As we grow older, the elderly population also increases. Currently, there are 3.2 million registered elders in nursing homes. The inevitable fate of life is old age if not death. It is for this reason that nursing homes for the elderly have come up. Those in old age need some care and attention that their children may sometimes not be able to afford them.
Our parents and guardians deserve the absolute best from us, this is why we ignore the expenses and take them to these homes. Here they are able to live out their days under professional care and in comfortable conditions.
The number of nursing homes has risen in recent years due to demand for their services. Unfortunately, with this increase, the number of cases of abuse in these homes has also risen. Shocking as it may seem, apparently only 44% of the total cases of abuse gets reported to authorities.
Negligence in nursing homes involves the breach of duty intentionally in order to cause harm to a resident of the home. It may be either medical, where the caregiver neglects their duty to administer medication to the resident, or emotional where they get ignored, abandoned or shamed.
There are also cases of physical negligence where the caregiver leaves the resident to take care of their personal hygiene and that of their allocated space in the home. A lot of the elderly are at pains when performing physical tasks. Especially the ones confined to a wheelchair. They are therefore unable to bathe themselves or clean their environment.
Emotional abuse is harder to detect compared to neglect. It is more physiological In nature. It may be in a verbal or non-verbal manner. In these cases, the caregiver will intentionally humiliate and bully or completely ignore the resident. In some cases, some residents get isolated from the rest which causes them mental anguish.
The results of emotional abuse often manifest themselves as low self-esteem and mood swings all of a sudden. In some cases, their sleep patterns are affected as well.
Resident psychologists come in to investigate claims of emotional abuse. If you suspect your loved one is a victim, they should be your first stop.
Physical abuse is much easier to detect. It involves using physical force on a resident against their will and will often result in injury. Because the elderly are not as physically strong as their nurses, some take advantage of them, using force to impose their will.
When unexplained bruises and scars start showing u on their skin, it might be a sign of a physical altercation they have experienced. When bruises are visible on the hands, we may regard them as self-defense wounds.
The nature of a culprit is to defend themselves at any cost. Many of them will take advantage of vulnerable patients such as those with memory problems or questionable sanity. This is because it is easier to believe the member of staff than the resident in most cases.
Both elderly men and their women counterparts have been victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes in the recent past, with cases rising every day. Studies have shown that the elderly are less likely to report cases of sexual abuse as compared to younger generations.
This is despite the fact that it is the elderly that sustain more injuries in the genital areas as a result of sexual abuse. Many of these injuries require medical intervention and in cases such as lacerations, surgical procedures. When sexual assault goes unreported, the victims are not able to get the care they need for their physical and mental rehabilitation.
if you suspect your loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, obtain the services of a nursing home neglect lawyer.
This happens when a member of staff has access to the resident’s financial resources or information. Being that some elderly residents are not in the right frame of mind, some caregivers tend to take advantage to steal from them.
This might be either stealing their personal belongings, tricking them into revealing confidential information involving finances or manipulating them to participate in fraud. These are all cases of financial exploitation that have been rampant in nursing homes in recent years.
Abuse From Fellow Residents
This normally happens when one resident tries to bully their way around the home or exploits other residents either financially, sexually, physically or emotionally. Though a bit rare compared to abuse from members of staff, there have been quite a number of reported cases in recent times.
This, however, shouldn’t happen under the proper supervision of the caregivers and is in itself a form of neglect by the nursing home. At the end of the day, the organization is responsible for the safety and well-being of its residents.
Why Do Cases of Elder Abuse Go Unreported?
Elderly women especially suffer the most when it comes to elder abuse. They, however, seem to let the perpetrators walk scot free. Baffling as it may sound, there are a few reasons why.
- Out of fear of the abuser
- Lack of trust in the authorities
- Lack of knowledge of their rights
- Out of fear that nobody will believe them
- Financial constraints
- Out of love or concern for the perpetrator
Get Help From a Professional If Your Loved One Has Been Through Elderly Abuse.
The immediate course of action would be to get them out of the harmful environment. This way you would be able to stop the abuse as soon as possible.
A lawyer will help you to gather all the necessary information and documentation needed to build a case against the individual or the nursing home organization. The services of a good lawyer will make sure the offender does not get to harm other residents in the future and get justice for your loved one at the same time.
For more advice concerning health and care for our lovely women in the elderly generation, be sure to check out our website or contact us.