You may be familiar with some of the nursing homes and care facilities in Evansville, Indiana, and the surrounding area. Families put their trust in these nursing homes to care for their elderly loved ones. Sadly, long-term care facilities don’t always provide the safe environments that they promised.
The tragic reality is that many nursing home residents in the United States are subjected to physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm year after year. At Hensley Legal Group, we are outraged to hear reports of nursing home abuse in Indiana. If nursing home staff or management have broken the trust you placed in them by abusing or neglecting your loved one, then they must be brought to justice.
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home in Evansville, IN, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer today. Contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Hensley Legal Group to schedule a free consultation. Call us, fill out an online case review form, or start a live chat with us – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
Elder abuse should never happen. But tragically it occurs all too often, especially in nursing homes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that acts of nursing home abuse have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following statistics show how nursing home neglect and abuse has become a serious public health problem:
- Approximately 5 million seniors are abused each year
- An estimated 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse
- Around 90 percent of nursing homes in the US don’t have enough staff to provide adequate care to residents
- An estimated 50 percent of people with dementia have experienced abuse or neglect
As shocking as these statistics are, the reality is that the numbers may be much higher. Many acts of nursing home abuse go unreported, partially because seniors are often afraid to report acts of abuse to their family or authorities.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Evansville nursing home abuse attorney with Hensley Legal Group as soon as possible.
Recognizing the Signs of Evansville Nursing Home Abuse
Family members know their loved ones better than anyone else and are often the ones that will notice and report nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms, and family members need to be able to quickly identify that their loved one is being harmed. Consider the following signs of nursing home abuse
It is difficult to imagine that a nursing home staff member in Indiana or anywhere else could physically abuse a senior under his or her care. Physical acts of aggression or violence, though, are far too common.
Physical abuse toward a resident may occur once or on a regular basis. Since senior’s bodies are more fragile, even a single instance of physical abuse can result in severe health problems and hospitalization.
Acts of physical elder abuse may include:
- Overly restraining
Be alert to the following signs that your loved one is possibly being physically abused:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Sprains or dislocated joints
- Burns from cigarettes or other sources
- Tooth or hair loss
- Changes in behavior around certain staff members or residents
- Broken eyeglasses or hearing aids
- Marks on wrists from restraints
- Caregivers won’t let you see your loved one
If someone you love has been physically abused, your first priority should be to ensure that he or she receives medical attention. From there, it may be best for your loved one to stay with friends or family members until a move to a safer nursing home or long-term care facility can be arranged.
Nursing home abuse is not only physical – it can also come in the form of emotional or psychological mistreatment.
Emotional senior abuse may include:
- Verbal abuse: This type of harassment may subject a senior to name-calling, belittling, insults, threats, or bullying
- Psychological torment: This cruel form of mistreatment could occur if nursing home staff manipulate seniors by threatening or blaming them
- Isolation: Abusive caregivers may “punish” elders by leaving them alone for extended periods of time and prevent them from associating with friends and family
Psychological or emotional abuse can be harder for family members to identify since this doesn’t typically leave visible physical wounds. For this reason, families must recognize the warning signs that their loved one is being emotionally abused.
Signs to watch for include:
- Lack of eye contact
- Isolation from friends or family
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Appearing to withdraw
- Seeming depressed
- Self-neglect, lack of hygiene
- Change in behavior when certain caregivers are present
- Rocking back and forth
If you know or suspect that someone you love is suffering emotionally at the hands of a nursing home staff member, don’t hesitate to report the abuse to the authorities, Adult Protective Services, and a personal injury attorney.
This despicable type of abuse occurs when a nursing home resident is a victim of a sexual assault. It also includes a person having sexual contact with an elder who, due to dementia or other mental illness, cannot give consent.
The following may be indicators that an elderly resident has been abused sexually:
- Panic attacks
- Bruising on the pelvis or inner thigh
- Aggressive behavior
- Bleeding from the anus or genitals
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Withdrawn or depressive behavior
- Suicide attempts
If you suspect that someone you love has been a victim of sexual abuse, contact the authorities and an Evansville nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Financial exploitation is another common form of nursing home abuse. A resident who has dementia or Alzheimer’s may especially be at risk of this type of mistreatment.
Examples of financial exploitation include:
- Stealing money or possessions from a resident
- Coercing an elder into changing a power of attorney or will
- Using a senior’s credit cards
- Forging the resident’s signature on checks, receipts, or business documents
- Restricting a resident from accessing his or her own funds
- Opening a line of credit in a senior’s name
The effects of financial abuse can be devastating; seniors could lose their entire life savings at the hands of unscrupulous nursing home staff. Family members should be alert to any changes regarding their loved one’s credit cards, bank account, estate, will, and other accounts or documents.
It is against the law for nursing home staff, residents, or visitors to financially exploit a senior. If you suspect your elderly family member is being taken advantage of financially, schedule a free consultation with one of the nursing home abuse lawyers at Hensley Legal Group today.
Nursing home neglect
Nursing home neglect occurs when staff members – either intentionally or unintentionally – fail to provide a resident with his or her basic needs. Neglect can cause a senior to suffer both physically and emotionally.
The following could be signs that your loved one is being neglected:
- Rapid changes in weight
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Isolated for extended periods of time
- Medication errors
- Urinary tract infections
- Loss or lack of mobility
- Changes in mood or behavior
Families should be cautious to never dismiss a complaint of neglect from their loved ones. Nursing home neglect can cause depression, medical complications, and even death. If you believe someone you love is being neglected in a long-term care facility, a personal injury attorney with Hensley Legal Group can offer legal advice and help you recover compensation for damages.
How to Pursue Compensation For Evansville Nursing Home Abuse
If someone in your family was injured or killed due to abuse or neglect in Evansville or anywhere in the State of Indiana, you may be able to pursue compensation on that person’s behalf. The amount of compensation received will depend on the extent of the injuries and the type of abuse that your family member suffered.
After taking on your case, our nursing home abuse lawyers will immediately begin investigating the reports of abuse, gathering evidence, and filing a claim on behalf of your family member. Most nursing home abuse cases are settled out of court during negotiations, but if a fair settlement amount can’t be reached, our skilled legal team is ready to take your case to trial if needed.
An Evansville, Indiana, nursing home abuse attorney may help you pursue financial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Call Our Evansville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
There are state and federal laws in place to protect long-term care facility residents from physical, emotional, and financial harm. Sadly, these government regulations are not always followed and vulnerable residents may suffer as a result. If someone you love has been a victim of medical malpractice, abuse, or neglect in an Indiana nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact Hensley Legal Group today.
Our law firm has been proudly serving the residents of Indianapolis and the surrounding area for over 20 years. We care about our clients and work hard to make a difference in their lives. Our attorneys also represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing out of pocket – we only get paid if you are awarded a settlement.
All information you share with our personal injury attorneys remains completely confidential. Call us at 317-563-7150, start a live chat, or fill out the online case evaluation form to schedule your free consultation.