Caring for an elderly loved one can be a very stressful experience, particularly if that loved one requires care and services you are unable or unequipped to provide. In these situations, placing your loved one in a nursing home is often the most compassionate move to make. If you are the person responsible for checking on the health, life and well-being of a loved one in a nursing home, it is devastating to discover he or she has fallen victim to nursing home neglect or abuse.
Even if you have taken care to find a reputable facility, nursing home abuse, neglect and exploitation is far more common than you may realize. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), between one and two million U.S. adults ages 65 and older have been mistreated, exploited, abused or injured by someone entrusted with their care. It is suspected that only one out of every 14 incidents is reported to authorities.
To protect your loved one, and reduce the chances of falling victim to nursing home abuse, it is essential you recognize the signs of nursing home abuse.
Physical abuse is just one of the types of abuse which is sometimes seen in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If your loved one is being physically abused by the staff or employees in the nursing home in which he or she resides, you may be able to put a stop to it, if you see the following signs:
Emotional nursing home abuse is not always as easy to identify as physical abuse, however it is quite common, and can occur in either verbal or non-verbal forms. Signs of emotional abuse may be seen in a loved one who is exhibiting any of the following behaviors:
Another example of nursing home abuse is elder neglect. When elderly patients and residents are ignored and neglected, their physical or emotional state may get decidedly worse, and their overall health can often be seen to decline rapidly. If you have observed any of these signs, your loved one may be the victim of elder neglect:
Aside from outright violence, sexual abuse is one of the most physically-taxing and vicious types of nursing home abuse. If your loved one is being sexually abused, he or she may not be willing to admit to the fact out of fear or humiliation. These signs may help you be able to spot sexual abuse to a loved one in a nursing home setting:
Financial exploitation among the elderly is a particularly heartless crime, as in some cases it can leave a victim without the financial resources to continue receiving the care and treatment necessary for the rest of his or her life. Your loved one is likely being financially exploited if you observe any of these tell-tale signs:
If you have a loved one who you suspect may be the victim of nursing home abuse, or you know of someone who you believe is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, our firm is here to help. Contact a skilled Virginia nursing home abuse attorney at Kendall Law Firm today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you.