Issues of nursing home abuse are difficult to face. Abuse of the elderly comes in many different forms. In many cases the abuse may not have clear, physical signs. The victims of the abuse are frail and vulnerable and therefore are often not able to protect themselves or seek the help they need. In addition, elder abuse can be difficult to prove and it is unfortunate that many nursing home abuse cases will go unreported and unpunished.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
- Physical Abuse – This type of abuse occurs when a physical force has been used to cause harm against a victim. This type of harm can include hitting, shoving, scratching, biting, and the inappropriate use of restraints. There are usually obvious warning signs with this type of abuse making it easier to prove than other types of elder abuse.
- Emotional Abuse – This type of abuse occurs when a caregiver or other individual causes the victim to feel emotional distress. Emotional abuse can come in the form of ridicule and humiliation, terrorizing, intimidation, scapegoating, blaming, and demeaning behavior, or ignoring the elderly victim.
- Financial Abuse – This form of abuse commonly involves stealing an elderly person’s money or personal property. Additionally, a caregiver or other individual may trick or pressure the elderly person to give valuable information, such as credit card numbers or bank account information. Other forms of financial abuse coercion to modify a deed, will, or trust.
- Sexual Abuse – This form of abuse occurs when non-consensual sexual contact has been made with an elder. Physical and emotional abuse may also be involved. Elders may be tricked, manipulated, coerced, or forced into sexual contact.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect in a nursing home often occurs when a resident has not received proper medical, physical, or emotional attention. This will often result in serious risk of harm to the victim. In some cases, the neglect could escalate to physical or emotional abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are some common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect which include:
- Agitation or withdrawal
- Bruising, cuts, or broken bones
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden and unexplained changes in the bank account of the resident
- Unusual behavior (sucking, biting, and rocking)
- Unexpected Death
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