Every year, families across the country trust the care of their aging loved ones to nursing facilities. The majority of these nursing homes provide adequate care and treat their residents in a caring and compassionate manner. It’s a matter of fact, however, that nursing home abuse is all too common, and may go undetected until it is too late. Here are common types of nursing home abuse:
Seniors are often physically weak, making them vulnerable to physical attacks. Sadly, many nursing home residents will become the victims of staff who may hit, scratch, shove, and punch patients, causing them physical harm. They may also use restraints in an abusive manner in order to punish the resident. Physical abuse is the easiest to detect, making it easier to stop the abuse and punish the offenders. Unexplained injuries, bruises, and cuts are all signs that an elder is being physically abused.
Emotional abuse can take many forms, from name calling to humiliation and ridicule. Some nursing staff may abuse the resident by abusing the resident’s privacy when being bathed or changing clothes. They may also scold the resident for having bowel or bladder accidents, traumatize him, or use profanity or abusive language toward him. Staff members may ignore cries for help or simply refuse to communicate with some residents.
Elders often have significant assets in the form of social security payments, pensions, and retirement savings. This can leave them open to financial abuse by unscrupulous caregivers that wish to exploit them for financial gain. Caregivers may coerce seniors into signing over deeds to their home, granting them power of attorney, or transferring funds to them. In some extreme cases, caregivers have pretended to be relatives of patients that were suffering from memory loss in order to con them out of their savings.
Neglect is prevalent in nursing facilities. Understaffed nursing homes often lack the resources to give each resident the attention and care that is needed. Some staff members neglect to feed residents regularly, don’t administer medication, and fail to attend to hygiene needs. Overt signs of neglect include bed sores, declining patient health not tied to medical reasons, and poor hygiene. Sometimes, there are no outward signs of neglect or abuse, making it difficult to detect and track down the offender.
What You Can Do About Elder Abuse and Neglect
The best remedy for abuse and neglect is prevention. Thoroughly research any nursing facility before registering your loved one. Check local agencies to find out if there have been any complaints against the facility. After your loved one becomes a resident, visit often and introduce yourself to the staff. If the staff knows that you are vigilant and involved in your loved one’s care, they are less likely to abuse or neglect. Visiting often also means that you will be more likely to notice signs of abuse before they escalate.
If Your Loved One Has Been Abused or Neglected
If you believe your loved one has been harmed in a nursing care setting, let us help. Our firm has defended many clients whose loved ones have been victims of neglect and abuse. We will listen to your case and provide you and your family with the care and dignity you deserve. Call us today or fill out the online form and we will respond within 24 hours.