What Is the Most Common Type of Nursing Home Abuse?
Caring for the elderly is an incredibly important job for any society. There will come a time in everyone’s life when they will need to rely to some degree on others to take care of them. It’s a simple fact of life. Today, we have thousands of excellent nursing homes and assisted living facilities which do a great job of taking care of our loved ones. Tragically, however, there are some facilities and employees which have not lived up to the necessary standards of care and elderly residents have experienced nursing home abuse.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Abuse can take many forms at nursing homes. However, it always involves the physical, emotional, or psychological harm of a patient either at the hands of staff or other patients. Here are some common ways elderly patients can experience abuse at a nursing home.
- Physical abuse: Though we might not like to think about it, some employees mistreat elderly patients when they become frustrated or lose their patience. This could be handling their patients roughly, pinching them, overuse of restraints, or intentionally withholding food or medication.
- Psychological abuse: Verbal mistreatment and behavioral manipulation of a patient is considered psychological abuse. When a staff member yells at, insults, or shames a patient for accidents, they can seriously impact the patient’s mental health and lead them into depression and fear. It is not hard to see how this could lead to a decline in physical health as well.
- Exploitation: Caregivers can exploit elderly patients in a number of ways. This could take the form of stealing from them, using their credit cards, or even sexual abuse.
- Neglect: Neglecting a patient who depends on staff for frequent and timely medication or assistance getting up to go to the bathroom is a serious form of abuse.
Dangers of Neglect
Of these forms of nursing home abuse, neglect is the most common. This could be due to several reasons: understaffing, the increase in number of patients, and simple forgetfulness on the part of staff. Because it is passive rather than active abuse, it can be more difficult to spot than the other kinds of mistreatment, but that does not make it any less serious. Neglecting a patient who depends on care for their very health can be just as serious as actively abusing them. When nursing homes neglect patients, it can result in the following outcomes:
- Missed medication leading to a medical emergency
- Malnourishment and deterioration of health
- Development of bacterial infections from a patient’s lack of cleanliness
- Bed sores
- Broken bones from patient’s attempt to move around on their own
- Soiled clothing and beds
- Psychological trauma leading to reclusiveness, depression, mood swings
- Changes in personality or attitude
Be sure to check-in frequently with loved ones that are staying in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and try to visit them as much as possible. They might not even realize when they are being neglected, and blame health issues on themselves.
See the Signs, Call a Lawyer
If you discover any signs that your loved ones have experienced nursing home abuse of any kind, call the offices of Troutman Law Firm immediately. Nursing home abuse is tragic and reprehensible, and we will do everything we can to make sure you receive just compensation for the abuse. No amount of money can make up for neglect, psychological abuse, or physical abuse, but our dedicated team will fight for every dollar to help you receive the care your loved ones deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 407-647-5002.