Do you suspect that your loved one has been mistreated or neglected while
under the care of a nursing home facility in West Virginia? If so, you
should waste no time in reporting your concerns to the proper authorities.
Elder abuse is a widespread problem in the United States, partly because
the issue has been ignored time and time again. Take action today by discussing
your options with a
Charleston personal injury attorney at Preston & Salango, PLLC. With more than 40 years of collective
legal experience and millions of dollars in recoveries, we are well-equipped
to seek justice on your loved one’s behalf.
Call now to set up your
no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect
Sometimes the warning signs are obvious, but other times they are not.
In some cases, the abuse may not even be physical.
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms—including physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial
abuse and neglect—so it is important to keep an eye out for anything
Looking for Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical elder abuse involves any non-accidental use of force against
an elderly person. This may include anything from physical assault (i.e.
shoving or hitting) to the inappropriate use of restraints or confinement.
Some of the more obvious signs of abuse may include unexplained bruises
or cuts, infections, burns, dramatic changes in weight, poor hygiene or
torn clothing. Less obvious signs may include a sudden change in behavior
or a look of fear around a particular staff member.
Looking for Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can take place both verbally and non-verbally. In some
cases, ignoring an elderly person or isolating them from their friends
can be just as bad as threatening or humiliating them. The effects of
psychological abuse can be as long-lasting and damaging as physical abuse, so it is imperative
that you take action quickly. If your loved one has experienced a sudden
change in behavior or become more withdrawn, this may be a sign that they
have been emotionally abused.
Looking for Signs of Financial Abuse
One of the most common forms of elder abuse is that of a
financial nature. Senior citizens are seen as an easy target, which is why they are often
preyed upon by scammers. Whether that person is someone close to the victim
(i.e. a family member or caretaker) or an outside scam artist, there are
a number of ways that an unsuspecting senior could be taken advantage
of. A nursing home caretaker might misuse a resident’s personal
checks or credit cards, forge the victim’s signature or even steal
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in West Virginia
Whether you know or suspect that your elderly loved one has been abused,
it is imperative that you report the problem immediately. Reports of abuse
or neglect must be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources
in West Virginia through their 24-hour hotline (304) 902-4266. In some
cases, other parties must also be notified of the report—depending
on the specific nature of the abuse.
Other parties that may receive a copy of the report include:
- Local law enforcement (when serious injury or death occurs)
- Medical examiner or coroner (if the abuse resulted in death)
- Long-term care ombudsman (if the abuse occurred in a nursing home)
- Administrator of the nursing home (if the victim was a resident)
In the state of West Virginia, it is mandatory for certain parties to report
nursing home abuse. These people are known as “mandatory reporters,”
and include medical and dental professionals, mental health professionals,
religious practitioners, social workers, law enforcement officers and
employees of any nursing home or assisting living facility in the state.
These parties must report abuse immediately.
For more information about how to report nursing home abuse,
Seeking Justice for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is illegal – plain and simple. This means that
all culpable parties can expect to face criminal charges if their actions
have endangered the life of an elderly person. What you may not realize,
however, is that victims may also be entitled to damages for the economic
and non-economic losses they have experienced. Learn more about your legal
options today by discussing your case with the Charleston injury lawyers at
Preston & Salango, PLLC. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for
past clients, and we are ready to do the same for you.
You don’t pay unless we win your case!
Contact our office today to learn more.