Las Vegas Elder Abuse & Neglect Lawyer
In modern-day America, elder abuse is rampant. While more than 500,000 reported incidents surface every year, millions of others likely go undetected. The crime may grow especially prevalent in and around Las Vegas as retirees increasingly choose to live out their lives in the area. When someone with whom you are close is on the receiving end of such treatment, the situation hits you especially hard.
Those Dangerous Living Quarters
Although its victims want to view their homes as sanctuaries, it is in those very places that most elder abuse takes place. The perpetrators range from family members to highly paid caregivers and costly nursing facilities.
What are the warning signs of this mistreatment? How will you know it’s taking place?
Different Types of Elder Abuse
Unprincipled individuals find many ways to take advantage of older people whose increasing physical and mental frailties leave them at a loss to defend against any sort of attack. Elder abuse can take many forms. In addition to neglect and abandonment, it may consist of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment. Elderly victims have little means of fighting any of them.
Physical Elder Abuse
This type of elder cruelty entails the deliberate use of force that in addition to causing pain can lead to injury or impairment. While hitting and shoving are the most prevalent, such physical maltreatment can also consist of unwarranted confinement or the inappropriate use of drugs or restraints.
Common signs of physical abuse include:
- Damaged eyeglasses.
- Unexplained welts, scars and bruises.
- Dislocated joints and broken bones.
- Rope burns and other marks of restraint.
In an attempt to avoid detection, the guilty caretaker may try to dissuade you from seeing the victim. This alone should raise your suspicions.
If you think a loved one is the subject of elder abuse, call us immediately and speak to a lawyer who is familiar with elder abuse and the law.
Emotional Elder Abuse
The elderly person who shows no overt signs of physical harm may nevertheless be suffering in less-than-obvious ways. Some caretakers constantly ridicule their patients or threaten them with physical harm. Others may:
- Subject them to periods of extended isolation.
- Decline to make conversation or respond to requests.
- Frighten them with menacing body language.
- Refuse to acknowledge their presence.
If you happen to arrive at just the right time, you might bear witness to these abusive actions for yourself. Otherwise, you may find to your surprise that your elderly loved one has begun to rock compulsively, make sucking sounds, mumble incoherently or otherwise behave in a demented manner. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she has gone hopelessly over the edge. Such behavior may be a normal response to suffering under a prolonged siege of extreme emotional cruelty.
Sexual Elder Abuse
It may seem counterintuitive, but you might come across the occasional caregiver who enjoys subjecting elderly people to a carnal form of torment. Although this often takes the form of inappropriate touching, it may also include forcing the victim to:
- Look at pornographic images.
- Watch others engage in sex acts.
- Undress against their wishes.
- Submit to unwanted advances.
Those who suffer from such abuse may show bruising of the genitals or breasts and can sometimes exhibit anal or vaginal bleeding. A diagnosis of sexually transmitted disease is a nearly unmistakable sign.
If you see any of these signs, you need to get medical and legal help immediately.
Elder Abandonment or Neglect
At least half of all elder abuse cases consist of failure to provide the proper treatment. Some caretakers deliberately neglect their patients’ needs. Others are simply ignorant of what they should be doing. Neglect becomes abandonment when an elderly individual winds up deserted in a public place with little means of fending for himself.
Victims of this type of mistreatment are easy to spot. They often wear soiled clothing, suffer from bedsores or exhibit signs of malnutrition. Some reside without heat or hot water in cluttered homes that are in themselves tragedies waiting to happen.
What You Can Do
Although signs of elder abuse often masquerade as simple dementia or normal aging, that is not always the case. It is vital to recognize the indications for what they are. Once you have confirmed your suspicions, you’ll need to report your findings to the authorities. You should also seek legal assistance.
How the Lawyers at Weiner Law Group Can Help
The attorneys at Weiner Law Group recognize the unfortunate fact that some caretakers and nursing homes are more interested in making money than they are in serving the needs of their elderly patients. If someone close to you should suffer abuse at the hands of a person or entity to whom you’ve entrusted their care, our personal injury lawyers stand ready to assist you. We will spare no effort to recover the monetary damages to which you and your loved one are entitled as compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
Cases of elder care abuse in and around Las Vegas continue to escalate. Don’t let your caretaker or nursing facility get away with providing harmful or substandard care. For a free consultation, call Weiner Law today at 702-202-0500.