Unfortunately, elder abuse in nursing homes is an everyday occurrence. In fact, in the U.S. alone, over 5,000 instances of elder abuse are reported each year, and it’s estimated that millions more go unreported.
A nursing home should be a safe place for residents. It should promote dignity and strive to offer the best care possible every day. However, this is tragically not the case for over thirty percent of the nation’s nursing facilities.
Therefore, in order to bring awareness to this epidemic, it’s important to understand the types and signs of nursing home abuse.
Psychological Abuse happens when one person inflicts mental pain or anguish on another through verbal aggression, dominance, or jealous behavior. An elder experiencing psychological abuse may be depressed, unresponsive, confused, or have sudden unexplained changes in their personality or behavior.
Financial Abuse occurs when someone exploits the funds, properties or assets of someone else. Fraud, embezzlement, forgery, forced property transfers or making unauthorized purchases all constitute financial abuse. An elder who is the victim of financial abuse may have suspicious balance fluctuations in their bank accounts, unusual ATM activity, signatures on checks that do not match their own, or sudden changes of property ownership.
Sexual Abuse is the unauthorized forcing of an individual to participate in sexual acts without the individual’s consent. An elder experiencing sexual abuse may have bruises or abrasions on their genital or breast areas, venereal infections, or unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding.
Physical Abuse happens when one person subjects another person to bodily harm or injury. An elder experiencing physical abuse may have abrasions, cuts, burns, unexplained injuries, and may exhibit a dismissive attitude toward these injuries.
Caregiver Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to meet the physical, social, emotional, health or safety needs of the person he or she is caring for. An elder experiencing caregiver neglect may have bedsores, sudden weight loss, lack proper hygiene, and be improperly medicated or under-medicated.
Nursing home abuse is a form of violence and is never acceptable. If you suspect nursing home abuse, get help. Call the Elder Abuse hotline at 1-800-677-1116, and then contact the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Schmidt Kramer.