The decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home is a difficult, emotional decision that families hope they never have to make. In some situations, the family may have the option to enroll a loved one in an adult day care facility. However, family members need to take the same care in choosing an adult day care facility as they would with a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Several different types of elder abuse can occur at adult day care centers. Those types of abuse include slapping, punching, pushing, pinching, scratching, name-calling (or humiliation), yelling (or intimidation), engaging in non-consensual sexual contact, forcing isolation from the rest of the group and neglecting to tend to a patient’s basic needs. If your loved one suffered harm due to this type of misconduct, you should contact an adult daycare neglect attorney immediately.
If you suspect that your loved one has been harmed in such a facility, get help from Marks & Harrison without delay. As one of the oldest and largest personal injury law firms in Virginia, we have the resources it takes to protect your loved one and pursue all compensation that you deserve. Call or reach us online today to schedule a free consultation through our office in Richmond or any one of our nine other offices located throughout the state.
What Are Adult Day Care Centers?
The purpose of an adult day care center is to provide care as well as companionship for adults who need supervision or assistance during the day. An adult day care can also help encourage socialization and improve self-esteem. This kind of program provides relief for caregivers or family members who need to attend to other matters during the day such as going to work. The ultimate goal is to keep relatives from being institutionalized while providing an alternative for care.
Two main types of adult day care facilities can be found in Virginia: Ones that focuses primarily on providing health care services, and ones that provide social services such as meals, recreation and social activities. Services that Virginia adult day care centers typically offer include:
- Medication management
- Medical care
- Physical therapy
- Health screening
- Evening care
Common Types of Adult Day Care Abuse
Unfortunately, an elderly patient can face a variety of different types of abuse in an adult day care facility. The risks are often the same as what they would face in a nursing home or assisted living facility. If you enroll your loved one in an adult day care facility, you should be aware of these types of abuse, including:
- Physical abuse – This type of abuse can involve punching, striking, restraining, biting, slapping, shoving or the use of an object to cause injury.
- Sexual abuse – An inappropriate or unwanted gesture can be considered sexual abuse. It can also be oral intercourse or full sexual intercourse, or it can involve forcing a resident to view pornographic images.
- Psychological/emotional abuse – This abuse can occur when a staff member or fellow patient uses words to invoke fear, mental trauma and distress. It can involve repetitive name calling, isolation, insults or exertion of control over a patient by restricting access to items the patient needs.
- Health care abuse – This abuse occurs when a health care provider or facility commits fraud against a person. It can include billing a patient twice for the same medical device or service or over- or under-medicating a patient.
- Financial abuse – Staff members may ask elderly patients for money or trick them into signing checks or giving them access to their bank accounts. It can also involve forgery, theft, misuse of power of attorney or refusing to allow the patient access to their funds.
Signs of Adult Day Care Neglect
You should watch for potential signs of abuse and neglect in your family members who are enrolled in an adult day care facility. Many victims cannot convey that they are being abused. You should look for signs that include:
- Physical abuse – Broken bones, bruises, lacerations, sprains, open wounds, unexplained cuts, burns, internal injuries, evidence of being restrained, broken eyeglasses, too little or too much medication and dislocation.
- Sexual abuse – Bleeding from the vagina or anus, unexplained sexually transmitted disease, stained or bloody underwear, genital bruising or unexplained genital infections.
- Psychological/emotional abuse – Your loved one may become emotionally upset, agitated, unresponsive or withdrawn, or he or she may other demonstrate unusual behavior.
- Financial abuse – Changes in a bank account, large sums withdrawn, use of the person’s ATM card without permission, changes to important legal documents like a will, transfer of assets to someone who is not in the family, forged signatures on financial transactions or titles or disappearance of your family member’s possessions or funds.
- Neglect – You may notice that your loved one suffers from malnutrition or dehydration because the facility is failing to provide adequate food and water during the course of the day.
What To Do If You Suspect Adult Day Care Neglect or Abuse?
If you suspect that your loved one was or is being neglected or abused in an adult day care facility, you need to report it. In the event of an emergency, call the police first. If your family member is in imminent danger, you should call 911 with the information and location of the adult day care facility. Next, you need to report it to the proper authorities, which includes your local Department of Social Services or Adult Protective Services in Virginia (APS), which offers protective services to defend and safeguard adults from neglect, abuse and exploitation. You can report suspected abuse to APS 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How Can a Virginia Adult Day Care Neglect Attorney Help You?
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, he or she may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, future medical costs, pain and suffering and potentially punitive damages. Insurance companies for an adult day care won’t just hand over a check. So, you need a Virginia adult day care neglect attorney on your side who will fight for the compensation your family member deserves. Contact our skilled team of adult day care neglect attorneys at Marks & Harrison today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your rights and options.