Nearly 1 in 10 older Americans have suffered some form of elder abuse. It seems unfathomable but the numbers tell a chilling story.
Elder abuse takes many forms. The effect it can have on the physical health and psyche of the victim can be devastating. Sadly, many cases go unreported.
In the majority of known cases, the victim is actually a family member. However, a home for the elderly isn’t always perfect. Read ahead for five signs of nursing home abuse.
1. Physical Abuse
It takes a real coward to physically harm someone who can’t defend themselves. Yet, seems to happen at an alarming rate.
Any unexplained physical injury should raise suspicion. A broken bone, sprains, bruises, and other lesions should never be ignored. Also, broken items like eyeglasses and jewelry are a clue.
If someone is in danger the police should be notified immediately. This firm has experience representing victims of sexual abuse.
2. Psychological Abuse
Warning signs of emotional abuse can be subtle. Oftentimes, the victim is unable or unwilling to say what happened.
The victim may become withdrawn or appear nervous. They may twiddle their fingers or shift their eyes around the room, especially when the abuser is near.
3. Financial Exploitation
Scammers are constantly targeting the elderly. Nowadays, we are bombarded with would-be scams on the internet and telemarketers so we have our guards up.
However, financial abuse can occur within a nursing home. Staff, visitors, and other residents could be a potential scammer.
Be aware of inexplicable money transfers, changes in the power of attorney/insurance/wills, and missing cash. Unusual charges should also raise suspicion. For example, a bedridden woman is unlikely to order a size 11 pair of sneakers.
4. Senior Neglect
If you’ve ever had to care for an elderly person, you know that it can be a lot of work. Sometimes, the caretaker and the elderly don’t get along very well and that only makes it worse.
This can tempt people to shirk their responsibility to a caretaker and neglect their duty. Again, since the elderly are often socially isolated, they are even more vulnerable to be neglected.
Caring for the elderly takes patience. However, neglecting them requires a certain level of selfishness and disregard for others.
Signs of Neglect
Nursing home neglect can manifest subtly. It may take a keen eye to notice.
The person should always be clean with fresh clothes and sheets. Bed bugs or dirty clothes are a major red flag. Also, they should be appropriately dressed for the weather.
Also, the room and surrounding area must be clean and well kept. Any presence of fire hazard or other irregularity is unacceptable. Finally, the skin should be inspected for bed sores as these can lead to serious medical problems.w
5. Sexual Abuse
Sometimes, human depravity has no bounds. People who unable to defend themselves are always going to be vulnerable to sexual predators.
Signs of sexual abuse are similar to those in other people but the victim may have difficulty relating the events.
Warning signs include STIs, bruising on or near the genitals or breasts, or unexplained anal/vaginal bleeding. Stained and tattered clothing is another sign.
Identifying the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Our elders were the ones who raised us. For better or worse, we have to them to thank for who we are. Just like anyone else, they are human beings who are worthy of respect and dignity.
Elder abuse takes many forms but is more prevalent than you think.
Report any signs of nursing home abuse as soon as possible. Visit the blog for more articles about medical and legal news.