Protecting the Elderly in Missouri from Abusive Environments
Nursing homes have a moral, spiritual, and legal obligation to care for the seniors trusted to their facility. Unfortunately, that does not help the countless seniors who have been abused emotionally, physically, sexually, and financially throughout the United States. When care facilities neglect or abuse seniors, families have the right to make the voice of their loved ones heard, to hold these organizations accountable. That’s where Peterson & Associates, P.C. can help.
Our firm has spent decades holding companies accountable for the harm they cause people in Kansas City and throughout Missouri. With power, passion, and dedication, we commit our extensive resources to protecting the elderly, helping ensure that victims of abuse receive the justice, closure, and financial support they deserve. We also make seniors safer for the future by showing nursing homes that if they won’t take care of your loved ones, we will make them answer for it in court.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
In a study conducted in 2000, 44% of 2,000 nursing home residents self-reported incidents of abuse, and 95% reported incidents of neglect. More recent studies indicate that abuse of seniors and the elderly is increasing over time. This horrific epidemic costs the nation billions in healthcare expenses every year, but even worse—abuse increases an elderly person’s odds of dying in the next two years by 300%.
Elder abuse comes in multiple forms:
- Neglect (14%)
- Physical Abuse (29%)
- Emotional Abuse (21%)
- Sexual Abuse (7%)
- Financial Abuse (7%)
Abuse is particularly prevalent among dementia patients, with a 50% rate of incidence. The New York Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case that is reported to an agency, there are 24 more that go unreported. There are millions of abused elders suffering at the hands of their caretakers in different but equally damaging ways. Our firm knows what needs to be done about this heartbreaking trend.
The Various Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Due to the infirmities and health risks involved with old age, far too many signs of abuse are dismissed as accidents, symptoms of dementia, or simply changing outlook. However, the elderly are like any other group of people—when they are being abused, there are clear red flags. If you want to keep your loved ones safe, pay attention to their physical state.
If you suspect abuse, our Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers know what to do to keep your cherished family members safe, healthy, and away from abusive or neglectful staff.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect is perhaps the broadest, most vague form of abuse, but it still has clear signs. If you see any of the following signs, consider calling Peterson & Associates, P.C. Our experience with nursing home abuse allows us to identify abuse with confidence and experience, and we will know how to act quickly and find a safe environment for your loved one.
Physical Abuse of the Elderly
Physical abuse will often be disguised as medical accidents or falls by those responsible. If you begin to see a pattern of the below signs (or even just one), seriously consider removing your loved one from a potentially abusive long-term care facility:
- Suspicious fractures/sprains
- Frequent bruising
- Cigarette/appliance burns
- Skin abrasions on wrists or ankles
- Injuries your loved one is treating him or herself
- Loss of hair or teeth from impact or pulling
- Any unexplained injuries
Psychological or Emotional Abuse
Not all markers are physically obvious. Pay attention to your loved one’s personality and behavior. It may indicate that the staff is psychologically abusive, using swearing, yelling, and insults on the residents. How do they respond to you? To staff?
The more vigilant you are, the more you’ll be able to spot troubling signs such as:
- Strained or tense relationships with loved ones
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Sudden changes in personality
- Noticeably sudden mood swings
- Does not speak openly around staff
- Noticeably withdrawn
- Depression, despair, or isolation
- Unwillingness to communicate
Financial Abuse & Exploitation
Unfortunately, financial abuse is more common than many people realize. Preying on the vulnerability of residents, abusive nursing home staffers have been known to steal the financial information of those in their care. Most of the time, seniors will not report financial abuse because the abuser is usually someone they have a close relationship with—not reporting is commonly done by victims to prevent embarrassment while protecting the abuser.
Keep an eye for these common signs:
- Unexplained loss of money or assets
- Resident’s living situation mismatches funds
- Added names on the resident’s bank card
- Sudden and frequent withdrawals
- Unexplained changes in the resident’s will
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Likely the most tragic of all nursing home abuses. In a 2000 study published by the Journal of Abuse, 70% of all sex abuse incidents occurred in a nursing home. Another study found that the older a victim was, the less likely the offender would be convicted. This particular type of abuse requires sensitivity to your loved one’s trauma while remaining dedicated to investigating the problem.
- Bruising in the inner thigh or genital area
- Extreme aversion to physical contact
- Constant fear or agitation
- Inappropriate dynamic between abuser and abused
- Sudden injury to the pelvic or groin area
- Blood-stained or damaged undergarments
- Sudden anal or genital pain (newly manifested)
Peterson & Associates, P.C. Is Here for You
We are Kansas City’s premier nursing home abuse attorneys—we help clients receive financial security after suffering unjust and severe injuries. When it comes to nursing home abuse cases, we take an aggressive stance knowing that our work improves the quality of life for our community’s most vulnerable individuals.
Thousands of clients have trusted us with their causes, claims, and livelihoods. Here’s why:
- More than $500 million collected* for clients
- Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
- Rated AV Preeminent®—the highest possible peer rating in law
- Selected for Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers® for over 15 years
If you’re looking for an attorney, but don’t believe you can afford the best, we exclusively offer contingency fee arrangements. That means our firm absorbs the cost of investigation, finding expert witnesses, and litigation—in other words, you don’t pay a cent. In fact, you only pay if we win in court. Every client deserves the best possible lawyer for their case. Our arrangement levels the playing field, so you can have top-quality representation no matter what.
You have nothing to lose—call us to share your story with us, and we can give you
professional legal guidance for free. Call 816-888-8888 today.
What Our Clients Are Saying
We are proud to establish long standing relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on offering quality, personalized, confident representation to all of our clients.
Team did a great job resolving my injury case- Daniel G.
They were instrumental in saving my life.- Kathy
I’m a witness to how wonderful they are as a law firm.- Larry
Peterson & Associates, P.C. heard me and made sure I was not taken advantage of.- Lee
I would definitely recommend Peterson & Associates- Leesa
They get the job done- Theresa
Choosing Our Team
Many people that have been injured in car accidents are unsure of where to start with a legal claim. Our team of highly trained lawyers can help to review the details of your crash and guide you through the process. Below, learn more about the attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C., their results, and contingency fees.