Knowing the signs of nursing home abuse can save your loved ones from trauma in the future. Sadly, many of these cases go unreported. As older people become more fragile, they’re less likely to defend themselves if someone verbally or physically attacks them.
Continue reading to find out why elder abuse occurs.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?
Most elderly people experience a reduction in their senses. For instance, they may no longer be able to see or hear like they used to, resulting in abusers taking advantage of them. Moreover, since elders often experience mental and physical limitations, they can be difficult for caretakers to manage. Unfortunately, elder abuse sometimes isn’t taken seriously because many seniors have dementia and other disorders; this leads to people thinking that a victim imagines their abuse.
Learn how to identify the signs of nursing home abuse below.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, fractures, broken bones, scars, sprains, lacerations, and discolorations
- Vulnerability to illnesses, including sexually transmitted diseases
- Frequent complaints of pain and discomfort
- Signs of physical restraint, including marks around the wrists or ankles
- Being over or under medicated
- Nervousness or silence around caretakers
- Premature death
Signs of Neglect
Neglect can be accidental or intentional. Warning signs include:
- Lack of sanitation and hygiene
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Untreated bedsores
- Worsening pre-existing illness and health conditions
- Living in squalor, including fleas, soiled clothing, bedbugs, and dirt in a resident’s room
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- The emergence of sexually transmitted diseases
- Injuries or bruises on inner thighs or genitalia
- Torn or bloody underwear
According to the National Council on Aging, five million elders experience abuse each year in the United States.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
- Unnecessary expenses and care
- Drastic changes in overall financial situation
- Suspicious and significant withdrawals from the person’s bank account
- Unpaid medical bills, expenses, or care when the person’s financial situation was stable only a few months ago
Keep in mind that if your loved one is bed-ridden, there shouldn’t be new financial transactions from their bank account.
Institutional Risk Factors for Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, or their members may be overworked; this leads to rushed care, frustration, and early burnout. Residents are at higher risk of elder abuse if their facility has:
- High staff turnover rates
- Limited administrative oversight
- Unrealistic work expectations
- Reckless hiring practices, such as not conducting thorough background checks
- Staff who act with disregard toward residents
Although you can’t always prevent abuse, you can take steps to protect your loved ones. Checking in with them every day will go a long way in keeping them safe and making them feel secure.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
Often, the signs of nursing home abuse aren’t conspicuous. If your loved one is a victim of abuse, you can count on the nursing home abuse lawyers at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to help them receive the compensation they deserve.
We have offices in Utah County and West Jordan. Schedule your free case evaluation today.