Elder abuse is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an intentional act, or as a failure to act, by a caregiver that causes harm to an older adult. This is something that none of us wants our elderly parents or loved ones to experience. Below are signs to look for, and ways to prevent elder abuse from occurring in nursing homes.
Who is at Risk?
If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home, you are probably concerned for their well-being. Studies show that those with mental impairments such as dementia are more likely to suffer from abuse or neglect, and that women are more likely than men to be victims. Over 50% of nursing home staff members nationwide have admitted to committing some type of resident abuse. Often, nursing home residents suffer from neglect due to understaffing and low employee retention.
What is Abuse?
Abuse can take on many forms. Elders in nursing homes are more susceptible to physical abuse in the form of mishandling by employees or physical assaults by other residents. Neglect takes the form of denying the resident proper access to food, clothing or medication. Elders are also in danger of emotional abuse at the hands of their caretakers through bullying, threatening speech or social isolation.
The Nursing Home Abuse Center details signs to look for if you suspect abuse at a nursing home:
- Unexplained injuries, such as broken bones or sprains
- Bruising or scars that cannot be explained
- Signs of restraint
- Unusual behavior in your loved one, such as being withdrawn
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Improper bathing
- Unexplained weight loss
Pay attention to your loved one’s mood when you visit. If you notice any of the above signs, do not be afraid to demand a consultation with the director.
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is difficult, and your loved one should be spared the pain of abuse. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Conley Griggs Partin LLP today to schedule a consultation. You don’t have to face this alone.
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