate for the rights of older people in a nursing home and assisted living abuse and neglect cases. The award-winning legal team of Palmer Law Group is passionately committed to protecting the rights of the elderly and those who are not always able to advocate for themselves.
Did You Know?
Nursing home abuse and negligence often surprise the average person, in part because of how cruel and undeniably damaging such acts can be for the elderly patient living in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. The elderly are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This usually elicits concern, but for some individuals and entities, there is a desire to take advantage of the situation. An elderly person may be viewed as an opportunity for manipulation, abuse, or other misconduct.
The statistics are rather shocking. According to recent data reported on by the National Center for Victims of Crime:
- Elder abuse affects roughly 5 million individuals on an annual basis
- Only one out of every 24 instances of elder abuse is formally reported to authorities
- Elderly individuals who are abused are three times more likely to be hospitalized and to die prematurely compared to their peers
- More than 50 percent of nursing home staff admit to physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect of older patients
Given how often it goes unreported, it seems clear that elder abuse violators feel “safe” in committing such acts. Neglectful and abusive caregivers rely on the social isolation of their charge, and on the fact that the elderly individual’s mental state may create doubt relating to whatever accusations are levied against them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the difference between nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse?
A: Nursing home neglect and abuse are fundamentally different. Nursing home negligence occurs when the violator fails to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and in doing so, causes the victim to suffer harm.
For example, nursing home negligence may occur due to poorly trained staff who fail to check in on the patient frequently enough, or who fail to clean up after the patient enough. This can lead to serious hygiene issues that compound and lead to harm. Negligence occurs without malice or intention.
By contrast, nursing home “abuse” (a subcategory of elder abuse) involves intentional misconduct. For example, it’s not uncommon for nursing home staff to physically or sexually abuse a patient, or to manipulate a patient so as to obtain a monetary gift (financial abuse). In abuse situations, additional punitive damages may be awarded by the court if the defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious.
Q: What are some examples of nursing home negligence and abuse?
A: The following are some common examples of nursing home negligence:
- Failure to provide adequate medical assistance
- Failure to inspect condition of patient on a consistent basis
- Failure to protect the patient from third-party harm
- Failure to provide a clean, hygienic environment
- Failure to provide adequate nutrition
The following are some common examples of nursing home abuse:
- Social isolation
- Sexual assault
- Financial manipulation
- Emotional traumatization
- Physical assault
- Intentional neglect
Q: What are some symptoms of negligence and abuse?
A: Symptoms can vary wildly depending on the circumstances surrounding the abuse and the individual victim. Often, however, elderly victims of nursing home negligence and abuse display the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite
- Bed Sores
- Unexpected behavioral changes
- Emotional instability
- Hygiene issues
- And more
Given that many individuals of advanced age may develop such symptoms without any directed misconduct, and as such, it’s important to establish a clear causal link between the symptoms and the suspected misconduct.
Q: How long do I have to file a claim?
A: Under Kansas law, the statute of limitations for nursing home negligence lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident. If you wait until the deadline passes, then you may lose your right to file a claim and secure damages.
Q: Can I file a claim on behalf of an elderly family member?
A: It depends. If you are a legal guardian of the victim, then you may have legal standing to bring a claim on their behalf. This may apply if they do not have the mental capacity to bring a lawsuit on their own. In situations where the neglect or abuse led to wrongful death, then surviving family members and other dependents may litigate the claim independently.
Contact Palmer Law Group for Assistance
Nursing home cases are complex and can involve many different areas of neglect or abuse. Our elderly loved ones can be at risk of physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and/or neglect from caregivers and medical personnel in care facilities. Whatever your nursing home needs or questions are, the attorneys at the Palmer Law Group in Topeka will provide you with a free consultation to help you through your elder abuse case.
If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a Kansas nursing home or extended care facility, then contact Palmer Law Group. Our team of experienced lawyers will represent you and your family with compassion, integrity, and passion.
Call them today at 888-732-2114.