Nursing home abuse represents a growing behavioral epidemic across the United States, and elderly victims of abuse are among the most vulnerable and unable to fight back. They may be incapable of attending court directly, and often have difficulty – particularly in the case of patients presenting symptoms of dementia – of recalling incidents of abuse clearly, or of identifying their abusers. This can lead to profound feelings of helplessness and confusion, under the influence of which an elderly abuse victim may not permit themselves to recognize the effects of their own victimization. As a result, elderly abuse victims often undergo abuse for months, and even years, without it being noticed or stopped by any of those individuals who are supposed to be keeping an eye out for them.
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Far too often, the effects of elder abuse wind up contributing directly to the death of the abuse victim. This is not an uncommon phenomenon. As many as 1 in 3 nursing homes and other residential care facilities for the elderly experience some form of elder abuse each year, while statistics suggest that as few as 1 in 14 instances of elder abuse may wind up being officially recognized, reported, and dealt with in time.
There are different types of elder abuse which are currently recognized, across the United States, as increasing in frequency and severity. All of them are heinous acts which deserve to be taken to court, with the perpetrators made to compensate the victims and their loved ones for any related medical bills, pain and suffering, lose of spousal companionship, and wrongful death; regardless of any criminal charges, the victims and their families do not deserve to be left to fend for themselves in the face of enormous debt.
- Physical Abuse: Physical injuries inflicted upon the elderly, with care often taken to ensure that they resemble common accidental injuries, such as the effects of a fall, or a bedsore. Physical injuries often lead to complications with elderly victims, including bone fractures, infections, and untimely death; their bodies are no longer as robust as they were when they were younger.
- Financial Abuse: Many elderly individuals are sitting on their life savings, pensions, and other accumulated income meant to support them through the rest of their lives, and to subsequently be put towards expenses and passed on to their children and grandchildren. Elderly individuals statistically have high credit scores as well. They are often not in control of their own finances, and may be unaware of any problems until it is too late – making them popular targets for criminals looking to steal money, or their identities.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of elder abuse, give the law offices of Dwyer Williams Dretke, PC, a call today, or stop on by for a free consultation. Our legal team consists of experienced legal professionals who have been serving the accident and injury-related claim needs of the greater Eugene, OR region for decades. We are proud to be members of this community, and eager to go to bat for clients whose vulnerability has made them a target to the most unscrupulous and remorseless of criminals.