Know the Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home

No one ever wants someone they love to have to live in a nursing home, but there are times that it is necessary. While it may be the best option for loved ones, there have been many cases of abuse to the elderly in nursing homes. If someone you love is being abused, but aren’t sure what the signs and symptoms are, learning is the first step. Some residents of nursing homes who are being abused won’t say anything about how they are feeling or what has happened, but may still show some of the classic symptoms.

The first and easiest to notice are physical symptoms. There a couple different forms of physical symptoms that depend on the type of abuse. For physical abuse, the person may have bruises, pressure marks, cuts and scrapes, burns, and even broken bones. These can be signs of more than just physical abuse, but also neglect or mistreatment. Signs of neglect can also be bedsores, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, and unattended medical needs. Elderly who are in these types of situations may also suffer from sexual abuse. There are a few physical indicators that show that there has been sexual abuse, like bruising around the genitals and/or breasts. Sexual abuse can come from not only the care takers or workers at the residence, but it can also come from visitors and even other residents. Physical abuse isn’t the only form of abuse found in some nursing homes.

Verbal and emotional abuse are often found in nursing homes that have a problem with patient abuse. These are both a form of psychological abuse and rarely leave any physical evidence. This form of abuse is used against the resident causing harm to their self-esteem and outlook on life. This may include cursing at the patient, ignoring them, intimidating or humiliating, threatening, insulting, demeaning, criticizing, and belittling the resident. This is a very common form of abuse especially in nursing homes that are understaffed, over-populated, and have a stressful work environment. The signs that someone has been verbally abused can be shown through several different behaviors like the person being emotional, upset, angry, withdrawn, anxious, and in some cases they may be ignoring, threatening, frightening and even insulting towards their loved ones.

Another common form of abuse is the exploitation of the resident’s finances. This happens when a resident’s finances are either used against their will, without their permission, or is used wrongfully. Financial exploitation is defined as the wrongful use of an individual’s finances or property for another’s advantage. This can happen to a lot of senior citizens, not just those who are in nursing homes. If you have control over the persons finances, or have knowledge of what it should be and you notice that the persons bank account seems abnormally low or there have been a lot of checks cashed, they may be a victim of exploitation. This can also mean that someone is forging the resident’s signature, stealing money or possessions, or even selling their possessions without the persons consent.

Elderly abuse is very common and can possibly lead to wrongful death. If you notice that someone you love or know is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, you will want to act fast. You will want to contact a lawyer, preferably one who specializes in nursing home abuse. If the abuse is physical or emotional, or really any kind for that matter, you may seek to move them out of that nursing home or senior care facility as soon as possible to prevent anything worse from happening. Elderly abuse is a very serious issue, if you see any signs of abuse, call authorities and speak to a lawyer.