We can all conclude that most nursing home staff members are fantastic. In fact, most nursing home staff are compassionate professionals, who carry out their duties in a proper manner, to provide the best service to the elderly. Unfortunately, not all of them do their jobs to their maximum abilities. If you didn’t know, the number of elderly patients whose rights have been violated is tremendous.
Per the National Center on Elder Abuse, close to two million seniors have been abused by an individual they trusted, whether that is a nursing home care attendant or a family member. Long Term Care Ombudsman programs examined over twenty thousand complaints of abuse in nursing homes in 2010, and these were mostly physical injuries. Additionally, Elder abuse experts suggest that approximately four to five incidents of elder abuse often go unreported, in every one reported case. These experts also say that more than two hundred thousand elderly individuals are abused in California annually.
Identifying the signs of abuse nursing home abuse.
For you to positively identify assisted home nursing abuse, it is crucial first to know the types of the possible damage. The most common forms of elder abuse include financial exploitation, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional or verbal and physical abuses.
Physical abuse can be defined as any act that either threatens or harms a nursing home resident. The damage or ill-treatment could result in injury, physical pain or even death, instances. An obvious example of physical abuse is a home nursing staff slapping, kicking or hitting the elderly resident. Though rare, a home resident can also be abused by a fellow old resident. It is critical to note that the illegal and non-emergency use of chemical or physical restraints also fall into this category.
For one to positively identify the nursing home physical abuse, you’ll have to examine some changes. Even though they may not readily identify, it could manifest itself in unexplained cuts, bruises, burns or fractures, markings around the ankles or wrists, deterioration in both the mental and physical state and perhaps anxiety or fear in the presence of residents or a staff member.
Emotional or Verbal Abuse.
Verbal abuse could include a threat of any kind, which could potentially lead to both injury and pain to the nursing home resident. On the other hand, emotional abuse includes non-verbal actions that are directly aimed at humiliating or intimidating a home resident. All these types of violations violate the rights of a home resident to be treated with respect and dignity he/she deserves. Clear indications of emotional abuse are; a sudden change in demeanor, anxiety, and depression and perhaps a feeling of nervousness when around the residents or individual members of staff.
It is critical to note that any form of an act that involves the illegal utilization or misuse of a nursing home’s funds, personal property or any other assets is known as financial exploitation. The embezzlement of a resident’s money by an administrator, theft by a staff member and the use of corruption to access the funds of a home resident are all examples of financial exploitation.
To tell if this has occurred, you may notice unusual ATM withdrawals, loss of personal property and other valuable items such as jewelry, clothes, and collectibles. Checks might also bounce, even when enough funds should be available.
Assisted living and nursing home neglect is also prevalent. This occurs when a nursing home does not provide the necessary care and the type of services needed by a home resident to attain the highest possible mental, physical and social and spiritual well-being. There exist numerous forms of neglect, ranging from neglecting the hygiene of the home resident to neglecting the nutritional and medical needs. Additionally, failure to offer adequate security is classified as neglect.
The signs of neglect could include dirty appearance, bedsores, unclean living areas, dehydration accompanied by drastic weight loss and perhaps unexplained injuries because of falls and other accidents.
Sexual abuse refers to the use of force to engage in a forceful sexual contact with a nursing home resident. The abuse might be committed a fellow resident, staff member or even by a visitor to the facility. Clear indications of sexual abuse could include bleeding in the genital area, unexplained bruises or cuts on the breasts and buttocks, and the diagnosis of an STI.
The action to undertake when you suspect neglect or abuse in a nursing home
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused, it is crucial to take immediate action and report the abuse, to help hold the negligent parties accountable. You can report the case to your local Human Services branch and the local Health Department near you. If you strongly suspect that your loved one is under a threat of safety, you may contact the law enforcement agencies.
On most occasions, you would want to seek justice for your loved one. This implies that you’ll have to request the help of a well-qualified assisted living negligence attorney, who will aid you to investigate your case and determine whether you are liable to file a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC are evidently the type of professionals you can trust to do the job. They have vast knowledge and experience and can help you respond appropriately to the suspected neglect or abuse to your loved one.
Steps to take to prevent future abuse.
The most important thing you can do to prevent assisted living facility abuse from occurring is by visiting your loved one on a regular basis. Keeping in good contact can avoid isolation, and ensure potential abusers are kept at bay. This will also play a vital role in identifying if abuse has happened.
The Bottom Line.
Over the last few years, nursing home abuse incidences have been on the rise. This means that even you, you could be a victim. Hopefully, the article has discussed in fine details, how to know when your loved is being abused, the steps to undertake and what you can do to prevent this vice from happening.