If you or a loved one has been neglected or abused while in the care of a nursing home or home health service, the Connecticut nursing home abuse lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC can help. We will assist in ending the abuse and providing aggressive yet compassionate legal representation, so that you and your family can obtain fair compensation for the injuries.
You trusted the nursing home or home healthcare service with either your own health and safety, or that of a close family member. You may not have had the time, energy, or expertise to provide the proper care yourself, and the trust that you gave to a professional healthcare organization was violated because of intentional or negligent acts, leading to injuries – possibly even death.
If you suspect that you or your loved was neglected or mistreated while being cared for by a nursing home or home health provider, consult with an experienced injury attorney. Even if you are unsure if abuse has occurred, you can talk to one of our qualified legal professionals to see if further investigation is needed.
Elder abuse is far more common than we are aware of or would like to admit. One study found that 7.6%–10% of its elderly study participants experienced abuse in the prior year. Hence, while we trust nursing homes, assisted care facilities, and home health agencies to do the right thing and provide the quality care that elders need, this is not always the case. Discovering a loved one has been neglected or abused is devastating and shocking for everyone.
There are protective services for the elderly available in all 50 states, as well as mandatory reporting laws for elder abuse in most states (including Connecticut). However an overwhelming number of cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation go undetected and untreated each year. One study estimates that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities. According to the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, for every 1 case of elder abuse known to programs and agencies, 24 went undiscovered.
Because the state’s population is rapidly growing older, the opportunities for such abuse and neglect will grow in the future:
Elder abuse and neglect is defined by the National Center on Elderly Abuse as intentional acts causing harm or creating a serious risk of harm to an elder by a caregiver or other healthcare professional who is trusted by the elder. Although no one knows for sure how many elders in the country are neglected or abused, women suffer these issues at a higher rate than men.
Abuse and neglect of the elderly takes many forms, not all of them physical. Some forms of abuse include:
Our elderly loved ones are vulnerable, especially if they are unable or unwilling to report such abuse. They may not want to report abuse themselves due to a fear of retaliation, a lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report the abuse, or an apprehension to get the abuser (who may be a family member) into trouble. In addition, signs of elder abuse may be missed by other healthcare professionals due to a lack of proper training.
Because of the many complications that may allow elder abuse to go unreported, it is important that you stay aware of the signs of potential abuse. Changes in behavior, such as unexplained nervousness and fear or a reluctance to talk, are frequent signs that abuse is occurring. In addition, more physical indicators, such as unexplained bruises or broken bones, bed sores, and signs of malnutrition, should also raise warning flags that all may not be right with your elder’s care.
If you are worried that your loved one may be suffering from abuse, you can take steps to get a better idea if abuse or neglect is actually happening and try to prevent it if it is. You could visit more often and at different times and days, which may catch the abusing party off guard. Also, stay alert to unsanitary conditions or discomfort expressed by your loved one. One of the most common forms of elder abuse is simple neglect, which can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort.
The attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC can help you and your family seek compensation for the pain and suffering endured in cases involving one or more of the following:
Signs of neglect and abuse you need to look out for include sudden changes in behavior, mood swings, a refusal to take visitors, and nervous behavior. Additionally, keep an eye out for physical manifestations of abuse, including bedsores, unexplained bruises or broken bones, and significant weight loss. It is important to be able to recognize these signs quickly, and to confront the problem.
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected, contact our office right away so you can talk about what we can do to stop the abuse from continuing and obtain fair compensation for the injuries that were suffered. If you try to settle any legal issues with the individual who has harmed your loved one without the help of an elder abuse lawyer, you may receive far less compensation than the case is worth.
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC’s Connecticut nursing home abuse lawyers are committed to helping individuals and families affected by elder abuse. Call today to schedule an evaluation of your case.