Most families make the difficult decision to place their loved one in a nursing home to ensure they receive appropriate care and attention. However, statistics show that abuse of seniors in nursing homes is on the rise. These elderly seniors deserve to receive appropriate treatment and care, free from abuse or neglect.
There are several ways that an elderly resident of a nursing home may suffer from abuse. If you believe your elderly loved one suffered abuse as a resident of a nursing home, contact a Forest Park nursing home abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help with filing a claim on behalf of your loved one.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly residents can suffer many different types of nursing home abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Many nursing home staff employees with authority or control over another take advantage of their position of power. Unfortunately, this can translate into several different types of abuse toward the elderly in nursing homes.
Physical abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes is most often spoken of and is prevalent throughout the United States. Elderly people tend to be frailer and have cognitive dysfunctions, leading them to easily suffer abuse at the hands of nursing home workers. Make sure to always look for signs of physical abuse in your elderly loved one when you visit them in their nursing home. Unexplained bruises, cuts, or broken bones can be a sign of abuse.
Bedsores or advanced infections can signal nursing home neglect, which is a form of physical abuse. If your elderly loved one does appear to suffer from some form of physical abuse, alert management immediately and contact Adult Protective Services and the police if necessary.
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Elderly residents of nursing homes remain particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse. They are often unable to defend themselves against verbal assaults. In many cases, their cognitive challenges make them unable to understand what the nursing home employees want them to do, and then the employees become frustrated, leading to verbal intimidations, threats, or simply yelling at them. Any time a nursing home resident suffers from any type of insults, berating language, shaming, mocking, insulting language, or abusive statements, they suffer from emotional abuse.
These types of emotional abuse can devastate seniors as they have no way to fight back, and in some cases simply do not understand why they are enduring this abuse due to either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These elderly residents completely rely on the nursing home staff for their daily needs such as food, water, and help to go to the bathroom. When they feel intimidated in their own living environment, life can become a nightmare.
If you visit your elderly loved one and notice that they seem to exhibit strange behaviors, you may want to investigate the nursing home to determine if your elderly loved one is suffering from emotional abuse. These strange behaviors include:
- Emotional outbursts
- An unwillingness to spend time with family or friends
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In some cases, sexual abuse occurs from the management, but it may also occur from other nursing home residents or third-party persons who enter the building. As many seniors have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they simply do not understand what is happening to them or may not remember that they endured this abuse following the attack. These elderly persons are frail and unable to defend themselves and remain vulnerable to these types of horrific attacks.
If you visit your elderly loved one and receive information that they developed a sexually transmitted disease, you should have serious cause for concern that they may be suffering from sexual abuse. If you notice that they have any physical trauma to their genitals, ripped or torn clothing, the inability to stand or sit comfortably, or visible pain when walking, you should immediately contact the management of the nursing home, Adult Protective Services, and the police.
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Another type of abuse that nursing home residents may suffer is financial abuse. Many elderly residents of nursing homes still maintain control over parts of their finances. Manipulative nursing home staff members may attempt to coerce your elderly loved one into giving them their credit card, checks, debit cards, or cash. In more serious cases of manipulation, the nursing home staff member may attempt to have your elderly loved one move assets into their name or change their estate planning documents.
You should periodically check in on the finances of your elderly loved one to make sure that nothing changed drastically. If you do discover that your loved one had their finances manipulated, you should immediately contact the nursing home management to alert them of the situation.
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If your elderly loved one in a nursing home suffered from any form of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, they have legal rights. Elderly residents of nursing homes are frail and weak and simply cannot defend themselves. However, they all deserve dignity and respect. Contact a Forest Park nursing home abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine your next best steps to ensure your elderly loved one’s legal rights remain protected following any incident of abuse or neglect.