Nursing home elder abuse is something that has gone on for many years and unfortunately, it’s something that is becoming more and more common. When you place a loved one into a nursing home you do so with the understanding that they will be safe, respected, and well cared for.
For most people the idea of abusing elders is appalling, but it does happen. Elderly people are much more vulnerable than typical members of society, which makes them the kind of victims that abusers look for.
Elderly people are less likely to tell people about what is happening. Plus, if the elderly person is suffering from dementia, they may be completely unable to speak up. Because of their vulnerability, it’s essential that everyone with a loved one in a nursing home is aware of the signs of abuse.
How Are Elderly People Abused?
There are many ways that elderly people can be abused in nursing homes. Sometimes the abuse is intentional, other times the abuse is a result of neglect or when a caregiver becomes frustrated and lashes out. No matter what the cause is, abuse of anyone, especially elderly people that are more vulnerable, cannot be tolerated.
Some elderly people are neglected and are not given adequate access to food, water, exercise, medical care, therapy, and medications. Some elderly people are mentally abused by caregivers who call them names, mock them or do other things that make them feel belittled.
Elderly people are also often the victims of physical abuse from caregivers that are rough with them. Or, in some cases, caregivers who outright strike and push them. Elderly people are also frequently the victims of financial abuse when their caregivers take advantage of their diminished mental capacity. Sadly, some elderly people are also victims of sexual abuse.
How Many Elderly People Are The Subject Of Abuse?
Believe it or not, current estimates are that 1 in 6 elderly people are the subject of abuse in nursing homes. That’s a high number. And, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s a number that should concern you. With the population of elderly people increasing each year the chances for abuse are going up as well.
How Can You Help Prevent Nursing Home Elder Abuse?
Do you have a loved one in a nursing home? And, do you want to do whatever you can to help ensure that they are not being abused? First, start by making sure that the facility that they are in is a reputable one. If it’s not, then you need to move them to one that is.
Next, be present in their life. Your elderly relative would probably love you to visit frequently, so you should. Frequent visits show potential abusers that you care about your relative. This increases the chances that abuse would be noticed. Abusers don’t want to be caught. Therefore, if they know you are a frequent visitor they may decide that targeting your loved one is not worth the risk.
The most important thing you can do to help prevent elder abuse is to pay attention to what’s going on. If you see physical or mental signs of abuse then investigate it. Keep on top of their finances as well and if you notice a problem, then say something. By being vigilant you can help to protect your loved one and prevent them from becoming the victim of elder abuse.