August 7, 2018

Wisconsin Lends Cameras to Nursing Homes to Help Identify Elder Abuse

Elder and nursing home abuse is a growing issue in Wisconsin. More families are beginning to understand how vulnerable their loved ones are to abuse, particularly if their senior loved ones face cognitive, memory, or communication limitations. It can be challenging for some seniors to express what is happening to them. Families are also beginning to realize how hard it is to catch abusers, gather evidence against them, and prevent the abuse from happening again. That is why Wisconsin authorities are stepping in. The state has piloted a program to provide families with free surveillance cameras for 30 days to record in-home caregivers suspected of neglect and abuse.

If you have a loved one either with an in-home caregiver or in a care facility, and you believe they have been harmed by neglect or abuse, contact an elder abuse lawyer from Studinski Law, LLC right away. Our legal team has years of experience representing elderly individuals injured at care facilities or in their own homes. Contact us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

Elder Abuse in Wisconsin

According to Wisconsin’s Annual Elder Abuse and Neglect Report: 2017, prepared by the Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources, there were more than 3,300 calls regarding elder neglect and abuse, specifically,

  • 1,611 regarding financial exploitation
  • 829 regarding neglect by others
  • 455 regarding emotional abuse
  • 349 regarding physical abuse
  • 40 regarding sexual abuse
  • 14 regarding unreasonable confinement/restraint
  • Four regarding treatment without consent

There were also 4,059 calls regarding self-neglect, and 1,108 calls for information only – which means there were no allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. In total, there were 8,469 calls or issues identified. These resulted in 7,361 investigated reports.

Wisconsin authorities determined harm was substantiated in 3,892 cases. Of the incident reports received and recorded, 417 were life-threatening. Of the elders at risk in life-threatening situations, 90 died. 39 of these deaths were related to the life-threatening situation, and 28 were unknown as to whether they were related.

Safe Seniors Camera Program

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (WDOJ) free camera program is known as the Safe Seniors Camera Program. The cameras are intended for Wisconsin residents who suspect an in-home caregiver of abuse. The family can obtain a covert camera to determine if their elderly loved one is being harmed in their home.

The WDOJ is providing cameras and memory cards through local law enforcement agencies. When families obtain a camera, they sign an agreement stating they will save the recordings on a daily basis and notify law enforcement if they believe a recording shows unlawful conduct. After 30 days, the family must return the camera or seek an extension.

Call an Elder Abuse Lawyer for Help

If you have any information that suggests a caregiver has harmed your elderly loved one, contact an experienced attorney from Studinski Law, LLC as soon as possible. We are highly experienced in handling elder and nursing home abuse cases. We will thoroughly investigate your loved one’s situation and how they were injured. If we find any evidence that they were harmed by an in-home caregiver or facility staff member, we will inform your loved one of their rights. They may have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. If your loved one recently passed away and you believe it was due to the abuse, we will determine whether your family can pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Contact us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a free case consultation.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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