The National Council on Aging reports 10 percent of Americans over age 60 have experienced elder abuse but only one in 14 cases are reported to authorities. One prominent area of focus in elder abuse prevention has been nursing homes, where it is reported that up to one in three residents experience some form of abuse.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you should understand the different types of nursing home abuse and their warning signs. If your loved one is being mistreated, obtaining expert legal counsel is an important step toward receiving compensation for their mistreatment and ensuring action is taken to prevent others from experiencing the same pain and suffering.
There are many ways nursing home residents can be victims of financial abuse. Financial exploitation in nursing homes involves someone scamming or coercing the resident into making financial decisions that are not in their best interest.
Nursing home residents may be experiencing a decline in their cognitive abilities, which means they could be susceptible to making poor financial decisions at the direction of others. Signs of elder financial abuse include:
- Inability to access funds
- Nursing home staff forging documents
- Large withdrawals from their bank account
- Unauthorized withdrawals using the resident’s ATM card
- Unnecessary services being provided at a significant financial cost
Nursing home residents may become victims of physical abuse by the people who have been trusted with their care. Physical abuse can include kicking, shoving, pinching, and hitting. Warning signs include:
- Bruises, welts, open wounds, or fractures
- A caregiver not allowing visitors alone time with their loved one
- Broken or missing glasses
Sexual abuse in nursing homes occurs when there is any non-consensual sexual activity with a resident. It can include inappropriate sexual comments, unwanted touching, taking sexually explicit photographs, or rape. Signs of sexual abuse may include:
- Bruises or cuts around the genitals or unexplained bleeding
- Torn underclothing
- Unexplained diseases or infections
Emotional or Psychological
Even if a form of physical abuse does not occur, a nursing home resident can still be a victim of emotional or psychological abuse if they experience verbal assault, threats, intimidations, or harassment. Emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. You can identify this form of abuse through signs that could include the resident:
- Withdrawing from normal activities or communication
- Becoming depressed or emotionally withdrawn
- Exhibiting side effects from emotional abuse such as fatigue, loss of sleep, or weight loss
Neglect is another form of abuse in which the nursing home resident is not given the proper care they need. If the resident is not given the food, water, medicine, or safety they need, they are experiencing neglect from the nursing home. Signs may include:
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Health conditions left untreated
- Untreated bedsores
Hire a New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Residents of nursing homes have a right to experience a comfortable and safe environment, but unfortunately, many are victim to one or more types of elder abuse in which they are taken advantage of in their vulnerable state.
If you believe a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, the team at Rosenberg | Perry & Associates has the knowledge, experience, and resources to fight for justice and ensure your loved one is protected and that the defendant is held accountable for their actions. Contact us today through our site for a free consultation, or call our office at (609) 216-7400 to speak with our team.