Did you know that 1 in 10 of Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse? Many elderly people require assistance to complete every day tasks, such as: eating, bathing and dressing. Therefore they live in nursing homes where they can receive 24-hour care.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse does take place. There are many forms of abuse that can take place, including: neglect and physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. Moreover, there are forms of abuse that take place in nursing homes that you might have never thought of. You should be aware of what can happen and what to do if it does.
Neglect is the most common type of nursing home abuse. Any time basic hygiene or necessary care is withheld from a resident is a case of neglect. Forms of neglect that can happen that you might not expect include:
- Not dressing a resident appropriately when they cannot dress him or herself
- Not providing the necessary medical aids. For example: glasses, a walker, dentures or hearing aids
- Confining a resident to their bed and not helping them out of bed everyday
- Not keeping a resident’s room clean and tidy
- Not treating a resident’s bed sores
It is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to ensure that each person is given the proper medication, ample sustenance in food and drink, basic hygiene needs taken care of a clean space to live.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
Physical abuse involves fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns that are unexplained. This type of abuse is usually intentional and could be the result of a frustrated staff member or another resident.
If any unnecessary or not-prescribed medication or sedative is given to an elderly resident of a nursing home, this can also be a case of physical abuse.
Sadly, sexual abuse does take place in nursing home settings. If your loved one develops any unexplained sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse may me to blame. Sexual abuse affects victims both physically and emotionally. It is something that can happen because many residents are too weak to do anything to prevent it from happening to them.
The nursing home staff is responsible for keeping residents comfortable and properly cared for. Unfortunately, people are people and it is possible for a staff member to emotionally abuse elderly residents.
Many times this takes place because the staff member is taking their anger out on the resident verbally—making the resident feel unwanted or like a burden. There is never an excuse for this to take place. Other ways that emotional abuse can take place include:
- If the caregiver/staff member leaves the elder isolated—making it hard for the resident to speak to other people and partake socially
- Staff member is verbally aggressive, controlling or uncaring
Elderly people are vulnerable, especially when they need the help of another person to take care of him or herself. Financial abuse occurs in nursing home settings and in ways that you might not expect. Cases for financial abuse include:
- If a resident’s money or credit card is stolen and used
- If a resident signs over property without being able to comprehend the transaction
- If the elder is giving gifts for care or companionship
- If the elder is pressured into buying things that they cannot afford
Contact Eric J. Hertz Today
Eric J. Hertz is here to help the people that are unable to help themselves. If you are concerned about nursing home abuse, speak to the management at the facility. If you have proof that abuse is taking place, tell the management and contact the authorities. It is important to contact an attorney that has experience with this type of work.
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Eric J. Hertz specializes in cases involving nursing home abuse. If you find yourself in a situation and are need of our service, give us a call today at 404-577-8111, submit a contact form or learn more about us by visiting our website.