People need extra care as they age. Unfortunately, they don’t always receive it, whether from family members or nursing home staff. In some cases, the situation may constitute abuse. If you suspect a loved one is being mistreated and are considering calling an attorney, the following guide will answer some of your questions.
Common Questions About Elder Abuse
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse can take several forms. They can suffer physical, emotional, financial, or even sexual abuse. In some instances, the problem arises from neglect. For instance, patients may not receive the care they require to help them clean and feed themselves.
What are the signs of elder abuse?
Like the abuse, the signs can take many forms. Patients may show physical indications, such as bruising or scarring. They may also become withdrawn and uncommunicative. In cases of neglect, they may appear unclean, unkempt, and malnourished, and they may develop bedsores from lack of attention.
Who commits elder abuse?
As any experienced elder law attorney will attest, in many cases, the abuser is someone known to the patient. Although nursing home staff are often suspected—and are sometimes at fault—they are not the sole offenders. In many cases, the culprit is either the spouse or an adult child of the patient.
What is the difference between neglect and abuse?
The difference lies in intent. Neglect is the failure to attend to the patient’s needs, while abuse is the intentional infliction of harm. The first may be passive, while the second is not. Both are considered mistreatment and can have serious—even life-threatening—consequences for a patient who relies on the care of others.
If you suspect a loved one is experiencing elder abuse or nursing home neglect, contact Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC, a firm of experienced attorneys in La Crosse, WI to discuss your concerns. We have been in business in La Crosse County for nearly 20 years and, in that time, have recovered almost $90 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. In addition to personal injury cases, we also specialize in workers compensation and social security law. Visit the website to learn more about our recoveries, or call (877) 784-1230 to schedule a consultation with an attorney.