Phoenix Adult Day Care Abuse Attorneys
At times, elders and other adults need help throughout the day that their loved ones simply cannot provide due to work and other obligations. When this is the case, the family will often choose to send their family members to an adult day care facility. These facilities are designed to provide supervision and assistance with daily tasks such as eating, personal hygiene, and taking medication.
While most people think adult day care facilities are intended strictly for the elderly, others may need the same type of supervision, such as a mentally challenged person who requires care. In Arizona, any facility offering daily activities or assisting adults over the age of 18 is considered an adult day care facility.
The types of abuse present in adult day care facilities are very similar to those found in nursing homes and residential care facilities. The most common types of abuse are:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Neglect or allowing a patient to self-neglect
Any type of abuse at any time is unacceptable and everything should be done to stop it from happening and hold responsible parties liable. Unfortunately, adults within these facilities are often embarrassed and ashamed, feeling as though the abuse was somehow their own fault. For this reason, family members of the hurt individual need to remain vigilant and be aware of the signs of abuse.
Of all the types of abuse, physical abuse has the most physical signs: bruises, marks, rashes, or cuts on the wrists or ankles, indicating restraints have been used. Any time a loved one in an adult day care facility appears to be injured, you should question what happened.
Sexual abuse can be more difficult to identify, especially because those injured are unlikely to report this type of abuse to their loved ones. Signs that abuse has occurred can include bleeding, bruises, or other marks around the genital regions, or sudden changes in behavior, particularly around the abusive staff member.
Financial abuse occurs less in adult day care facilities than it does in nursing homes, simply because large amounts of cash and/or checks may not be brought to the facility on a daily basis. But this isn’t to say it doesn’t occur at all. Family members are advised to keep an eye on their loved one’s bank account, looking for large withdrawals. If cash is given to an adult before he goes to day care and he no longer has it at the end of the day, it’s best to ask him what he purchased to ensure it was something for him personally.
When a person has been verbally abused, it can take away his dignity, something that can seem impossible to identify. But there are signs, such as depression, anxiety, or a sudden negative outlook on life. Like sexual abuse, these signs may be more prominent around the responsible staff member.
Neglect is a major issue in adult day care facilities, whether it’s self-inflicted or caused by staff members. Neglect can most often be seen through a lack of personal care or hygiene, clothing that is unsuitable for the weather (particularly when suitable clothing has been provided by family members), and sudden weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration.
After discovering that a loved one has been abused in an adult day care facility, it’s natural for family members to want to hold responsible parties liable. There may even be compensation available for any injuries suffered by the adult who’s been in someone else’s care.
Most often, the staff member that inflicted the abuse can be held liable for any injuries sustained from it. If staff members were not given proper training, were left unsupervised, or were simply permitted to inflict the abuse, the owner or manager of the adult day care facility may also be held liable.
When the abuse has been self-inflicted, the adult day care facility, its staff members, and managers or owners can still be held liable. The staff members are required to care for older adults in these facilities, even when the adult in question wants to hurt or neglect himself. When staff fails to do so, they can be held responsible.
Abuse in adult day care facilities can be traumatizing for both the adult that’s injured and his or her family members. If you’ve noticed signs of abuse on a loved one, or you witnessed the abuse yourself, call a Phoenix elder abuse lawyer at The Husband and Wife Law Team of Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (602) 267-1280. We know how hurtful this kind of abuse can be for the entire family, and we want to help you fight for your rights.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer