The state of seniors in this country is a mixed one, at best. The good news is that American seniors are more racially and ethnically diverse, better educated, and living longer than ever. The tragic news is that obesity rates among seniors is rising, more of them are divorced or otherwise alone, while Alzheimer’s rates are skyrocketing. All of these factors suggest to researchers that the need for nursing home care will more than double by 2030.
The last U.S. Census Bureau report, in 2010, revealed that the United States had more seniors than ever before: more than 40 million, or 13 percent of the population. Baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964 – were between 52 and 70 years old last year. To illustrate the massive impact of this demographic, it’s worth pointing out that one baby boomer turns 65 every 10 seconds. By 2050, experts predict seniors will number more than 98 million, or nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. If you have a loved one in any type of senior care facility and you’re concerned about their well-being, don’t hesitate to call Burg Simpson’s Denver personal injury lawyers immediately!
This increased demand for elder care, paired with tight budgets limiting the ability of states to monitor long-term care facilities adequately, makes for a perfect storm that could endanger vulnerable seniors. People in these facilities are nearing the end of their lives and are owed, at the very least, the utmost dignity and respect. Most of them are also living with multiple chronic conditions, making them particularly vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you have a family member you suspect is being abused or neglected, call a Burg Simpson Colorado personal injury lawyer at 303-792-5595 or fill out our FREE Evaluation Form before its too late!
Elder abuse can take many forms and is frequently perpetuated by caregivers and other nursing home or assisted living staff. The most frequent types of elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging, include:
- Physical abuse: Physical pain and/or injury inflicted on a senior.
- Sexual abuse: Any touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when that person is unable to understand or consent, is threatened, or forced physically.
- Emotional abuse: This can include verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, and/or intimidation.
- Confinement: Restraining and/or isolating a senior resident, aside from medical reasons.
- Passive neglect: A failure to provide an older adult with basic necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
- Willful deprivation: Denying an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physical assistance, and exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm.
- Final exploitation: The misuse or withholding of a senior’s financial resources by another.
If you have a loved one living at an assisted care facility or nursing home and you suspect any kind of abuse, call one of our Denver personal injury lawyers for help right now at 303-792-5595. Don’t wait, your consultation is free.
While few researchers can agree on the prevalence of nursing home neglect and abuse, nearly everyone agrees these cases go vastly underreported. In fact, one study suggests that only 1 out of every 14 cases actually gets reported to authorities. According to the NCOA, there are several warning signs family members should look for, such as:
- Physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment: Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and/ or burns.
- Emotional abuse: Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, or unusual depression; strained or tense relationships; frequent arguments between the caregiver and the older adult.
- Financial abuse: Sudden changes in financial situations.
- Neglect: Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and/or unusual weight loss.
- Verbal or emotional abuse: Belittling, threats, or other uses of power and control by individuals.
Call us as soon as possible at 303-792-5595 or fill out our FREE Evaluation Form here.
In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control, “67,000 paid, regulated long-term care services providers served about nine million people in the United States.” Several types of facilities provide this care, including:
- 30,200 assisted living/residential care communities.
- 15,600 nursing homes.
- 12,400 home health agencies.
- 4,800 adult day services centers.
- 4,000 hospices.
If someone you care about is in one of these facilities and appears to be abused or neglected, visit a Denver injury lawyer at Burg Simpson as soon as possible at 303-792-5595.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home negligence, there are several steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Have your personal injury lawyer send a letter to the facility in question to request that all evidence and records be preserved and immediately obtain a copy of those records. CONTACT A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY BEFORE CRITICAL RECORDS ARE LOST OR DESTROYED FOREVER. By the time you’ve realized something might be wrong, it’s possible the records kept at the facility could have been destroyed already.
- Relocate the patient to a new facility quickly. There’s nothing more important than your loved one getting the care he or she needs as soon as possible. You need to know right away whether Medicare or Medicaid are involved. Depending upon the level of care your loved one receives, there are different regulations and laws that apply to maintaining records and reporting requirements. Maintain your own records with dates and notes about the situation.
- Contact the authorities in your state and alert them to the situation. Make notes about your contact with the authorities and keep a copy of the report they provide, as well. The website eldercare.gov offers a comprehensive list of the proper authorities in each state.
- Hiring an experienced legal team is essential to investigate, gather evidence, and present the case against a nursing home. We understand nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable. We will fight for the rights of you and your loved ones.
CONTACT A DENVER INJURY ATTORNEY AT BURG SIMPSON TODAY
If you have a loved one you suspect of elder neglect or abuse, Burg Simpson can help.
The biggest mistake you can make is to try to handle this on your own. Call the personal injury lawyers in Denver for help today at 303-792-5595 and receive a free, no-obligation consultation.