Federal and state guidelines for nursing homes and elder care facilities require reasonable care to be provided for residents. The duty of care these nursing facilities are charged with include human rights of the elderly residents, which is often violated by the individuals who are supposed to care for them. These human rights violations and isolation go under or unreported that under current laws are negligent and in some cases may even be intentional actions by operators or employees. When the intentional action by the individuals charged with the elderly residents care is in the form of isolation, this constitutes a criminal action and the victim of this crime is entitled to hold them responsible in civil court and recover financial damages.
Understanding Elder Isolation
Has your family member, who is a senior citizen residing in a nursing home or care facility has suffered at the hands of their caretakers, isolation, severe emotional trauma, PTSD and depression? If so, contacting the elder abuse law firm will be a step toward protecting your loved ones legal rights. Our consultations are free, confidential and there is no obligation to learn about elderly rights and the rights your family member has to hold the negligent party responsible.
Isolation is a form of abuse and elder isolation is outlined in federal and state law, California Penal Code 15610.43. This defines elder isolation as a type of elder abuse that includes:
- Actions that are intentional, which prevent the elderly individual from receiving or making telephone calls or having contact with persons outside of the facility where they are a resident.
- This intentional act includes preventing the senior citizen from contact with their family members, relatives, and other loved ones. The preventive action can be telling the telephone caller the individual does not want to speak with them or is not available.
- If the nursing home or facility resident is prevented in some manner from speaking with friends, health care professionals, their medical doctors, clergy members, attorneys and law enforcement officials.
- If the individual is locked in a room or restrained without consent.
- If the individual is confined to a space with only basic necessities for extended amounts of time. This can also be false imprisonment under the law.
There is physical, emotional and financial elder abuse that is heard about more often, but isolation is a form of elder abuse that can occur in the senior citizen’s home, a nursing home or care facility, which cannot be overlooked.
Taking Action if You Suspect: Elder Abuse, Isolation or Confinement
When a family member suspects that their mom, dad, or charge, is a victim of confinement, defilement, debasement, or isolation, there are a few steps below that may help you devise a strategy to prove the abuse and protect the unwary senior citizen. Some of the things you can do are:
- If you suspect there is any form of elder abuse or an incident you believe is abuse, report this to the local police department that has jurisdiction over the area the nursing home or long-term care facility is located.
- Contact the state agency that oversees nursing homes and care facilities.
- Collect any evidence of the abuse, which can include pictures and records.
- Document any conversations, related to the abuse.
- Retain an elder abuse attorney to protect the senior citizen, who has been injured.
Whether living at home, in a nursing home or care facility the elderly have rights that when they suffer any form of abuse should be protected by a legal expert.
It is not unheard of for staff members and operators of nursing homes and long-term care facilities to isolate or confine elderly residents. This is a way to dominate the elderly individual and this type of treatment of an elderly person can have overwhelming physical and mental consequences for the senior. This type of treatment and the loss of socializing with family and friends can result in fear, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, suicides and death.
Filing a lawsuit against the negligent parties can be a way to help alleviate the anxiety and stress for the older adult to know that their abusers will be held responsible. This takes away the fear of being mistreated and will give the elderly resident quality of life with caretakers that hold the standard of care to the level expected by law. If you have legal questions or would like to discuss a loved one’s claim contact our law offices toll-free to schedule an appointment for a free confidential consultation at 888-400-9721.