Identifying Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes should be safe havens for the elderly during their most vulnerable time of life. Sadly, however, this is not always the case.
Nursing home abuse occurs with surprising frequency across the United States, particularly in Kentucky and Indiana. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to know the warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect so you can protect your elderly loved ones.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When people think about nursing home abuse, they may picture physical abuse. While physical abuse is a major form of nursing home abuse, there are many other forms that can cause just as much physical, psychological, and emotional damage.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), nursing home abuse may include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many different forms, and it’s in your best interest to be able to identify each form’s warning signs.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported, either due to seniors’ inability to communicate the abuse effectively or intimidation by the caretaker. If you know the warning signs of nursing home abuse, you can help report instances of abuse and hold perpetrators accountable.
The physical abuse of an elderly person involves the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury or pain. This may include hitting, beating, shoving, shaking, and more. The common signs of physical abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bruises, black eyes, lacerations, and rope marks
- Broken or fractured bones
- Open wounds, cuts, or punctures
- Broken eyeglasses
The emotional abuse of an elderly person involves the infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. This may include verbal assaults, insults, intimidation, humiliation, and more. The common signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Being emotionally upset or agitated
- Being extremely withdrawn or uncommunicative
- Unusual behavior attributed to dementia (biting, rocking, etc.)
The sexual abuse of an elderly person involves non-consensual sexual contact of any kind. This may include unwanted touching, sexual assault, coerced nudity, and more. The common signs of sexual abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area
- Unexplained STDs
- Torn or bloody underwear
The financial abuse of an elderly person involves the illegal or improper use of their funds, property, or assets. This may include cashing checks without permission, forging signatures, and more. The common signs of financial abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sudden changes in a bank account
- Unexplained withdrawals from an ATM
- Subscriptions the elderly person would not have signed up for
- Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
The neglect of an elderly person involves the refusal or failure to fulfill their essential qualities of life, including food, water, medicine, clothing, hygiene, shelter, and more. The common signs of neglect include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Poor personal hygiene
- Untreated bed sores
- Untreated health problems
The abandonment of an elderly person involves their desertion by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing them care. The common signs of abandonment include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The desertion of an elderly person at a hospital or nursing home
- The desertion of an elderly person in a public place
Suspect Nursing Home Abuse? Contact Us Today
Seniors deserve to live out the remainder of their lives with respect and dignity. If you suspect these rights of your loved one are being violated, we encourage you to contact us today.
At Charles W. Miller & Associates, we have the knowledge and experience needed to fight for the rights of those injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect.
Contact us at (502) 890-9954 to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.