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Signs that an Elderly Person is Being Abused or Neglected

If someone you care about is living in nursing home or assisted living facility in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, it is a good idea to visit as often as possible. Sometimes elderly people who are being abused are afraid to say anything because of fear of reprisals. Others may be unable to articulate the problem, for example a person whose speech has been impaired by a stroke or who suffers from dementia. By dropping in unannounced from time to time, you can be alert for signs that something is amiss. Here are some things to look for:

Signs of possible neglect:

  • Observable weight loss
  • Severe thirst
  • Sunken appearance
  • Bed sores

Signs of possible physical abuse:

  • Bruises or marks on the arms or neck
  • Welts or rope marks on the ankles or wrists
  • Unexplained or repeated injuries
  • Staff blows off questions about injuries
  • Facility doesn’t take patient to the same ER for repeated injuries

Signs of possible sexual abuse:

  • Vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Bruises on breasts
  • Ripped or bloodstained underwear
  • Vaginal infection or venereal disease

Signs of possible emotional abuse:

  • Patient appears suspicious or fearful
  • Patient or staff is evasive when questioned
  • Patient avoids social contact
  • Patient is withdrawn and uncommunicative
  • Staff reports chronic illness or psychological problems

Signs of possible financial abuse:

  • Person living beneath his or her known means
  • Frequent or large bank account withdrawals or ATM use
  • Changing of bank accounts or investment accounts
  • Signatures on checks different from accountholder’s signature

By remaining alert to these signs that all may not be well, you can investigate if or when these red flags alert you to potential abuse and take appropriate steps to put a stop to it, find a more appropriate placement, and when necessary, bring criminal and civil charges against those who have violated their professional responsibility to provide safe care for your elderly family member.

How a Phoenix, Arizona nursing home abuse lawyer can help

The Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Wattel and York have been protecting the rights of Arizona’s elderly in care situations for years. The supposed caregivers who abuse the very people they have been charged with caring for have not only violated the law, they have violated all standards of human decency, by causing harm to those who are too old and weak to fight back. The abused and their families need to hold the abusers accountable for the harm they’ve caused. They are entitled to a monetary recovery for the care that they were owed and didn’t receive, and for the pain and suffering they endured.

That’s where we come in. We are deeply committed to justice for people of all ages, and we are ready to put our years of experience to work for you and your family.

Give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.  If you can’t come to us, we’ll be happy to come to you.

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Disclaimer: David Wattel and Michael York are licensed attorneys in Arizona only. Washington cases are handled in the firm's Washington office only, by lawyers admitted to practice in Washington.

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