Elderly people at some stage require extra care and nursing. According to stats, around 1.5 million older Americans are living in nursing homes in the US. It becomes worrisome when some of them are facing nursing home abuse.
The elderly are sent to nursing homes in the US either because they need the care and attention that is impossible to provide at home or there is no one at home to take care of them.
Seniors in nursing homes are admitted with physical or mental problems. There are situations where the elderly are not appropriately treated at nursing homes. The term used for such cases is nursing home abuse.
As the elderly are incapable of performing their tasks due to some ailment, they are highly dependent on others to take care of them. Often the nursing staff at nursing homes treat them with abuse and neglect. Some nurses indeed have their reasons to act in a certain way, but any abuse beyond reasonable belief is unacceptable.
You can file for a nursing home abuse lawsuit if any of your near and dear elderly loved ones suffer from mistreatment or neglect. Before doing that, gathering basic knowledge on the same is helpful.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Cases of nursing home abuse generally fall into five main types.
Any abuse that involves physical force or violence and results in bodily harm is termed physical abuse. This form of abuse includes hitting, pushing, burning, slapping, and beating.
Physical abuse is one of the most easily identified and easily proved types of nursing home abuse. Some of the signs to notice include bruises, sprains, open wounds, fractured bones, black eye, overmedication, and cuts.
Emotional and Psychological Abuse
Elderly people that go through emotional abuse are difficult to identify. Such type of abuse is inflicted either through verbal or non-verbal acts. Emotional or psychological abuse can be in the form of insults, harassment, intimidation, and verbal assaults.
It also includes treating the older person like a child, isolating them, and making them feel worse about themselves. Some ways to identify emotional abuse in seniors involve looking out for signs like withdrawn nature, agitation, biting, rocking, and sucking thumb.
Financial abuse in the nursing home involves making improper use of elderly people’s funds, assets, and property. This form of abuse takes place in the form of forging the victim’s signature on checks, cashing out checks under the name of the without permission and authority, stealing prized possessions of the victim, deceiving them into signing a document like a will, or using force/violence to achieve the ulterior motive.
Some of the signs of financial abuse include a sudden decrease in the value of money in the bank account, sudden changes in a will, power of attorney, conservatorship, etc., or an elderly loved one reporting suspicion of financial abuse.
When the nursing staff refuses or delays assisting with needs, this type of elder abuse is treated as neglect. Voluntarily not taking care of nursing duties like not providing food, clothing, neglecting to provide proper hygiene, medicine to the residents on time all count under neglect.
To identify if an elderly family member is facing neglect in a nursing home, look out for signs like untreated bedsores, malnutrition, unhygienic premises, dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, unsafe living, etc.
Long-term neglect leads to abandonment. When the elderly are left alone/behind outside the nursing home voluntarily, like in a shopping center, such abuse is termed as abandonment in a park or public place. This is a matter of grave concern, especially when an elderly loved one report considers herself/himself as abandoned.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
Certain circumstances lead nursing home care facilities to become this harsh to the elderly. Some of the common causes that led to abuse in nursing homes include:
- When there is a shortage of staff in nursing homes
- When the nursing home is understaffed and existing nurses end up doing overtime
- When the nursing staff is not paid on time or are underpaid
- When the nursing staff lacks proper training and experience
- Poor management and supervision at the nursing home
- Caregiver personal issues like short-tempered, poor health and fitness, illness, stressed, etc.
- Lack of proper actions/punishments against nursing staff
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
This was all about nursing home abuse faced by elders over 60 years of age. If any of your elderly loved ones are suffering from such treatment, it is essential to fight back by filing a personal injury lawsuit.