Phoenix Residential Care Facility Abuse Attorneys
Abuse in Residential Care Facilities
Residential care facilities are sometimes known as assisted living or "board and care" facilities.
Typically, these facilities do not provide any medical care, and there are fewer residents in them than one would find in memory care facilities or nursing homes. However, some residential care facilities do offer a memory unit care for patients with Alzheimer’s.
While elder abuse in residential care facilities doesn’t appear in the news as much as it does in nursing homes, it still happens. When it does, a Phoenix personal injury attorney can help family members get compensation for their loved one and any physical or emotional injuries that senior may have suffered.
Types of Abuse
Residents in residential care facilities are often able to independently groom themselves, feed themselves, and go from place to place. But they will still be interacting with facility staff members, and so, there is always the potential for abuse to take place. The most common types of abuse found in residential care facilities are:
- Physical abuse, including hitting, kicking, or pushing; use of improper restraints; denying food or drink; or forcing residents to consume certain food or drinks.
- Sexual abuse, when a staff member engages in sexual acts with a resident.
- Psychological abuse, including verbal assaults and/or threats, treating the resident like a child, or giving the "silent treatment" when the resident does not act as the staff member wants him/her to.
- Neglect, seen most often when residents are left in an unhygienic state, or when they are malnourished or dehydrated.
- Financial abuse, such as stealing money or manipulating the resident into giving staff unnecessary money.
When abuse is happening, there are signs that family members can look for. Residents in residential care facilities may have the ability to communicate this, but oftentimes, they are embarrassed or ashamed and think they are at fault, and they will not come forward about the abuse. The National Council on Aging cited a study that estimated only one in 14 abuse cases are actually reported!
Signs of Abuse
- Cuts, bruises, or other unexplained injuries
- Bedsores from being in bed for great lengths of time, or pressure sores from remaining in the same position for too long, such as in a wheelchair
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- A healthy mental or physical state that deteriorates rapidly
- Expression of fear or intimidation of certain staff members
- Sudden personality changes including depression and withdrawal from others
Seeing signs of abuse in or on a loved one can be devastating, but there are measures that can be taken so the abuse stops.
What to Do When a Loved One Is Being Abused
In some cases, reporting the abuse to the staff member’s superior is enough to get the abuse to stop. Whether the abuser is suspended or reprimanded, that abuser should never care for the victim again. In cases where the management does not believe the family and the abused, or they refuse to do something about it, the victim should be removed from the facility.
Even when a family member has to be removed from a residential facility, there is still help available. In Arizona, a complaint can be filed with the Arizona Department of Health Services. The Department has an online complaint form that can be filled out, but any residential facility should be able to provide one to anyone who asks for it.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused within his or her residential facility, contact The Husband and Wife Law Team today at (602) 267-1280. We are Breyer Law Offices, P.C., and we are the personal injury attorneys who will review your case and fight to ensure you and your loved one’s rights are protected!