Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

As much as we may want to be by our loved one’s side when they reach old age, we don’t always have the possibility to take care of them. Between working to pay off the mortgage and taking care of our own children, most of us barely have time to drop by to visit our parents. Still, at this age, they need constant care, which is why we put our trust in nursing homes.

Nursing homes are supposedly a place where we allow our elder loved ones to remain in the hopes that they are properly taken care of. However, even the fanciest of nursing homes can hide horrible offenses from the public – one of which is neglect and abuse.

Abuse comes in different forms, which is why you need to learn how to recognize it. Here are the sign that this is happening at a nursing home.

  1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is a type of violence directed specifically at the resident – the warning signs are usually present on their body. This type of abuse can take many shapes, including slapping, shoving, pushing, choking, kicking, and punching – just to name a few of them.

The first and most obvious signs are bruises, cuts, welts, and burns – all of which tend to happen on a regular basis. If they are accompanied by broken bones or unexplained falls, you can also see it as a warning sign.

Tennessee law, for instance, does not permit unnecessary use of restraints. Therefore, if you left your loved ones in a Tennessee nursing home and notice marks on their wrists, you may want to contact your Clarksville nursing home abuse lawyers. They will use the law to bring you justice.

  1. Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is not as easy to spot as physical abuse, but the people close to the residents might notice some slight differences. Emotional abuse leads to psychological consequences for particularly vulnerable seniors.

When a nursing home resident is emotionally abused, they may be subjected to insults, humiliation, threats, degrading comments, and more. Emotional abuse may lead to a variety of psychological effects such as social isolation, depression, anxiety and fearfulness, as well as extreme nervousness around members of the staff and other residents.

  1. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is seen as one of the most despicable forms of abuse that may occur in a nursing home. This may range from explicit comments to sexual assault. It may not only be applied by the caregivers and staff, but by other residents as well.

Someone subjected to sexual abuse may show several signs, of both physical and psychological nature. Bruising or injuries around the buttocks, breasts, and genitals might suggest this kind of abuse. Sexually transmitted diseases may also be an alarming sign, as well as other unexplainable sexual health problems that seem to have been inflicted.

A person that is sexually abused at a nursing home may frequently have damaged clothing, especially their undergarments. Self-isolation, loss of interest in daily activities, and sudden onset of depression and anxiety can lead to sexual abuse if other physical signs are also present.

  1. Financial Abuse and Exploitation

People dealing with dementia and other brain-degenerative diseases might not know exactly when they are getting financially abused, which is why many of the workers abuse their power. This can take on many forms, from stealing and convincing the resident they misplaced or “forgot,” to manipulating them into signing away their assets.

The signs can be difficult to pinpoint, but the most common ones are missing cash and valuables, unexplained transactions, insufficient funds for bills, unauthorized withdrawals, and expensive gifts to the caregiver.

  1. Neglect

Most people focus on the abuse part of a nursing home, but while not as extreme, neglect is also something you should pay great attention to. Whether it is intentional or not, neglect can put your loved ones in danger.

The warning signs of neglect can include worsening health conditions, poor hygiene, bed sores, unsanitary living conditions, weight loss and malnutrition, failure to provide care, and allowing risk elders to wander around without being supervised. Left unattended, neglect can lead to injury and even death, which sets the grounds for a personal injury claim.

The Bottom Line

If you believe that your loved ones are neglected or abused in a nursing home, it is in your best interest to contact your attorney. With the right evidence after an investigation, you should be able to bring justice to your loved ones.