If you have an elderly relative or loved one being cared for in a nursing home, then you owe it to them to know about common nursing home abuse cases. Nobody likes to think that their loved one might be the subject of abuse. But, wishing that it isn’t happening isn’t going to keep them safe.
You have to keep your eyes open, trust your instincts and always be on the lookout for signs that something isn’t right. Before placing your loved one in a nursing home you should spend a good amount of time researching the facility. Find out what people are saying about it and find out if there have been any complaints or violations. This is a great first step. But it’s just that. The first step.
Even after you have vetted the facility you’re placing your loved one into, you still have to be vigilant. Elderly people are among the most vulnerable people in our society and if you truly care for your loved one you’ll be watching for signs that they may be the subject of abuse.
The following are the most common nursing home abuse cases you should be aware of.
In many nursing home abuse cases, residents aren’t subject to outright abuse. Instead, they’re neglected and don’t receive adequate care. This could be due to a lack of sufficient staff, insufficient training or staff that simply don’t care.
When nursing home residents are neglected, they don’t receive adequate food and water. Additionally, they aren’t able to bathe as frequently. Plus, they may not get the physical therapy that they need and they may not be given their medications.
Nursing home residents that suffer neglect often have physical signs of that neglect such as weight loss, worsening of medical symptoms, as well as signs of poor hygiene due to a lack of regular bathing.
Caring for elderly people requires patience and compassion and even the best caregivers can become frustrated. Unfortunately, these frustrations sometimes boil over causing a caregiver to push, strike or otherwise abuse a vulnerable elderly person who is in their care.
In some cases, a caregiver won’t outright hurt the person they’re caring for, but they will be rougher with them while helping them. Unfortunately, this can cause pain and injuries as well.
The idea that someone might be physically abusing your loved one is probably enough to turn your stomach. Fortunately, physical abuse is one of the easiest forms of abuse to spot.
Therefore, if you start noticing cuts or bruises during your visits, start asking questions. Falls and accidents happen, but when you start to see a pattern of these so-called accidents, that’s when you should be concerned.
Sadly, emotional abuse is all too common in some nursing homes. Emotional abuse isn’t something that can be seen in many cases, so you’ll have to pay attention to changes in your loved one’s behavior.
If you notice them being fearful or withdrawn when this isn’t their normal way of behaving, there’s probably something causing this change. In emotional abuse cases, caregivers will call residents names, mock them, threaten them, and do other things to make them feel sad and belittled.
Emotional abuse may not leave the same scars that physical abuse does, but it does hurt and can cause lasting damage as well.
Whenever you have a group of vulnerable people in one area, you’ll have to consider the risk that a sexual predator will try to satisfy their sick urges by preying upon them. Sexual abuse happens, and if you aren’t looking out for the signs that it may be happening, then you could be allowing your loved one to suffer.
If your loved one shows signs of abuse or becomes withdrawn or irritable, this doesn’t automatically point to sexual abuse but it can point to some kind of abuse. The biggest red flag would be if your loved one is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
In addition to physical, mental or sexual abuse, you also have to be on the lookout for financial abuse. Many elderly people aren’t quite as sharp as they once were, making them prime targets for those willing to take advantage of them.
Sometimes financial abuse is something as simple as caregivers refusing to allow residents access to funds needed to make purchases. Far too often, financial abuse involves an abusive caregiver using their position to gain access to the finances of the person they’re caring for.
From draining bank accounts to opening lines of credit in their names, abusers will go to any lengths to find a way to steal from vulnerable elderly people. To help prevent your loved one from suffering financial abuse, make sure that you keep a close eye on their finances and look for signs that something isn’t right.
Common Nursing Home Abuse Cases Mean That The Relatives Of Residents Must Remain Vigilant
Nursing home abuse cases are sad, tragic, and in many cases, they can go undetected for a long time. Elderly people are easy targets for people who lack morals. While most nursing homes do a great job at screening potential employees, there will always be some that somehow manage to slip through the cracks.
Or, there will be great candidates who, for whatever reason, become abusers. When you place a loved one in a nursing home you should be able to trust that they will get the kind of care that you can’t provide yourself. That’s what nursing homes are for. To help elderly people who need more care and attention than most people can provide on their own.
So, how do you protect your loved one from abuse? First, make sure you visit regularly. Your loved one will be thrilled to see you and on top of that, by being present at the facility regularly, it will show any potential abusers that you’re the type of family member who is more likely to notice if there is a problem.
Next, ask questions. If something doesn’t seem right then ask what is happening. If you notice injuries or changes in behavior, don’t just accept that the nursing home is telling you the truth. Question them and if you don’t get the answers that you need you should move your loved one into a better facility.