A report by the World Health Organization shows that about 15.7 percent of older persons above 60 years have undergone some form of elder abuse. The figure could be higher, as only 1 in 24 elder abuse cases is reported. While elder abuse can take place in a community setting, it is prevalent in nursing homes.
Unfortunately, older persons hardly report cases of abuse to family members due to fear. You need to understand the warning signs of different types of elder abuse. Check out these five warning signs of abuse in nursing homes.
1. Signs of Elderly Physical Abuse
Arguably, physical abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes. Physical abuse is easily noticeable due to tangible results. The signs depend on the type and severity of the violation.
If you notice scrapes or bruises on your elderly parent’s body, the chances are that a blunt object is being used on them or they have been grabbed. Check the upper arms, wrists, or ankles for most of these signs. Fractured or broken bones can also signify physical battering or restrains.
Social withdrawal can also be a sign of physical abuse as the older person lives in fear. It is also common for the abused person to become startled quickly. If you visit your mum in the nursing home, getting startled by sudden movements or loud noises should worry you.
Some nursing homes might explain that your loved one was in an accident. You could win a slip and fall lawsuit if the accident occurred as a result of an unsafe environment. It would be advisable to seek another institution to avoid further elderly abuse after the lawsuit.
2. Signs of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is one of the most horrific types of abuse in nursing homes. Caretakers perpetrate most cases of elderly sexual abuse in nursing homes. Victims hardly report this type of abuse as they deem it as shameful.
Signs of sexual abuse such as bruises on the genitals and the breast area might be hard to detect unless you’re assisting the senior to bathe or dress up. Anal and vaginal bleeding are also signs that you should never ignore. Stained underwear can be a sign of molestation.
If a senior gets sexually transmitted infections, you might want to investigate further as they are probably not sexually active. Some sexually abused residents self-isolate, they withdraw socially and might have instances of angry outbursts. Once you notice these changes, investigate further to know whether they have been victims of sexual abuse.
3. Signs of Financial Abuse
The prevalence of financial abuse in one year was reported to be 5.2 percent. Most of these financial predators target retirement accounts. Unfortunately, you might never detect financial abuse since there are no direct observable signs.
Yet, financial abuse among seniors is quite common. With minimal comprehension and access to banking technology, elderly persons are highly prone to this type of abuse in nursing homes.
If you notice large sums of money that’s missing from the older person’s bank statement, you should follow up. Strange transactions can also be a sign of financial abuse. In other cases, the elder might be providing monetary gifts to caretakers in a nursing home with the hope of getting companionship.
It is crucial to have a trusted family member to monitor the financial activity of a loved one in a nursing home. You need to follow up on any cases of loss of funds. Financial abuse can make it even hard for a senior to afford medication, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
4. Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Emotional abuse is often subtle. This form of abuse occurs gradually, and by the time you realize, your loved one might be in a dark place psychologically and emotionally. Worse still, some of the residents might not be aware that they are subject to emotional abuse.
It would help if you were keen on some repetitive actions and signs that are indicators of emotional abuse in seniors. Changes in behavior are the most common sign. Social withdrawal is a sign you wouldn’t want to ignore when visiting your loved one in a nursing home.
If older adults fear being alone, there’s a problem. Unless the senior has an underlying condition, acting scared when left alone can be an indication of emotional abuse. Some repetitive behaviors, such as sucking or constant rocking, can be another sign that an older adult is facing emotional abuse.
5. Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect of the elderly in the nursing home is a common type of abuse that seniors face. Unlike abuse, which is more of intentional harm, neglect is inadequate care. Neglect can have adverse health implications for the elderly.
You can sue the nursing home for medical malpractice, depending on the signs of neglect you see in your loved ones. Failure to care for injuries, wrong medication, or mobility issues sum up as both medical malpractice and neglect. You should also check out other signs such as bedsores, constant infections, chronic dehydration, and staying with soiled clothes or diapers.
When you visit your elderly parents in the nursing home, be sure to check if they are being subjected to unsafe or unclean living conditions. You might also need to check their appearance to know the level of hygiene at the facility.
It is crucial to research more about a home to reduce the chances of elderly neglect. You need to have all agreements in writing, which will help you seek legal action if your loved one is subject to abuse in a nursing home.
Abuse in Nursing Homes is Prevalent
You need to understand most of the signs of abuse so that you can take timely actions. Abuse in nursing homes can be sexual, physical, emotional, financial, or neglect. Each of these types of abuse in nursing homes exhibits different signs.
If you notice behavioral changes in your loved one, act as fast as possible. Most seniors don’t disclose if they are facing any form of abuse. You have to be keen on the physical appearance and the behavior of an older person to detect abuse.
Do you need an attorney to help you in the case of nursing home abuse? Contact us today for the best legal services.