Connecticut Elder Abuse on the Rise
Westport Elder Abuse and Malpractice Attorney
We all want the best for our loved ones. Most of us would give anything to give back to our parents in their old age what they have given to us growing up. Unfortunately, some families have members that do not respect the relationship with their elders, and may take advantage of them in a vulnerable condition. Elder abuse in the state of Connecticut is becoming a critical problem. In the last month alone, eight nursing homes have been fined by the Department of Public Health for injuries sustained due to caretaker negligence or lapses in care. These often criminal actions are under-reported; many of the abused, neglected, or taken-advantage of patients rely on the very people who are abusing them for their own basic necessities.
What Constitutes Elder Abuse?
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging, elder abuse is any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or a person of power over a vulnerable adult that causes harm or serious risk of harm. This definition does not include merely physical abuse. It can also include things such as neglect, exploitation, emotional abuse, or abandonment. This may include failure to provide an elder basic necessities; taking or misusing property, money or assets; inflicting mental distress through verbal or nonverbal acts; or threatening or intimidating the elder with withdrawal of care.
It is estimated that more than nine percent of seniors nationwide will be subjected to some type of elder abuse. One of the most rapidly growing areas of elder abuse is financial misappropriation—that is, the misuse of funds a caregiver has been tasked with managing for their elderly patient or family member. A recent study revealed that two-thirds of elders reported they had money stolen or had otherwise been taken advantage of.
Connecticut Elder Abuse
In recent Connecticut news, a caregiver denied necessary IV fluids to an elderly man, nurse aides negligently transferred a patient to a bed, resulting in a broken back, and another similar incident resulted in two broken leg bones in a quadriplegic man. These are just a handful of the eight incidents that have received recent media attention and required the responsible facilities to pay fines to the Department of Public Health. Some recently reported non-physical abuse included verbal abuse, threats, and intentionally inducing fear to receive money or other benefits from a vulnerable patient. Abandonment, intimidation, and withholding care are other tactics family members or caretakers may use to induce a particular result from their vulnerable loved ones.
Other incidents violate the elderly individual in even more severe ways. One incident in January involved a nursing assistant washing a resident who asked the assistant to stop. The washing continued and the patient was emotionally distressed. Physical violations like this are in addition to severe allegations of sexual abuse and any invasion of a patient’s physical privacy. These are particularly devastating and unfortunate instances that deserve attention, rectification, and punishment for those that took advantage.
What Can I Do To Protect my Loved Ones?
You are not wrong to trust a professional to do their job, or to trust your siblings to take care of your aging parents in your absence. Given the possibility of elder abuse, however, it is critical to remain involved in your loved one’s life, and make sure they understand they can trust you if they feel they are being taken advantage of. Your presence, concern, questions, and care might mean the difference between a comfortable life for your loved one and a tragic, emotional situation. These types of elder abuse can happen anywhere - at a hospital, a nursing home, or even the patient’s family home. It can be difficult if you are across the country or even just not able to be there everyday and have to rely on others to care for your loved ones in your absence.
Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law will work tirelessly for your family to maintain your loved one’s dignity during this difficult time. No one should feel taken advantage of, regardless of their physical, emotional, or mental limitations. Richard H. Raphael is a Westport, Connecticut elder abuse attorney who takes these allegations very seriously and will ensure you that he knows the right questions to ask, the right answers to give, and the right way to approach an investigation about the harms your loved one may have been exposed to. Your family’s safety, personal security, and well-being are his top priority.
If you think that your loved one is being abused and you want to know what your legal options are, please do not hesitate to contact our offices today. Mr. Raphael will work together with you to investigate the situation, remove your loved one from an abusive situation, and possibly recover monetary damages to compensate your loved one for medical expenses or emotional trauma that occurred due to the abuse. Our Connecticut elder abuse law practice has great success in bringing closure to families that have experienced elder abuse; do not hesitate to contact us with any questions today. Call 203-226-6168 for a free initial consultation.