Elder Abuse

Representation for Seattle's Aging Community

As surprising as it may sound, elderly abuse is a common occurrence in Washington. As the aging population grows, more and more elderly individuals end up in nursing homes and relying on caretakers to provide for them even the simplest of daily tasks. Abuse in nursing homes can take many forms, and are often the result of negligence or misconduct. It is estimated that nearly half of all nursing homes are greatly understaffed and according to some studies, at least 30 percent of all elderly individuals have faced some type of abuse while being in the care facility. Elderly patients may suffer abuse from:

  • Malnutrition from withholding food or water
  • Medical abuse and the overdose or lack of proper medicines, causing immense suffering
  • Financial abuse from staff and family members
  • Physical abuse such as the use of restraints or slapping, hitting, pushing or pinching
  • Bed sores and ulcers from improper care and cleanliness

Signs of Elder Abuse

Often times, elderly patients are not willing to speak up about the abuse that they are receiving from family members, friends or staff. A lot of individuals are incapacitated or may be unaware that abuse is taking place; others may be suffering from Alzheimer's or another mental illness that may not provide them the capacity to remember the abuse that took place. It is important for family and friends with loved ones living in nursing homes to recognize the signs of abuse and report them immediately to authorities and speak with an attorney.

If you recognize that a loved one's bank accounts may be suddenly diminishing and that unexplained withdrawals or purchases have been made, it may be a sign that financial abuse is taking place. Physical abuse can be unexplained weight loss, thirst or actual markings on the body. It may also be a sign of physical abuse if an otherwise outwardly person begins to withdraw and cover themselves. Mental abuse may be the hardest to recognize, but many mentally abused individuals become quiet, nervous and uncommunicative.

Assisting Loved Ones

If you feel that your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect because of a caretaker or nursing facility, it is important that you contact Ward Smith, PLLC as soon as possible. With the guidance of a dedicated and trusted personal injury attorney, you may be able to receive compensation and bring the wrongful party to justice. If your loved one passed away because of neglect or abuse, you may be eligible to file for a wrongful death claim as well. Do not hesitate in contacting the firm and speaking with a Seattle personal injury attorney today!

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