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AN OVERVIEW OF ELDERLY ABUSE

Americans are living longer than ever before. In fact, statistics show that older Americans will spend, on average, 14 years in retirement, enjoying economic security, leisure activities, hobbies, volunteer service, and time with friends and family. Much of this is due to improved health and economic programs such as Social Security, Medicare and pension plans. One of the responses has been a surge in nursing homes with nearly 16,000 in the U.S. today and house over a million and a half older Americans.

The Harsh Reality


Changes in the nursing home industry have created an environment existing with corruption, neglect, and abuse. More and more nursing homes provide unsatisfactor nursing home care resulting in a large increase in the incidence of elderly abuse. There are many different forms of elderly abuse, including general neglect, physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.

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Federal and State Safeguards

The Federal and State Governments have reacted to the rise of elder abuse by creating laws, rules, and regulations that have established a "Bill of Rights" for residents living in nursing homes. If a particular nursing home does not comply with federal or state regulations, they can lose their Medicare or Medicaid certificate. This deprives them of valuable money in the form of Federal reimbursements that can have serious financial repercussions. In addition, federal and state surveyors are also allowed to impose sanctions on the non-compliant nursing homes. This has kept these homes in check, but has come nowhere near the ultimate goal of completely eradicating institutional elder abuse.

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Legal Aspects of Elderly Abuse

Depending upon the particular state in which you live, there are laws such as a preemption doctrine that allow you to bring a state tort or contract claim against a nursing home or facility for violating a resident's rights. State courts often view elderly abuse law in a variety of ways--battery, criminal assault cases, rape, theft, personal injury actions, protective proceedings, fraud, and breach of duty.

State laws vary over matters like the age at which a victim is considered eligible under the law, the definition of elderly abuse, types of elderly abuse considered under the law, whether the abuse qualifies as a civil of criminal case, investigation procedures, and settlement amounts.

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Reporting Elderly Abuse

Reporting elderly abuse in nursing homes is mandatory in some states, although the requirements vary from state to state. If certain individuals or facilities do not report elderly abuse, they have failed in their duties to the resident and may be guilty of a misdemeanor offense. Certain states may also hold this party liable for damages to the injured resident.

Most states have laws that provide immunity to an individual who reports an incidence of elderly abuse in good faith. However, immunity does not apply if the report is made by the individual who committed the act.

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Statute of Limitation

Every state government has laws that dictate how long a guardian of a resident or the resident themselves may wait before the injured victim's lawsuit or claim is no longer valid. Statutes of limitation vary from state to state. Once the time period expires, there is nothing the legal system can do to assist the victim in winning compensation from the wrongdoer.

If you have been injured or victimized by a nursing home or other institution and believe that you have a claim against the nursing home staff or facility, it is extremely important that you act quickly to seek legal repressentation.

Contact our experienced legal team to make sure your elderly abuse case is still valid in the state in which you live.

 


HOMEPAGE

AN OVERVIEW OF ELDERLY ABUSE

INSTITUTIONAL ELDERLY ABUSE

GOVERNMENT ACTION AGAINST ELDERLY ABUSE

FILING A COMPLAINT

PROTECTING YOUR ELDER IN A HOME

RESIDENT RIGHTS

SAMPLE NURSING HOME COMPLAINT FORM

ELDERLY ABUSE FAQs

ELDERLY ABUSE LINKS

CONTACT AN ELDERLY ABUSE ATTORNEY

SITE MAP

Resident Rights

Visitation

Equal Access

Grievances

Married Couples

Rights and Services

Protection of Funds

Privacy

Staff Treatment

 

Links

Elderly Abuse in the News

Organizations to Assist in Elder Abuse Cases

Information on Rules, Nursing Homes, etc.


Community Based Sites

     
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