How to Handle Veteran’s Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and nursing homes are designed to give back to the same people who sacrificed so much. To many people’s surprise, veterans don’t always receive the care they deserve when accessing the benefits they’re owed. Learning what elder abuse looks like and how to report it can help protect the people who once protected us.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is any type of abuse, verbal or physical, that is targeted at elderly populations. Elder abuse may include inflicting physical pain, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, emotional abuse, or abandonment. While elder abuse most commonly occurs in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, it can happen in other environments, too. Home caregivers can also be responsible for abusing the people they are meant to protect. Even Veterans Hospitals have had their fair share of elder abuse cases.
You may remember the Veterans Hospital scandal of 2014. This scandal consisted of a large-scale pattern of negligence when treating military veterans. Many of the things that the Veteran’s Association promised to veterans were not fulfilled to them.
The administration of numerous VA hospitals was accused of having secret waitlists. They didn’t share this list with the government, which didn’t give an accurate representation of veterans’ needs. In reviewing VA hospitals after, they found that veterans had to wait an average of 115 days to access a doctor. This led to many veterans not receiving necessary medical care.
Why Are Veterans a Common Target for Elder Abuse?
Veterans are commonly older age and seniors are often the victim of elder abuse. Both seniors and veterans are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that can be timely and expensive to treat. Additionally, many elderly residents may also have co-occurring mental health disorders, which can make it easier to minimize their care without getting caught.
Veterans may be specifically targeted because of their access to government benefits. They may find themselves the target of financial or exploitation scandals as organizations or scammers try to target funds from the larger healthcare systems.
Where to Report Veteran’s Elder Abuse
If you believe that someone is the victim of Veteran elder abuse, it’s important to report it as soon as possible. Not only are you in a position to help someone in need, but reporting elder abuse can lead to system changes that benefit both veterans and seniors.
There are a few places where you can report veteran abuse, including:
- National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA): Report suspicions of elder abuse to the NCEA at 1-855-500-3537.
- Adult Protective Services: Report suspicions of elder abuse to the New Jersey Adult Protective Services at 1-888-426-9243. There are also different phone numbers based on county.
- Area Agency on Aging: Report veteran elder abuse to the Area Agency on Aging at 1-609-943-4023.
- New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman: Report veteran’s elder abuse at a long-term facility by calling 1-609-633-6251.
If your loved one was the victim of elderly abuse, you may have additional compensation and legal options available. While the above agencies can take action to protect your loved one and other veterans from further abuse, you may also be able to recover some of your damages through a lawsuit.
Contact an Asbury Park Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Asbury Park, Vineland, Hammonton, and Perth Amboy. Call (732) 877-1975 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.