If you’ve been abused or have a loved one who was the victim of elder abuse, it’s important to have an elder abuse & nursing home abuse attorney who is compassionate, aggressive and understands the eldercare system.
In the 2015-16 fiscal year, Denver police responded to 926 reports of elder abuse. Physical and financial elder abuse is all too common. Abuse may be perpetrated by a family member, a facility such as a nursing home, or an agency providing services in a private home or facility. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, it is estimated that over 3.2 million adults live in nursing homes and as many as 40% of adults will be in a nursing home at some point in their lifetime.
Call our Denver nursing home and elder abuse lawyer today for a free consultation at (303) 465-8733.
Why Choose Us?
- At our firm, we always put our clients first. They are our top focus because we care about our clients and want to ensure their families can obtain the justice they deserve.
- Our Denver elder abuse attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our deserving clients, including numerous multi-million dollar recoveries.
- Our firm is available to clients 24/7 throughout the duration of their case
What Is Considered Nursing Home or Elder Abuse?
- A failure to provide for basic needs such as food, personal care, or protection from falls.
- Physical abuse. This can be physical punishment, retaliation, over or under medicating, and physical harm from other patients.
- Psychological or emotional abuse. Humiliation, yelling, criticizing, manipulation or threatening.
- Cashing checks without permission, forging signatures, re-writing wills or powers of attorney.
It is mandatory in the state of Colorado to report elder abuse. Some types of abuse can be hard to detect and if the victim is cognitively impaired, there are additional challenges. The proper legal team will investigate to determine who is responsible for perpetrating the abuse, in addition to who is responsible for allowing it to happen.
Elderly victims are frequently too embarrassed or afraid to report abuse. Or, they may have a cognitive impairment which keeps them from being able to report it.
What Causes Nursing Home Neglect?
Many different factors can contribute to nursing home abuse, often related to understaffing and insufficient operation. Some of the most common causes of nursing home neglect include the following.
- Understaffing: A lack of adequate staff members can lead to less nursing home residents receiving the care they need. The remaining staff cannot provide a high level of care that all residents need.
- Staff burnout: Many nursing home staff members have to work long hours and are unable to process their stress in a healthy way. This may lead to mental and physical abuse of residents.
- Lack of supervision: If a supervisor is not available to oversee the operation of the nursing home, many residents can go without care for several days.
- Greed: Financial elder abuse is common among victims of nursing home neglect. Staff members may try to scam a resident out of his or her life savings or steal his or her belongings.
While these factors may contribute to this neglect, they do not excuse horrendous acts of abuse. If you or your loved one falls victim to an abusive nursing home, contact the attorneys at Jordan, Herington & Rowley as soon as possible.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
We can break down nursing home abuse into multiple types. Residents may suffer from multiple types of abuse at the hands of a staff member, and knowing the categories of abuse can help you determine if it is happening.
- Physical abuse: This type of abuse may include pushing, shoving, hitting, or committing any other act of physical violence towards a nursing home resident. This abuse may lead to severe injury and significant emotional trauma.
- Emotional abuse: A staff member may harm the self-esteem or mental well-being of an elder, taking abusive actions such as isolating him or her from friends and family, yelling and calling the resident names, and causing extreme stress and anxiety to the resident.
- Financial abuse: A staff member may attempt to steal money or possessions from a resident, as well as convince the elder to transfer cash and assets to him or her. This can lead to financial ruin and the loss of life savings.
- Sexual abuse: Residents may suffer sexual abuse at the hands of a staff member. This type of abuse can lead to significant emotional trauma and physical health consequences, including the development of sexually transmitted diseases.
Signs of Elder Abuse:
- Frequent falls
- Unexplained bruises or skin tears
- Dental problems
- Head injuries
- Pressure sores (also called bed sores)
- Unexplained physical pain
- Weight loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Body odor or dirty clothes
Victims with dementia, may have unexplained behavioral outbursts or refuse medications or meals. Unexplained weight loss, isolating themselves, and refusing personal care are all ways that someone with dementia may be showing signs of abuse.
Elder abuse is devastating and can be deadly. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elders who experienced even modest abuse, had a risk of death three times that of elders who had not been abused.
State and federal laws oversee elder abuse. Jordan, Herington & Rowley is experienced in navigating the unique challenges in dealing with both the state and federal regulatory agencies responsible for facility oversight. The victim or the victim’s responsible party can make a complaint regarding nursing home neglect or abuse and seek compensatory damages for the pain and anguish, medical bills, and financial damage. The abuse must stop and the people or entity responsible needs to be held accountable for what they’ve done.
How to File a Complaint Against a Nursing Facility
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse at the hands of a nursing home staff member or the facility is not providing adequate care, you have multiple legal options available to you.
First, you can file a complaint with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. You can file your complaint online, as well as over the phone, via mail, or through fax. Anyone with knowledge or concerns about a facility is eligible to file. The Department will investigate the claim and inform you of the outcome.
You may also file a lawsuit against a nursing home where the abuse occurred. This is the best option if your loved one suffered physical, financial, and emotional damages as a result of the abuse. Filing a lawsuit in Colorado civil court allows your loved one to collect compensation for his or her injuries and financially recover from these damages.
What to Do After Noticing Nursing Home & Elder Abuse
If you believe your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to take steps as soon as possible to get your loved one to safety. Abuse can have lifelong and sometimes life-threatening consequences, and taking the following actions can help you protect your loved one.
- Call 911 as soon as possible if your loved one is in immediate danger. Move your loved one away from the nursing home facility if necessary, so that his or her abuser cannot access him or her.
- Speak to your loved one about his or her experiences and what he or she would like to do next. Your loved one may not feel comfortable discussing the abuse, so remember to trust your instincts if you believe something is not okay.
- Bring your loved one to a doctor or hospital to receive medical attention, if necessary. Save all pieces of documentation from your visits for use in your future claim.
- Contact a Denver nursing home abuse attorney with experience assisting victims of nursing home abuse as soon as possible. Your lawyer will walk you through your legal options and help you determine which option is best for you.
Depending on the injury or type of abuse your loved one endured, there will be a statute of limitations, so you should not wait and risk not being able to take legal action. Abuse can be more than simply physical and does not have to result in cuts and bruises. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, sexual, and even involve neglect. The elderly are especially vulnerable to financial exploitation, ranging from theft to bank fraud.
Jordan, Herington & Rowley has a track record of recovering damages for victims of elder abuse. Nursing homes and other elder care facilities and agencies can be secretive to try to deflect liability. Other patients may be too frightened or unable to come forward. Jordan, Herington & Rowley knows how to effectively navigate those roadblocks and uncover the truth. Jordan, Herington & Rowley will aggressively pursue those responsible for failing to keep your loved one safe.