When many people put their loved ones in a nursing home, the intention or hope is that their loved ones would get maximum attention and excellent care while they are there. The good news is that many residents of these nursing homes actually enjoy those things. The bad news is that some instead, suffer abuse and neglect.
Nursing home abuse or neglect is actually more common than you think. Studies have actually shown that more than 30% of all nursing homes experience some form off abuse. Even worse is the fact that of the abused elderly, less than 20% actually report these neglects and abuses –this is why it’s not such a popular subject.
While it is possible that there are valid reasons for cases of neglect in particular, the reality is that it often doesn’t meet up to the standards expected by the elderly’s loved ones.
To be clear, when we say elder neglect and abuse, we mean a caregiver’s intentional actions that are likely to cause considerable harm or further expose the elderly’s risk to harm and injury. This also includes the caregiver’s inadequacy at providing the necessary facilities required to protect and keep the elder safe.
Common Forms of Nursing Home or Elder Abuse
The key to knowing if an elderly citizen has been abused, neglected and possibly under duress not to tell their loved ones about the abuse are many. Some of them include:
This is abuse meted out by the caregiver with the sole intention of causing harm to or intimidating the elderly into submission or doing whatever they want.
This may include but isn’t limited to caregivers or other staff resorting to the use of physical force which may cause bodily harm or injury to the elderly resident. Examples of this include beating, hitting, striking, kicking, punching, slapping and shoving.
Elderly citizens who have undergone this at the hands of their assailants will often present with bruises, marks, lacerations, broken bones, welts, scratches, cuts, punctures, open wounds, internal injuries, dislocated joints and even broken accessories like their eyeglasses.
Emotional abuse involves the use of nonverbal and verbal actions to torment and cause pain to the elderly citizen. Examples of this include the use of threats, rebukes, coercion, bullying, and shaming.
Caregivers who also treat the elderly residents like children or refugees, shouting at them at all times, treating them without respect and isolating them from their friends there are guilty of neglect and abuse.
Residents suffering emotional abuse will often be seen depressed, agitated, constantly complaining that they hate where they are, sudden onset of dementia and withdrawn.
Abandonment and Disregard for the Elderly
When caregivers refuse or forget to fulfill their duties and obligations to the residents of the home, they are clearly neglecting and abandoning the senior citizens who were placed in their care.
Signs of neglect, abandonment and disregard include disheveled appearance, bad breath, worsening health condition owing to the administration of the wrong drugs or dosages, malnutrition, dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, dirty environments and festering bedsores among other things.
As a rule, relatives need to look out for statements like “they’re being mean to me”, “I can’t say anything about it”, “they hurt me sometimes, but it’s not a problem”, “I’m not getting my meds” or “my meds taste funny and make me feel weak, tired or dizzy”, and the more obvious complaints about particular caregivers in the facility.
Never Ignore these Complaints
If your loved one has been abused or neglected, you can sue the facility for damages and get your justified compensation if you hire a seasoned elderly abuse or nursing home abuse attorney who knows what to look for and how to build a successful case against the nursing home or said caregivers.