In the older years of our life, we aren’t able to do things like we used to. Even the simple task of getting up and getting a drink of water can exhaust an elderly person. With a need for constant help, an elderly person might consider living in a nursing home where they will have around the clock care. This means our loved ones will no longer be at risk for missing their daily medication, exhausting themselves going to a fridge, and should overall have a comfortable remainder of their life.
But sadly, this is always the case. Some of the people we trust with our beloved elders might not give them the care they deserve. In fact, the statistics are horrifying to look at. When 2,000 nursing home residents were interviewed, 44 percent of them said they have been abused. To make this even worse, 95 percent had experienced neglect or seen another resident being neglected. To see these statistics and know our loved ones might not be getting cared for properly is heart-wrenching.
So what type of abuse might our elderly loved one face in a nursing home? And what are the ways we can identify it? Keep reading to find out!
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
There are five types of abuse an elderly resident might face in a nursing home. Knowing which abuse your elderly loved one suffered will help a lawyer know what type of claim to file and how much compensation should be asked for. Here are the seven types of abuse and ways to identify them.
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines physical abuse of the elderly as “Using some type of physical force on an elderly person that can be expected to cause bodily harm, ongoing impairment, or physical pain. This may include striking the individual with the hands or an object.”
This could also include beating, biting, burning, kicking, pushing, shaking, shoving or slapping the resident. Physical punishment, force-feeding the resident, use of physical restraints, and inappropriate drug usage can also fall under physical abuse.
The symptoms and signs of physical abuse are as follows:
- Broken bones
- Broken eyeglasses
- Evidence of improper medication usage
- Evidence of restraining devices
- Internal injuries or bleeding
- Open wounds
- The resident reports being mistreated or physically abused
- Refusal to let visitors see the senior alone
- Skull fractures
- Sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior or personality
- Unexplained cuts or marks
If you notice any of this when visiting your elderly loved one, then you have a case of physical abuse on your hands.
It’s horrifying to think that our elderly loved ones might be getting sexually abused by a nursing employee, but it does happen. Sexual abuse is when someone has non-consensual sex or any type of sexual contact with the other party. In the case of elderly sexual abuse, it might include- Coerced nudity, intercourse, photographing the resident while they are naked, sexual assault, sodomy, and unwanted touching.
The symptoms and signs of sexual abuse are as follows:
- A report by the elder that they are being sexually abused
- Bleeding from the anus or vagina
- Bruises on the breasts or genitals
- Underwear that is stained, bloody or torn
- Unexplained genital infections
- Unexplained STDs
If you notice any of this when visiting your elderly loved one, then you have a case of sexual abuse on your hands.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse can be just as damaging as physical or sexual abuse. Where the marks of physical abuse eventually heal over time, the emotional and psychological damage never fully heal. This type of abuse can include- Engaging in verbal assault, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, insults, and threats. This might also mean that the elder is being treated like a child and is “punished” from activities such as seeing their family and friends.
The symptoms and signs of emotional and physical abuse are as follows:
- A report from the elder indicating emotional maltreatment or verbal abuse
- The elder is exhibiting unusual behavior that mimics dementia
- The elder is expressing agitation or being emotionally upset
- The elder stops communicating and is unresponsive or withdrawn
If you notice any of this when visiting your elderly loved one, then you have a case of emotional and psychological abuse on your hands.
Neglect is an abuse that has a wide range of ways it can occur. It is the failure or refusal to provide the elder with the necessities they need to live. This includes- Clothing, comfort, food, hygiene, medicine, personal safety, shelter, and water.
The symptoms and signs of negligence are as follows:
- A report by the elderly person of negligence
- Allowing the elder to live with hazardous conditions
- Allowing the elder to live in unsanitary living conditions
- Dehydration & Malnutrition
- Failure or refusal to give them their medication
- Failure in treating health issues
- Untreated bed sores & other wounds
If you notice any of this when visiting your elderly loved one, then you have a case of negligence on your hands.
Elderly abandonment is defined by The National Center on Elder Abuse as “Deserting the senior by someone who has responsibilities for caring for the individual, or who has custody over them.” In the case of a nursing home, it would be a nurse who is responsible for your elderly loved one.
The symptoms and signs of elderly abandonment are as follows:
- A report from the senior that they have been/ is being abandoned
- Deserting the senior at a public place
- Deserting the senior at a hospital or nursing facility
If you notice any of this when visiting your elderly loved one, then you have a case of elderly abandonment on your hands.
If your elderly loved one has been a victim of elderly abuse in a nursing home, then you are in need of a good lawyer to help you file your claim. Scott Senft is that lawyer, so call him today for your free consultation!