According to the most recent National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) statistical report, national programs investigated 20,673 nursing home abuse complaints. Total yearly reports have increased since this survey was conducted, and the NCEA believes that these estimates only reflect 1 out of 14 total cases of elder abuse. Unfortunately, as these numbers reveal, our nation’s elderly are not being cared for as the law dictates they should.
The seven main categories of elder abuse are physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, sexual abuse, abandonment, and self-neglect.
Physical abuse is categorized as use of force that may result in physical pain, impairment, or injury. This is the most common type of abuse reported. Emotional abuse is more difficult to detect, since the verbal and non-verbal acts that result in anguish, pain, and distress leave no visible marks on their elderly victims. Financial exploitation is the illegal, or inappropriate, use of an elderly person’s money, property, or other assets. Neglect is the refusal, or failure, of a person to fulfill their obligations to an elderly individual. Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual sexual contact. Abandonment is when an individual who has physical custody, or an assumed responsibility for providing care for of an elderly person deserts them. Self-neglect includes any behavior on the part of an elderly person that puts their health, or life, in danger.
All of these categories (except for the last one) involve either negligence or active abuse. Both are grounds for a liability claim and hold the abuser responsible for any damages caused by their actions.
Whether the abuse consists of recurrent negligence or a single incident that causes injury, the victim has a right to damages. In most cases, the nursing home in question will not only be required to pay damages to the victim, but will also lose its certification and federal funding for failing to supply expected care. These measures ensure that past, present, and potential future victims are protected from harm and can enjoy their golden years as they were meant to, in peace and comfort.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance,call Silbowitz, Garafola, Silbowitz, Schatz & Frederick, L.L.P. at (212)-354-6800 or toll free 1-800-LAW-3369 or submit an online questionnaire. Our firm offers a free case evaluation and our dedicated team can help you understand your legal rights and obtain the compensation you are entitled to.