Instances of elder abuse and neglect are becoming increasingly common. While nursing home abuse involves a direct intent to harm seniors, negligence occurs when residents are affected or injured by the facility’s failure to administer quality care.
It is important to recognize the signs of mistreatment in order to protect elders from the debilitating effects of abuse and neglect.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse And Negligence
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there are seven different types of elder abuse, including:
- bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks;
- bone fractures, broken bones, and skull fractures;
- open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing;
- sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries/bleeding;
- broken eyeglasses/frames, physical signs of being subjected to punishment, and signs of being restrained;
- laboratory findings of medication overdose or under utilization of prescribed drugs;
- an elder’s report of being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated;
- an elder’s sudden change in behavior; and
- the caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone.
- bruises around the breasts or genital area;
- unexplained venereal disease or genital infections;
- unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding;
- torn, stained, or bloody underclothing; and
- an elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
- being emotionally upset or agitated;
- being extremely withdrawn and non-communicative or nonresponsive;
- unusual behavior usually attributed to dementia (e.g., sucking, biting, rocking); and
- an elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated.
- dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, and poor personal hygiene;
- unattended or untreated health problems;
- hazardous or unsafe living condition/arrangements (e.g., improper wiring, no heat, or no running water);
- unsanitary and unclean living conditions (e.g. dirt, fleas, lice on person, soiled bedding, fecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing); and
- an elder’s report of being mistreated.
- the desertion of an elder at a hospital, a nursing facility, or other similar institution;
- the desertion of an elder at a shopping center or other public location; and
- an elder’s own report of being abandoned.
Financial or Material Exploitation
- sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
- the inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card;
- unauthorized withdrawal of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card;
- abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
- unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions;
- substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources;
- discovery of an elder’s signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions;
- sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an elder’s affairs and possessions;
- unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family;
- the provision of services that are not necessary; and
- an elder’s report of financial exploitation.
- dehydration, malnutrition, untreated or improperly attended medical conditions, and poor personal hygiene;
- hazardous or unsafe living conditions/arrangements (e.g., improper wiring, no indoor plumbing, no heat, no running water);
- unsanitary or unclean living quarters (e.g., animal/insect infestation, no functioning toilet, fecal/urine smell);
- inappropriate and/or inadequate clothing, lack of the necessary medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures); and
- grossly inadequate housing or homelessness.
If you or a family member experienced mistreatment in a nursing home, you may be eligible for legal assistance and compensation.
Individuals are encouraged to take a quick, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more.
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