How an attorney helps victims of elder abuse take action

More than 2 million cases of elder abuse are reported each year — a number that is suspected to be vastly underrepresented. If you suspect that a parent or elderly loved one may be subjected to abuse or neglect from nursing home caregivers, it’s important to take action.

An attorney can help bring claims against the nursing home, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Read on to learn more about the help a lawyer can provide.

Gathering evidence

Symptoms of elder abuse can often be confused with symptoms of dementia. The psychological impact of emotional abuse may result in behavior that looks like dementia, such as rocking, sucking or talking to themselves.

A lawyer can help these adults take action by gathering legal evidence, such as:

  • 911 tapes or other phone call records
  • Visitor logs
  • The criminal background of a caregiver
  • Other arrest or negligence reports of the home
  • Professional opinions of medical examiners, handwriting analysts, forensic professionals and more

The attorney will also help you gather other types of evidence that may be used in court, such as medical records, credit card statements, wills, witnesses, videos/phones and more.

Checking regulations

States and municipalities, counties and the federal Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987 established specific industry standards that nursing homes must meet in order to foster a safe living environment for residents. Nursing homes that fail to reasonably provide the care for residents and facilities that is required may be sued for abuse or neglect.

On the adult’s behalf

Some elderly victims of abuse do not speak up because they are prevented from doing so, embarrassed, physically or mentally unable or too confused to understand the gravity of what’s happening. An attorney can stand up on behalf of these victims and fight for the justice they deserve.

If you believe that a parent or an elderly loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect by a caregiver, organization, medical professional or a friend/family member, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the steps you can take to secure the adult’s rights and seek justice for what has happened.