Elder care abuse and neglect are serious concerns with significant legal implications.  While the scenarios that may cause of contribute to neglect or abuse within a nursing or care home are incredibly broad, the most common issues concern falls, use of restraints, resident on resident abuse and failure to coordinate needed medical care and services both at the facility and deciding when a resident needs to be transported to a doctor, hospital or other health care provider. Many jurisdictions have mandatory reporting laws that require certain professionals (such as healthcare workers, social workers, and law enforcement) to report suspected elder abuse. Failing to report abuse may result in legal consequences. Adult Protective Services agencies exist in many places to investigate reports of elder abuse and neglect. These agencies may intervene to protect the elderly person and can work with law enforcement to ensure the safety of the individual. Additionally, residents in nursing home and health care facilities may be the unfortunate victims of financial exploitation including the stealing of assets. Financial exploitation of the elderly may involve theft, fraud, or coercion. Legal actions may include criminal charges and civil suits to recover stolen assets.

Residents who are victimized may seek monetary damages and may file civil lawsuits against individuals or institutions responsible for the abuse or neglect. Many need the assistance of a trusted family member or friend to assist. Moreover, in those tragic instances where elder abuse or neglect leads to the death of the individual, a wrongful death lawsuit may be pursued by the family or estate of the deceased for the benefit of the surviving next of kin. The subject of these claims or lawsuits may include nursing homes, caregivers, health care providers working at the facility or other parties.

It’s crucial for individuals, caregivers, and family members to be aware of the signs of elder abuse and neglect and to take prompt action if they suspect mistreatment. Reporting suspicions to the appropriate authorities can help protect vulnerable individuals and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.