Many seniors across the nation are being abused by people who are responsible for their care. Because elders are physically frail, they are less able to stand up to physical abuse. They may not see or hear as well or may not think as clearly making them vulnerable to unscrupulous behavior by caregivers. Elder abuse can take many forms such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment by caregivers, financial exploitation and healthcare fraud and abuse. If your loved one is in a nursing home or care facility and you suspect that he or she is at risk from neglect or other abuse, learning how to spot the warning signs of nursing home neglect and abuse can help you decide if you need to report an issue.
Signs and symptoms of physical or sexual abuse may include unexplained injuries or an unwillingness of a caregiver to allow you to see an elder alone. If you observe a caregiver acting in a threatening, belittling or controlling manner or your family member is uncharacteristically withdrawn, these could be indications of emotional abuse. Neglect by caregivers might include weight loss or malnutrition, a decline in hygiene, untreated ailments or unsafe conditions in the facility.
Financial exploitation and healthcare fraud and abuse are similar in the fact that your family member is being ripped off. Financial exploitation might include significant withdraws from an elder’s accounts, payment for unnecessary goods or services and changes to financial documents such as additions of names to signature cards, policies or power of attorney. Duplicate billings, over or under medication, inadequate care or poorly trained staff are all possible signs of healthcare fraud and abuse.
If you see an older adult being abused or neglected, don’t hesitate to report the situation. Don’t assume that someone else will take care of it or that the person being abused is capable of getting help if he or she really needs it. The fact is that many seniors don’t report abuse. Some fear retaliation from the abuser, while others believe that if they turn in their abusers, no one else will take care of them. Because elders are among the most vulnerable citizens, they need our help to keep them safe.
Prompted by recent stories of nursing home abuse surrounding the posting of inappropriate pics and videos of elderly residents to social media platforms, some U.S. Senators are demanding answers.
Senator Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is asking the U.S. Justice Department to provide information about how aggressively it pursues elder abuse in nursing homes.
Stating that “we owe it to our nation’s elderly to ensure quality nursing home care, which the debasement of patients does not fulfill”, Grassley has asked the Justice Department to quantify the number of civil and criminal cases the agency has handled pertaining to this type of nursing home abuse within the last five years.
This follows Senator Donnelly’s, D-Ind., request for an investigation by the Senate Aging Committee and Senator Tom Carper’s, D-Del., inquiry directed at federal privacy regulators regarding the issue.
As most of the criminal charges in these cases have typically been brought by state or local prosecutors, the inquiries from the Senators hints at a more active federal role in protecting nursing home residents from abuse in the future.
Driving a car is one of the most dangerous activities we engage in on a regular basis, and reckless driving behaviors are increasing largely due to the prevalent use of smart phones to text or catch up on social media exchanges. Few of us think about the possibility of getting into a serious accident until it happens to us, or someone we love. We often take our safety for granted, but in reality, much of our safety on the roads depends on everyone exercising personal responsibility.
You may not be one of them, but you are sharing the road with distracted, intoxicated or inexperienced drivers nearly every time you journey out. Many motorists, to their horror, have observed fellow drivers busily texting or otherwise engaged while traveling along the highway, sometimes at a high rate of speed. We have probably all witnessed driving that leaves us wondering if the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
We cannot always control the driving behavior of others, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. It is important to always remember to:
Meatpacking is considered one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation resulting in worker injuries and fatalities. The frenetic speed of production requires hundreds of workers to keep up with the pace, even if it means sacrificing their safety and well-being. All sorts of accidents involving power tools, saws, knives, conveyor belts, slippery floors, falling carcasses are more likely when the priority is profit over safety.
Among the injuries meat packers suffer are knife or machinery cuts. The razor sharp tools of the trade combined with overcrowded work areas, lack of training or safety protocols can lead to workers being cut by their own knives and by other workers’ knives. It is not uncommon for workers to sever fingers or hands on machines that are improperly locked-out or inadequately guarded.
Rushed and overworked employees can also suffer crippling arm, hand and wrist injuries from repetitive motion such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis, making it difficult if not impossible to perform their jobs. These are very serious diseases that often afflict workers whose jobs require repetitive hand movement and exertion, the very job description for many in the meat packing profession.
Lifting and hoisting injuries can also wreak havoc on the bodies of workers. Back injuries can result from loading and unloading meat from trucks and from moving meat, meat racks, or meat trees along overhead rails. Sometimes workers are struck by heavy objects falling from the trucks or hangers in the process.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and lost wages. The personal injury/workers compensation Law Offices of John T. Hemminger can help. Our firm regularly represents injured workers from Iowa meatpacking plants such as Amend Packing Company, Des Moines Co., Iowa Pacific Processors Incorporated, Farmland Foods, Pine Ridge Farms, Tyson Foods, Swan Packing Incorporated, .J.B. Swift and more. Contact us today for assistance with a meat packing plant injury or workers’ compensation claim.
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