Unfortunately, abuse can happen within nursing homes. In fact, it is surprisingly common due to the vulnerable position that our elders are put into. Luckily there are a number of attorneys in Augusta that are willing to fight for these individuals, and ensure that the victim is represented in a court of law.
Here are some of the ways in which people can experience abuse within the setting of a nursing home. Make sure you are as protected as possible by speaking with an experienced attorney about getting the correct insurance.
Firstly, emotional abuse is defined as an intentional act of instilling fear, distress, or mental pain onto an elder person in a nursing home. This can be in the form of caregivers deliberately telling lies that can make someone feel distressed, belittling them, and threatening.
Other forms of emotional abuse which have been known to occur within a nursing home are humiliation, enforced social isolation, verbal assault, and treating them like an infant. Because this can happen to people who are less reliable due to medication or declining cognitive abilities, it is challenging to notice emotional abuse.
Some of the signs include appearing more withdrawn than normal, low self-esteem, mood swings, avoiding eye contact, and any changes to their eating and sleeping habits.
In many instances, it is incredibly difficult to notice signs of emotional abuse. This is because there is a lack of physical evidence like there would be with other types of abuse in a nursing home. Because of this, relatives and loved ones need to look out for signs of other abuse. This is because emotional abuse tends to occur more commonly with other forms of abuse.
This is when someone abuses an elderly individual in order to get access to their money. There have been cases where someone has stolen from them, but it is worth protecting your elderly relatives from this as much as possible. In some cases, an elderly person can lose essential savings which were intended to be used to pay for long-term care.
Financial abuse or exploitation has been known to occur by nursing home staff, strangers, and family members. Some of the warning signs of this include irregular bank statements, any patterns of missing belongings or property, withdrawals that the elderly individual could not have realistically made, and someone showing a sudden interest in their spending habits and bank balance.
Unfortunately, financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse that is self-reported. Ensure that your elderly loved ones are protected from this, and that they are aware of the possible risks involved with their power of attorney and bank details.
Being unable to meet their basic needs is the definition of self-neglect. While this is more common for those living independently in apartments or in a house, self-neglect can occur within a nursing home setting. However, the responsibility typically falls to the caregiver and nursing home staff.
Signs of self-neglect can indicate that the staff have been neglecting this individual. These include failure to maintain basic hygiene, dress themselves, or feed themselves without assistance. Failure to meet someone’s needs within a nursing home is more commonly known as nursing home neglect.
Physical abuse can happen within a nursing home setting when someone is being deliberately restrained, hit, kicked, or shoved. In some cases, failure to seek correct medical attention after experiencing physical abuse can lead to more serious injuries.
Some signs of physical abuse are much easier to notice than other forms of abuse. These include bruises, burns, broken bones, dislocated joints, cuts and scrapes. Other signs that are slightly more subtle include poor explanations of an elderly loved one’s injuries by members of staff, as well as a repeated pattern of hospitalization.
Leaving someone who is elderly to look after themselves is a type of abandonment. It is categorized as abuse within a nursing home setting because it can significantly impact someone’s quality of life. They can become frail, confused, and malnourished.
Common forms of abandonment include an elder person’s caregiver leaving them at a hospital, or dropping them off at another care facility without formal organization.
While it is difficult to prevent abuse from happening, it is important to protect your elder loved ones as much as possible. This can be done by carefully researching the nursing home beforehand, and ensuring that the necessary legal procedures are followed.