Elder neglect is a common problem pursued in family court, particularly when related to nursing homes. These kinds of cases get complicated if the elderly person cannot speak or communicate any more and cannot accuse anyone of neglect. Understanding these types of cases is crucial to protecting a loved one from this danger.
What Is Elder Neglect?
Abuse can come in many different ways and the most common of these instances is in neglect. Estimates state that just about 50 percent of all elder abuse cases are neglect. This includes failing to care for an individual's condition, not giving them their medicine at the right time, or ignoring their bathroom rights and leaving them in their own waste.
In cases where the neglected individual cannot speak, it is possible to bring a case if the family suspects (and can prove) neglect is occurring. This involves spotting several different symptoms of elder neglect and showcasing them in a court setting.
Symptoms Of Elder Neglect
Before pursuing a criminal or civil case for elder neglect, families must prove that neglect occurred. Often the easiest way to do that is to point out various symptoms of elder neglect happening with the person in question. These pieces of evidence include:
- Bed sores
- Bruising, cuts, and welts
- Regular infections
- Personal injury, such as broken bones
- Emotional problems associated with the nursing home
- Reclusive nature and a refusal to eat
Possible Results Of The Case
Elder neglect cases can go one of two ways. First, the case may be pursued as a civil matter, in which a family sues the nursing home for money. For example, one case found a jury awarding $1.2 million to the family of an elderly man who was neglected and abused in a nursing home. In other instances, a criminal case will be pursued.
Criminal cases are most common when neglect can be proven by a specific person. It is impossible to take a nursing home to court, as it is not an individual. However if it can be shown that a specific person in the home committed neglect (such as a nurse who was supposed to work only with that elderly person), criminal charges may be brought to court.
Family court and criminal attorneys are an important part of this process as they can help try a case and create a prosecuting series of evidence that proves the guilt of the home or of an individual. To learn more, contact a company like Taylor Bayona Law Firm.