When elderly parents can no longer live life by themselves, their children are responsible for finding or providing care for them. In numerous situations, people have no choice but to find a nursing home that can help them go through the motions of eating, dressing, and bathing.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes have issues with providing kind and compassionate care. Well-meaning children accidentally put their parents in homes that don’t have values and instead cause them to become bored, miserable, neglected, or even abused.
Kinds of Nursing Home Maltreatment
Each home is different, and many do strive to uphold the quality of life for their residents. Some homes fail to do so though, and sadly residents do suffer. The majority of victims are unfortunately exposed to multiple types of neglect.
If you’re concerned about a loved one, you might be wondering what are the most common types of nursing home abuse. The most frequent types of maltreatment in the nursing home setting include physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. In the case that an issue comes up while your loved one is living in a nursing home it’s important to be able to identify the red flags and indications of possible abuse.
Be wary of any physical actions that cause injury or pain to your loved one. Restraints without permission, striking, kicking, shaking, shoving, or slapping are all illegal actions. Symptoms include fractures, head injuries, burns, dislocations, bruises, internal pain or injury, cuts, or bruises. If your loved one declines visitors all of a sudden or the home won’t allow you to come in, you may have cause for concern.
This kind of maltreatment can be harder to identify. Any type of intimidation, isolation, yelling, coercion, harassment, humiliation, and bullying can be considered emotional abuse. Red flags to watch for include anxiety, depression, agitation, fearfulness, and withdrawal. Emotional abuse is a common tactic for scaring the victim into further manipulation, such as financial or sexual harm.
In a nursing home, sexual abuse occurs when the resident is forced to undress without consent, or when the abuser reveals parts of their body to the elderly person. While also harder to figure out, this kind of maltreatment can be identified if there are symptoms of irritated skin, bruising, pelvic bleeding or pain, difficulty walking or sitting, STDs, urinary tract infections that are repeated, PTSD, or fear.
Monetary exploitation takes place when the victim’s property, money, assets are used illegally. Making residents sign forms they don’t entirely understand, adjusting their will, or coercing them to designate a new power of attorney is illegal. Red flags to watch for include lost possessions, identity theft, forged checks, mysterious bank withdrawals, or even fake invoices for services rendered. Always be certain that a trusted person watches and takes care of their finances.
If you are concerned that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, let someone know. Elderly folks might not always feel comfortable enough to explain what’s happening or report the issues. The sooner possible abuse can be resolved, the better.