The thought is upsetting, but nursing home abuse and neglect happens too frequently. This can happen in their own homes, in a relatives’ home and even in facilities responsible for their care. If a senior citizen is in a living situation where they cannot defend themselves, they may be more vulnerable than ever.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms whether it’s financially, neglectful, or even physical, if you suspect that an elderly person is being abused or neglected, it’s important to speak up. Knowing the types of nursing home abuse may prevent it in our society, or at the very least, protect your loved ones from suffering from it.
Common Types of Abuse
The abuse of elders happens in many forms, some of which involve intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and often times involving financial deception. Below are the types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical abuse – this is a non-accidental force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury or impairment. This abuse is not just physical assaults such as hitting or shoving, but also the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints or confinement.
- Emotional abuse – Emotional or psychological abuse is when people speak or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. This can be through:
– Intimidation through yelling or threats
– Habitual blaming or scapegoating
– Humiliation and ridicule
– Ignoring the elderly person
– Menacing the person
– Isolating an elder from friends or activities
- Sexual abuse – sexual elder abuse is contact with the person without their consent. This can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornography, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress are also considered sexual elder abuse.
- Financial exploitation – this involves unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. This might include:
– Misuse an elder’s personal checks, credit cards, or accounts
– Engage in identity theft
– Forge the elder’s signature
– Steal cash, income checks, or household goods
- Healthcare fraud and abuse – unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personal and other professional care providers sometimes abuse elderly patients carry out healthcare fraud by:
– Not providing healthcare, but charging for it
– Getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers or prescribing certain drugs
– Medicaid fraud
– Overmedicting or undermedicating
– Overcharging or double-billing for medical care services
– Recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions
Common Types of Neglect
One of the most common forms of nursing home abuse is neglect. This is frequently overlooked and often results in the decline of health and eventually death. There are four primary types of nursing home neglect:
- Emotional or social neglect – the elderly person is repeatedly ignored, left alone or accidentally snapped at by nursing home staff.
- Personal hygiene neglect – the patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, or other forms of hygienic practices.
- Basic needs and neglect – the nursing home neglects to provide decent, healthy food, water, or a safe and clean environment.
- Medical neglect – the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention, or medication for concerns such as infections, cognitive diseases, infections, cuts, diabetes, and mobility concerns.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Identifying warning signs for nursing home neglect can be difficult. Depending on the type of neglect, there may not be any physical signs, only behavioral changes. These are best identified when a nursing home patient lives close to family, friends, or loved ones. If an elderly patient does not see their family regularly, they may have difficulty expressing concerns such as emotional or social neglect. Below are some warning signs of nursing home neglect:
- Sudden weight loss
- Withdrawn behavior or changes in behavior
- Changes in personal hygiene or appearance efforts
- Lack of friendly interaction with the nursing home staff
- Lack of friendly interaction with the nursing home residents
Preventing an elderly patient’s injuries can be a combined effort. Research shows that nursing home patients who are visited often by family, friends and other loves ones are less likely to experience nursing home neglect or abuse. When family is visiting with their loved one, they should watch for signs of nursing home neglect, emotional distress, or changes in health. Communication between family members and nurses can play a critical role in elder patient care and be very effective as well.
If you or a loved one were the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help. At Balkin Law, we can help navigate the complex legal process needed to pursue a nursing home lawsuit. We will help provide the support and peace of mind you need during this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-THE-BULL for more information