Elderly adults are often placed in nursing homes to guarantee them appropriate care. However, many seniors are taken advantage of within the nursing home system and are sometimes victims of abuse and neglect. It is for this reason that it is important to learn the signs of elderly abuse and neglect and how this can be prevented and dealt with.
There are several types of elderly abuse experienced daily. These include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual assault
- Neglect or lack of care
- Use of unauthorized medication
- Financial exploitation
These types of abuse are all differentiated. Physical abuse on a senior may include the use of power, not only by striking, but in any way that leads to physical pain or injury. Emotional abuse may be where seniors are mistreated, ignored or humiliated to the point where it causes emotional distress. Sexual abuse is where a senior is touched without his or her approval, forced to look at pornography or strained to undress. Neglect in this case can be defined as failure to accomplish a caretaking duty, whether it is deliberate or not. Financial exploitation deals with misuse of money or property belonging to a senior by someone directly involved in the nursing home.
Many times, seniors are taken advantage of because they have become frail and are unable to speak up and act out. They become susceptible to the experiences mentioned above. It is necessary if you have a relative, friend or someone you know residing at a nursing home to note various signs. Sometimes these signs are not easily recognizable because it may appear to be mental Illness or memory loss. However, some important signs include;
- Unexplained bruises or scars
- Dislocated or fractured bones
- Rope marks or hand bruises on wrists
- Caregiver’s negative response to permit a relative or another individual time with the senior alone
- Threatening, humiliating or argumentative behavior from the caregiver that you have seen
- If the senior appears to have dementia, by continuously rocking or mumbling to oneself
- Marks or scars on private areas
- Sudden STD’s or STI’s
- Abnormal weight loss or other nutrition problems
- Unhygienic attire and environmental conditions or physical upkeep
- Inappropriate attire for various weather conditions
- Abandonment in public places
- Significant withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
- Swift change in the senior’s financial ability
- Continuous loss of items or money
- Changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies unknown to those closest to the senior
- Unpaid bills although there is financial ability to pay
- Strange financial activity such as an ATM withdrawal when the senior is confined to a bed
It is important as relative or individual’s close to seniors in nursing homes to ensure that you listen and pay close attention to the senior to avoid or prevent issues of negligence and abuse. In order for the individual to do this one should pay close attention to financial records, visit regularly and look out for severe changes in behavior, physical appearance and personality. Remember, an elderly person may not always have the ability to show or tell you about their negative experiences because of their depreciating physical and mental abilities.
If you believe that your loved one or someone you know is experiencing negligence and or abuse at a nursing home or has died or received injuries because of negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer to help you understand what actions you should take and how you can prevent these situations in the future. At Rastin and Associates, a personal injury lawyer is more than ready to listen and help you receive compensation.