Adult children of elderly parents trust that a nursing home staff will provide needed care and attention to keep their loved ones happy and healthy. Unfortunately, due to staffing levels, poor training or poor supervision, your elderly loved ones could find themselves victims of abuse.
While the signs and symptoms vary, there are generally four main types of nursing home abuse:
- Abuse of a physical nature: Intentionally causing their victim pain or injury, some members of a nursing home staff use physical aggression to control residents. From tightening safety straps too tightly to physically striking a resident, abuse can cause broken bones, dislocations, lacerations and internal injuries.
- Abuse of an emotional nature: In general, these actions can be categorized as bullying, humiliation, harassment and intimidation. From isolating a resident to coercing submission, emotional abuse can lead to depression, anxiety and PTSD-like symptoms.
- Abuse of a financial nature: It is not uncommon for a nursing home staff to financially exploit their elderly residents. From forging checks and using a credit card without authorization to stealing cash and making ATM withdrawals, a resident’s finances might be at risk.
- Abuse of a sexual nature: Sexual contact that is perpetrated without the victim’s consent is abuse. Sexual exploitation can be traced through symptoms such as pelvic pain, unexplained bruising, emotional withdrawal and the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
Additionally, elderly nursing home residents might face danger due to neglect in general. Whether it is a common form of neglect that leads to dehydration, malnutrition, or poor hygiene, or medical neglect which might lead to bedsores, untreated illness or medication errors, individuals could suffer new diseases or worsening conditions.
If you worry that your elderly loved one was abused, injured or mistreated by a nursing home staff, it is important to speak out. In many situations, the residents are afraid to complain for fear of some sort of retaliation. Do not hesitate to speak up on their behalf to end the mistreatment and hold the nursing home accountable.