There are more than 16 000 nursing homes operating in the U. S. today. As the number of nursing homes keeps growing, unfortunately so does the number of nursing home residents who are receiving low levels of care. This article will discuss common kinds of nursing home abuse and the different forms that it may take.
Nursing home abuse and neglect often finds residents at the mercy of caregivers and other staff members. As a result, nursing home abuse can take on a number of forms, some of these include:
Physical abuse in a nursing home may include the intentional infliction of physical harm on a resident such as slapping, punching, kicking and the use of excessive restraint such as strapping a person down or chaining them to a bed. Physical abuse can further include the withholding of prescribed medications or the administration of prohibited medications. Physical abuse is one of the easier forms of abuse to detect because there are often physical, tell-tale physical symptoms that a resident may suffer and exhibit. One article suggests that some of the possible warning signs of physical abuse may include:
The impression that a caregiver is reluctant to allow you to be alone with the resident
The resident has unexplained injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, bruises or scars
Receiving reports of a resident refusing to take medication or of medication overdose or unexpected signs of restraints on the wrists or legs.
Emotional abuse is one of the less obvious forms of nursing home abuse but is no less harmful. Emotional abuse can be defined as deliberately causing anxiety, anguish, fear or undesirable mental states. This normally takes on the form of verbal communication that intentionally causes a person unreasonable and unnecessary emotional pain. However, emotional abuse is not limited to active efforts; it can easily be achieved through passive behavior, such as intentionally ignoring a resident’s verbal requests or other means. Due to the resulting mental pain associated with emotional abuse, it is just as serious and as damaging as physical abuse. Further, emotional abuse may lead to the perpetuation of physical ailments.
Some warning signs of emotional abuse may include the following:
The caregiver refusing to leave you alone with the resident
Questionable behavior toward the resident by the caregiver in your presence, such as threats
Elderly people are often more susceptible to fraud and exploitation by way of financial abuse. This is especially true of nursing home residents who mostly rely on others for basic tasks such as reading mail or managing bank accounts. Being dependent on others makes the older person an easy target for financial abuse. Three basic types of financial abuse include the following:
Bank account or credit card account theft
Warning signs of a resident’s financial abuse may include:
Unexpected changes to wills or powers of attorney
Suspicious additions of beneficiaries to life insurance policies
Disappearance of personal property or money
For more information on how to deal with nursing home abuse seek out attorneys in anchorage Alaska.