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Here's How You Can Tell Nursing Home Abuse Signs - Avens Blog | Avens Blog

Here’s How You Can Tell Nursing Home Abuse Signs

Seniors are at a risk of abuse or neglect at nursing homes or care facilities, owing to lack of resources, poor working hours, or understaffing.

Most of these cases go unnoticed and are not reported. Nursing home abuse is unfortunately more prevalent than you might have thought. These facts can be quite distressing for those who have their family members staying at such facilities.

A study has shown that seniors subject to abuse are twice as likely to die prematurely.

If you have any elders or loved one that are staying at nursing homes, abuse might be something you should be concerned about.

There are a few signs of elderly abuse that you may be able to spot early on. Knowing these signs are helpful for ensuring your senior’s safety at such facilities and will also help you get peace of mind.

You should know that incase of any abuse or neglect at a nursing home,which contributes to the death of your loved one, you are entitled to get a compensation.

You can contact a nursing home abuse lawyerand sue the organization responsible for the demise of your senior.

TYPES OF ABUSE:

There are different types of abuse that the elderly may be subject to in these senior-care homes:

  1. Physical Abuse:

Active abuse like slapping, hitting, punching or even misuse of restraining tools are all parts of physical abuse.

  1. Emotional abuse:

Any non-physical abuse, such as hurling insults, being disrespectful, or threatening the elderly staying at the facility, are forms of emotional abuse. Based on a 2020 study by WHO, emotional abuse is the most common type of elder abuse.

  1. Neglect:

Failure of the caregiver to provide food, shelter, medication, and proper sanitation to the elderly may lead to a number of complications such as sepsis, bedsores, and dehydration which may lead to fatal consequences.

  1. Sexual Abuse:

 Sexual abuse refers to any kind of non-consensual sexual touch. Unfortunately, this form of abuse is much more common than one would think. Some common signs include bruises and marks near the genital areas and sexually transmitted diseases that can’t be explained.

  1. Financial exploitation:

This is especially prevalent in elders that may have some form of dementia or cognitive decline. Illegal taking of, misuse of, or concealment of funds or property are all kinds of financial abuse.

SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE:

Women and veterans dealing with PTSD, people with mental health issues, and members of the LGBTQ community are more at risk of abuse at these facilities.

Although the thought of your loved ones facing any form of abuse can be quite unsettling, it is important that you always be on the lookout for the signs of abuse when visiting your loved one.

Some signs of physical abuse in the elderly include:

  • Bedsores or ulcers on certain areas of the body, such hips, near the scapula, or ankles.
  • Marks of restraints around the wrists or ankles
  • Bruises, burns, or welts on the skin
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Drastic changes in weight or unexplained changes in weight
  • Head and dental injuries
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Recurrent infections, such as UTIs
  • Worsening health parameters, for example: Uncontrolled BSR
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Narcolepsy
  • Inexplicable falls
  • Medication errors/ overdoses

Signs of emotional abuse:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Strained relationships
  • Apathy
  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Symptoms of PTSD
  • Crying suddenly or unprovoked

Signs of neglect:

  • Unclean room
  • Dirty or soiled bed sheets
  • Recurrent infections
  • Bedsores

Signs of sexual Abuse:

  • Bruises near the genitals
  • Inappropriate physical contact with the members of the staff
  • Unexplained panic attacks
  • Torn or blood-stained underwear

Signs of financial abuse:

  • Sudden change in power of attorney
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unusual purchases made from the credit cards
  • New credit cards or bank accounts
  • Missing possessions

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SUSPECTING ELDER ABUSE:

If you suspect any form of elder abuse or neglect at the nursing facility you should:

  1. Immediately seek medical care for your loved one
  2. Document the abuse: Take pictures of any physical injuries and collect proof of abuse, in order to hold the staff or facility responsible and get them to pay for their unlawful actions. You may want to also get in touch with adult protection
  3. Relocate your loved one to a different center: It may take time, but carefully choosing a new facility to relocate your family member/loved one can ensure that no such incidents take place again.
  4. Involve the authorities: You should report abuse as soon as possible to the relevant authorities.
  5. Nursing Home Lawyer: You may also want to call a nursing home lawyer to help sort out your situation and help you report and take necessary legal action against the facility based on the laws of your state.

Conclusion

If more nursing homes and elderly care facilities are held accountable for their actions, it will ensure safety of other residents and better living conditions at the facilities.

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