People are living longer, fuller lives. With the Baby Boomer generation growing older, the population of people over 65 is rapidly increasing. The Colorado State Demography Office projects that the number of people age 65 and older will increase by 86 percent between 2020 and 2050.
Unfortunately, as the elderly population increases, so too does the number of elderly abuse reports. The Colorado Elder Abuse Task Force expects to see abuse reports increase by 15 percent each year, including abuse that takes place in nursing homes. From physical abuse to emotional abuse to neglect, several types of abuse frequently occur in Denver nursing homes. Although these types of abuse come in different forms, each one can cause devastating harm to victims.
If your loved one was a victim of elder abuse in a nursing home in Denver or surrounding areas of Colorado, contact the experienced attorneys at the Olson Law Firm. We understand what you’re going through. Our highly skilled legal team is ready to help you take immediate steps to protect your loved one and advocate for their rights. We’ll do everything in our power to hold the responsible parties liable for their action or inaction.
For a free no-obligation case review, call Olson Law Firm or contact us online today. We are ready to help.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Different types of abuse occur all too frequently in nursing homes. Examples include:
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse is the intentional infliction of physical harm by a staff member or another resident. It can involve pushing, slapping, or kicking, for example.
- Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member intentionally causes the resident emotional pain or mental suffering. It can be done either verbally or through non-verbal actions, such as by denying a resident visitors.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is the infliction of sexual behavior upon a resident without consent.
- Neglect or abandonment – Neglect occurs when the nursing home fails to provide the necessary care and services that the resident needs for their health, safety, and welfare. Required care may include keeping the resident well-nourished, comfortable, and free from harm or injury.
- Financial exploitation – Financial exploitation involves stealing from a resident or convincing them to release their personal financial information, such as bank account information. It can also include coercing the resident to change their will, deed, or trust.
- Healthcare fraud – Healthcare fraud occurs when the nursing home charges the resident’s insurance for services the facility did not render.
- False imprisonment – False imprisonment happens when the resident is unreasonably prevented from leaving an area. It can be from their bed, room, or a part of the facility. The means of prevention can be by threat, restraint, or deprival of wheelchair or walker.
Signs of Abuse in a Denver Nursing Home
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, signs you can watch for include:
- Open sores and cuts
- Bruising, bleeding, and bandages
- Restraining marks around the mouth, throat, wrists, and ankles
- Sudden loss or gain in weight
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Torn, stained, and bloodied clothing or bedding
- Unusual odors, indication of soiling, and poor hygiene
- Change in loved one’s behavior
- Rocking back and forth and mumbling to themselves
- Recent and frequent withdrawals from bank accounts
Who Commits Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Anyone in the nursing home who has access to the residents can commit abuse, such as:
- Nursing home staff members – Abuse by nursing home staff members is becoming more frequent. The World Health Organization reported that two out of three staff members admitted to committing abuse.
- Other nursing home residents – Fellow residents can also abuse the elder. Other residents can be verbally or physically abusive. In some cases, they can also harm the victim sexually.
- Visitors – Anyone who visits the residents may gain access to their finances or property or find an opportunity to physically or verbally abuse a resident.
The Importance of Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse
It is not always easy to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse. Many cases of nursing abuse in Denver go undetected and unreported. Some residents are physically unable to communicate their abuse. Many residents are reluctant to say anything for fear of retaliation.
It is essential to be vigilant to learn to recognize when nursing home abuse may be happening. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you have resources you can turn to for help, such as Adult Protective Services and a qualified Denver nursing home abuse attorney.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you recognize the signs of elder abuse and believe that your loved one is being victimized in a nursing home, there are several immediate steps you can take to protect your family member:
- Verify your loved one’s story by getting more details. Get copies of the medical records, take photos, and, if possible, confirm the facts with other nursing home residents.
- Take the victim out of the nursing home suspected of abuse as soon as possible. Then, relocate them to a safer environment in the care of people that they trust. Call 911 if it’s a life-threatening situation.
- Report the abuse to Colorado’s Adult Protective Services. The calls are confidential, and the report of abuse will then be investigated.
- File a complaint with the Department of Public Health & Environment. That will prompt an investigation of the nursing home facility. The complaint can be made anonymously.
- Consult with a highly qualified physician and counselor who can help the elder deal with and overcome the abuse they have suffered.
- Seek the help of an experienced elder abuse attorney who understands your family’s situation. The attorney can advise your family on the best course of action for the victim’s welfare.
Contact a Denver Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
If a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse in a Denver nursing home, let our knowledgeable attorneys at the Olson Law Firm help you. We are ready to discuss your case at no cost to you. We are always available to answer your questions and can explain your legal rights and options.
Call the Olson Law Firm or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation.