Denver Elder Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
Nursing Home Abuse in Colorado
When we entrust an elderly loved one to a nursing home, long-term residential facility, or caregiver, we expect that they will receive nothing short of the highest level of treatment, respect, and care. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect are incredibly common in the United States. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in six seniors 60 years and older was subjected to some type of abuse or neglect in community settings, such as nursing homes and similar facilities, in 2020. Even more shocking, two out of three long-term care facilities and nursing home staff reported committing abuse in the same year.
If you or someone you love has suffered elder abuse or neglect at the hands of a trusted caregiver, family member, medical provider, or someone else, turn to Boesen Law. Our Denver elder abuse and neglect attorneys have decades of experience representing the rights of vulnerable individuals, including seniors who have been subjected to horrifying acts of abuse and neglect. We have a proven track record of holding liable parties accountable and recovering the justice our clients deserve.
If you suspect that you or your elderly loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect, contact Boesen Law now at (303) 327-9988 for a free, in-person consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
“Nursing home abuse” is a term used to refer to the mistreatment of elderly residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. However, elder abuse and neglect can take place in all types of settings and be perpetuated by all types of people, from caregivers to nursing home doctors to fellow residents and even family members.
There are several different types of nursing home abuse, including:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse includes any harmful and/or unwanted physical contact, such as hitting, pinching, slapping, pushing, forcefully grabbing, kicking, or punching. Physical abuse also includes physically restraining someone with straps, ties, sedatives, or other methods.
- Neglect: Neglect is a type of abuse in which the perpetrator fails to provide for the victim’s basic physical needs. Examples of nursing home neglect include failing to provide adequate nutrition/hydration, failing to provide medications, and failing to care for residents’ hygiene.
- Mental Abuse: Mental abuse (also known as emotional abuse) includes things like yelling at, belittling, insulting, or threatening an elderly individual. Isolating residents from others, as well as controlling a resident’s activities against their will also constitutes mental abuse.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes any type of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact, such as touching or groping. Sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment are also considered sexual abuse.
- Financial Abuse: Financial nursing home abuse involves taking advantage of or stealing from an elderly individual for the purpose of financial gain. Examples of financial abuse include changing a resident’s will or power of attorney and withdrawing funds without authorization.
- Abandonment: Sometimes, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will kick residents out or otherwise abandon them. Leaving elderly individuals alone, at home or in a care facility, without assistance could also constitute elder abandonment.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of any type of nursing home abuse or neglect, know that you deserve justice. You could be entitled to financial compensation for resulting medical expenses, ongoing and future care, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, distress, and other damages. Reach out to our nursing home abuse attorneys in Denver to learn more during a free and confidential consultation.
Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect
It isn’t always easy to recognize the signs of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. However, it is important that residents and family members alike know what to look for so that they can take immediate action to put a stop to the abuse. Remember, elderly individuals may not always be able to speak up for themselves; it is incredibly important that family members, friends, and loved ones know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Just as there are many types of nursing home abuse, there are also many signs that abuse is occurring. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, cuts, scrapes, or scratches
- Falls and fall-related injuries, including broken bones and head injuries
- Untreated infections, such as bedsores, pneumonia, and sepsis
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior, such as increased crying, irritation, or mood swings
- New or worsened mental health issues, including depression and anxiety
- Complaints of groping or sexual advances by staff, fellow residents, or others
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Poor overall hygiene
- Soiled or dirty clothing and/or bedsheets
- Medication errors and other issues with medical care
- Apparent fear or unwillingness to speak in a caregiver’s presence
- Staff being unwilling to let family members or loved ones be alone with a resident
- Signs of physical or chemical restraint, such as ligature marks on the wrists or ankles
- Wandering and/or elopement
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Bounced checks
- Changes to a will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive, or similar document
- Missing cash or valuables
- Unexplained resident hospitalization or death
If you notice any of these or other signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact the appropriate authorities right away.
How to Report Elder Abuse in Colorado
There are several ways to report elder abuse and/or nursing home neglect in Colorado:
- Call 911: If you believe that you, a loved one, or anyone else is in imminent danger, call 911 immediately
- Contact Local Law Enforcement: You can report suspected elder abuse or neglect to the local police by calling the non-emergency number for your area
- File a Report with Adult Protective Services (APS): To look up the reporting phone number for Colorado APS in your county, click here
- Reach Out to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman: The long-term care ombudsman program advocates for elder safety, health, welfare, and rights; click here to learn more
Note that Colorado’s mandatory reporting laws require certain individuals to report all forms of suspected elder abuse or neglect.
Under the Mandatory Reporting of Abuse Act and the Exploitation of At-Risk Elders Act, mandatory reporters include:
- Healthcare providers
- Mental health care providers
- Social workers
- Care facility staff
- Long-term care providers
- Home health and care providers
- Court-appointed guardians/conservators
- Clergy members
- Law enforcement personnel
- Financial institution staff members and personnel
These individuals are required to report any observed abuse, neglect, or exploitation of anyone 70 years or older (known as “at-risk” elders). They are also required to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an at-risk elder if they have reasonable cause to believe the individual has been abused, neglected, or exploited. Reports must be made to local law enforcement within 24 hours of observing or having reasonable cause to suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
When to Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
It is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney right away if you or someone you love has suffered injuries or harm due to nursing home abuse or neglect. At Boesen Law, our Denver elder abuse attorneys take immediate action and seek maximum compensation on behalf of victims and their families. Serious abuse and neglect can lead to catastrophic injuries or death, along with immense financial hardships resulting from unexpected medical expenses, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Our goal is to help you recover the full, fair compensation you are owed so that you can begin to heal and move forward with your life.
In Colorado, you only have two years to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Typically, this two-year filing deadline begins on the date of the alleged abuse. However, in cases involving wrongful death, the timeline begins on the date of death and, in cases in which injuries are not immediately discoverable, you may have two years from the date of discovery to sue for damages. In any case, it is always better to reach out to an experienced attorney right away. If you wait too long, you could lose your right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your damages.
Contact Boesen Law Today
Our firm is ready to stand up for you and your family. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of the elderly, as well as the families of those who tragically passed away as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. Our attorneys offer compassionate, highly personalized care, as well as aggressive advocacy in and out of the courtroom. We have the trial experience needed to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
There are no attorney fees unless we win your case. Our multilingual staff can assist you in English, Spanish or Russian, and we offer completely free and confidential consultations to all new and prospective clients.
Call (303) 327-9988 or submit an online contact form today to schedule a free, in-person consultation with one of our Denver nursing home abuse attorneys.
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