Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Many nursing home facilities in Florida provide top quality care for our loved ones as they enter their twilight years, with fully trained and knowledgeable staff that care for our family member’s needs. However, as more and more elderly residents enter nursing home facilities and it becomes more difficult to fully staff facilities, the level of care at some nursing homes can decline into neglect, and in the worst cases, outright abuse. It is critically important to understand the signs of potential nursing home abuse and to stay vigilant with your loved one to ensure that they are being treated with the care they deserve.
Risk of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around ten percent of all nursing home residents have suffered some sort of abuse while staying at a facility in the last year. Unfortunately, nearly all experts agree that this number is underreported because many nursing home residents are afraid to report the abuse or are unable to communicate what is happening to them due to Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. The vast majority of perpetrators of nursing home abuse are the facility’s administrators and staff, although sometimes the abuse is also caused by other residents in the home when the staff is negligent in their watch over the facility. As family and friends of nursing home residents, the responsibility to report potential abuse often falls to you, especially when your loved one is unable to do so herself.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is separated into four categories: physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. Physical abuse is what most people think about when talking about nursing home abuse, and this type of abuse is the most obvious. Signs of physical abuse includes broken bones, bruises, welts, scrapes, abrasions around the wrists and ankles, burn marks, broken possessions, withdrawn behavior, and being startled or scared easily. When asked about the injuries, perpetrators either do not have a good explanation or their story changes as to how your loved one received their injuries.
The next type of abuse is emotional, which is the subtle and chronic wearing down of your loved one psychologically and behaviorally. Signs of emotional abuse include unusual behavior like sucking a thumb, mumbling, and rocking, witnessing belittling or controlling behavior by a caregiver, withdrawal from social activities, isolation, and any other sudden changes in behavior. Sexual abuse refers to unwanted sexual contact between your loved one and an abuser. Signs of sexual abuse include bruising around breasts and genitals, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal or anal bleeding, social withdrawal, angry outbursts, and isolation. The final type of abuse is financial, where a perpetrator manipulates an elderly person to gain access to their assets. Signs include unexplained expenses, another name on accounts, unknown charitable donations, or reports of missing checkbooks, credit cards, or personal documents.
Talk to Our Office Today
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, call or contact the West Palm Beach nursing home neglect lawyers at Gary Roberts & Associates today to learn more about your legal options.