Archive for the ‘Nursing Home Abuse’ Category

Why nursing home errors result in wrongful death

In the United States, more than 1.4 million adults older than 65 live in a nursing home, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number is predicted to rise to about 3 million by 2030 as an aging population lives longer. With the rise in an aging population, abuse against seniors, which may lead to wrongful death, is also on the rise. In fact, a recent study revealed that more than half of the claims against nursing homes nationwide involved deaths. In the case of nursing home wrongful death suits, these are lawsuits that are filed when a person died due to the actions or negligence of a nursing home and its staff. Wrongful death lawsuits are like personal injury suits, except the person who was injured is unable to sue because they died. In these situations, courts allow certain family members the opportunity to sue in place of the injured party.
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How to prevent serious nursing home injuries by taking precautions

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, nearly 600,000 Coloradans are now 65+ years old – that’s an increase of almost 47 percent from 2003. That’s the third highest rate of growth in the nation, and by 2030 the number is projected to increase by nearly 77 percent. While Colorado has a lower number of elderly residents in nursing homes than other states, at roughly 16,000 people, this number has grown by nearly 10 percent in the past decade and incidents of elder abuse are a growing concern within the state. In fact, one national study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents reported that 44 percent said they had been abused and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected.
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Just say no! How to protect seniors from financial abuse and scams

When most people hear the term “elder abuse” they usually imagine physical or emotional neglect or abuse, but in fact, financial exploitation and abuse impacts our seniors at an even greater rate. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s National Center on Elder Abuse major financial exploitation was self-reported at higher rates than self-reported rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. In fact, senior citizens are the most vulnerable to consumer fraud and financial exploitation scams. Older Americans are often targeted by scammers and fraudsters because they are seen as being accessible, generous, trusting, isolated and wealthy. According to former Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, telemarketing fraud is a $40 billion industry, with one third, or $15 billion a year, lost by seniors.

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What you need to know to stop caregiver elder abuse

In Colorado, elder abuse is a growing epidemic, and with more of our seniors choosing to spend their golden years at home, they risk becoming victims to greater abuse by family caregivers. Surprisingly, only 3.4 percent of the 65+ population live in institutional settings, such as nursing homes. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, nearly 90 percent of all abuse of the elderly is committed by family members and most often by adult children, spouses and partners who have taken on caregiver roles. Family members who abuse drugs or alcohol, have a mental or emotional illness, or who feel burdened by their caregiving responsibilities abuse at even higher rates than those who do not. The quality of life of older individuals who experience abuse is severely jeopardized, as they often experience worsened functional and financial status and progressive dependency, poor self-rated health, feelings of helplessness and loneliness, and increased psychological distress. The impact cannot be overstated, with elders who experience abuse having a 300% higher risk of death than those who have not been abused.

Of the estimated 4 million older Americans who are victims suffering physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect, experts estimate as many as 23 other cases go undetected. Sometimes elder abuse is a continuation of long-standing patterns of violence and physical, emotional or financial abuse within the family. When an older parent who is frail or who has physical or cognitive limitations moves into a family member’s home, the lifestyle adjustments and accommodations can be overwhelming, and the associated stress can lead to elder abuse. According to the American Psychological Association, when the demands of daily care for an older person are thrust onto caregivers who have not been given training or information about how to balance the needs of the older person with their own needs, they frequently experience intense frustration and anger that can lead to a range of abusive behaviors.

In addition to taking on the household chores, shopping, transportation and personal care, 37 percent of caregivers also administer medications, injections, and medical treatment. This can lead to serious injury to seniors if their medical needs are ignored or neglected. If the caregiver is also responsible for paying bills, abuse can include failure to pay bills or manage the older person’s money responsibly.

The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect offers these important warnings signs of mistreatment by a home caregiver:

  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Lack of adequate food
  • Lack of medical aids (glasses, walker, teeth, hearing aid, medications)
  • Lack of clean appropriate clothing
  • Person with dementia left unsupervised
  • Bed bound person left without care
  • Home cluttered, filthy, in disrepair, or having fire and safety hazards
  • Home without adequate facilities (stove, refrigerator, heat, cooling, working plumbing, and electricity)
  • Untreated pressure bed sores
  • Caregiver isolates elder (doesn’t let anyone into the home or speak to the elder)
  • Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, overly concerned about spending money, or uncaring
  • Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns

If you suspect that you or someone you love is the victim of elder abuse or neglect, immediately contact a dedicated Colorado elder abuse lawyer to discuss your situation and help you get the justice you deserve.

What Are You Doing to Protect Your Family From Elder Abuse?

Today, the United States has the greatest number of citizens aged 65 and older — that’s 40.3 million elderly Americans. By 2050, that number will jump to an astounding 88.5 million, with Colorado leading the way as one state with the fastest growing aging population. In fact, within the next six years Colorado is expected to see a 54 percent increase in its senior population, or 1.3 million Coloradans 65 or older. And by 2032, that number will surge by a whopping 142 percent for those over 70.
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