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Phoenix Elder Abuse Attorney

When a loved one enters a nursing home or long-term care facility, we trust that those responsible will have professional care of our loved one. Far too often, nursing homes and caregivers are guilty of abuse or neglect. When this happens in Arizona, call the passionate Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. to seek justice and compensation for your loved ones.

Today, many nursing homes are operated by mega-corporations that seem to place profits before resident care.  This is wrong and our Phoenix nursing home abuse attorneys want to help. Our loved ones have given us their very best, now it is time that they receive the very best. Contact our Phoenix personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation about your unique situation.

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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in Arizona

Nursing homes and care facilities are required to treat their elderly and incompetent adult residents with care. All too often staff permit residents to walk unattended (which can lead to falls), eat the wrong foods (which can lead to choking), or simply to walk out of the facility unnoticed (which can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, or even an accident in the case of residents suffering from dementia).

In other cases, staff may simply neglect a resident by leaving the resident unattended for hours. Residents who are sedentary may not be turned in their chair or bed, which can lead to painful ulcers (known as bed sores).  Residents may also be deprived of necessities such as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety and other essentials. In addition to neglect, nursing homes, care facilities and caregivers may also be held liable for any type of abuse inflicted on residents or patients.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone they depended on for care or protection, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.  Frequent types of abuse and injury can include:

How to Report Elder Abuse

Our Phoenix elder abuse attorneys know elder abuse may have several warning signs depending on the nature of the mistreatment. It is best to report elder abuse if you have any suspicion, erring on the side of caution. The presence of certain red flags may merit an immediate report to Adult Protective Services.

Making the Report

Making a report of elder abuse is simple and only takes a few minutes. Contact your local Adult Protective Services or call the local police department for help. The NCEA also details ways loved ones can help an elder in a potentially dangerous situation.

Elder Abuse: Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation is one of the most common ways that abusers take advantage of the older population. Often, abusers leverage mental conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s to mask the abuse. Unfortunately, senior citizens rely on their caregivers to help them manage their finances, which puts them in a vulnerable position. Instead of using an elder’s accumulated life savings to pay bills, an abuser may use the money to benefit himself or herself.

The longer financial abuse occurs, the more devastating the effect on the entire family. Financial exploitation of an elder can have serious emotional and practical side effects. An elder may run out of resources to continue long-term care, or an abuser may deplete an entire estate leaving nothing for the intended heirs. Understanding the implications and warning signs of financial abuse can help family members or loved ones intervene as soon as possible.

Examples of Financial Abuse

Financial abuse of an elder can be difficult to detect. Unfortunately, many elders in long-term or assisted care facilities have comorbidities such as dementia. Erratic behavior can be a natural consequence of cognitive conditions, so some loved ones may assume that excessive spending is a side effect of the health condition. Abusers also use this to their advantage, exploiting the trust of the individual and his or her family to achieve their own ends. In some cases, financial abuse can go unnoticed for years. Knowing some common scenarios in which people may abuse elders financially can help loved ones keep a lookout.

Warning Signs of Financial Abuse

Financial abuse has many causes and the warning signs may differ by type. Some forms of financial abuse can be as simple as overcharging for services, or as complex as forging documents or amending estate plans. Loved ones should be aware of common signs of elder abuse.

The presence of any of the warning signs merits a call to the local police department or report to an Adult Protective Services agency.

Elder abuse is a serious crime. The perpetrator can be civilly as well as criminally liable for the damages he or she causes. A Phoenix elder abuse attorney can help you understand your legal options and provide information about your next steps. If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or financial exploitation, you may be able to file a claim for damages. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen in Phoenix today to schedule your free case review.

Statistics of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is an unfortunately common occurrence. The abuse of an elder may involve matters of physical, emotions, or sexual harm, as well as exploitation and abandonment. An elder can suffer abuse at the hands of a family member, spouse, or staff at a nursing home or an assisted living facility. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that 10% of Americans over the age of 60 have endured some kind of abuse, and 5 million adults in the same age group suffer the effects of elder abuse each year. In one study, authors estimate that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse get reported to the authorities, so the problem may be far more widespread than represented in the literature.  With this in mind, Comparitech author Paul Biscpaul set out to uncover the true scale of the issue by analyzing and extrapolating government reports and registries by state.

Who is Most at Risk for Elder Abuse?

Both male and female elders are vulnerable to abuse. Home care aides commit around 15% of elder abuse, and friends and neighbors are responsible for an additional 16%.

The NCEA reports that social isolation and a condition that affects cognition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, are two factors that put elders at high risk for abuse. Some recent studies show that around half of elders who have dementia also endured neglect or abuse.

Elder abuse has detrimental effects that can seriously affect the victim’s well-being for years to come. A recent study found that elders who suffered abuse had a 300% higher risk of dying compared to those who did not experience any mistreatment. Elder financial abuse and fraud costs older Americans up to $36.5 billion annually. It is likely that the economic and health impacts of elder abuse are actually higher, as many cases go unreported.

Elder abuse is against the law. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors can use several tactics to bring those who abuse this vulnerable population to justice. Knowing how to spot signs of elder abuse and report it to proper authorities can help stop the vicious cycle.

Seek Immediate, Aggressive Representation

If you or your loved one is in immediate danger of abuse, dial 911 or call the police right away. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or you suspect abuse or neglect by a nursing home, care facility or caregiver, please also call our firm. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers.  Your loved one and his or her well-being may be dependent upon you taking immediate action.