Physical Elder Abuse – Nursing Home Abuse
One of the most unfortunate occurrences in our society today is the abuse and mistreatment of the elderly. The World Health Organization brought this issue into the public eye in a 2002 statement. A large majority of senior citizens need assistance for care and have gone to live at nursing homes or they have a live-in caretaker. There are actually many different types of nursing home abuse, although people tend to think of this one the most. There is psychological abuse, financial abuse and even sexual abuse of the elderly that can happen. Here, we will discuss the tragedy of physical abuse. The elderly are almost completely defenseless, which means they are left to the care of nursing home staff. When the very people who are charged with their care actually cause the most harm, something must be done.
Signs of Elder Mistreatment
Your elderly loved one may be at a nursing home, leaving you with little chances to go and visit them. Unfortunately, this may mean that you only have a few instances in which to notice the signs of abuse. It is important to keep your eyes open for the signs so that you can report any suspicion as soon as possible. It is common for workers to become frustrated or impatient with the elderly. Although understandable, it is not ever acceptable to act out on these frustrations. Some common manifestations are hitting, punching, shoving and even giving them the wrong medication or failing to give them their medication at all. Be on the lookout for bruises and physical scars, but also be on the lookout for any changes in their personality.
You may believe that your loved one will tell you immediately if there is something wrong, but if they feel threatened then they may be trying to hide it. If you notice they are acting withdrawn, depressed or are refusing to answer your questions then this may be a situation worth digging into some more. It is actually common for one kind of abuse to accompany others. If your loved one is being physically abused then they may also be suffering psychological abuse as well. This type of abuse can be threats, criticizing and even just choosing to ignore them.
What You Can Do to Fight Back
It is frustratingly difficult to try and find statistics on elder abuse, and this is because this problem is continuing to remain hidden as a blemish on the caretaking industry. Many also fail to report these incidents, and therefore forego their rights. If your loved one is being abused, then you can do something about it! Rather than just reporting this to the nursing home itself, you can contact an attorney from our firm who has the ability to dig into your case a little further. Researchers are constantly studying and trying to dig up more information, but one statistic suggests that up to 25 percent of the elderly are abused in some form on a monthly basis.
Those who are in positions of trust are often the ones guilty of abusing it. While nursing home staff and caretakers are commonly the suspects for abuse, abuse can even come from within the family or a family friend. Some good resources that you can look to in order to find out more about abuse are the National Center on Elder Abuse and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. If you find out that this has been happening, then do not hesitate to contact Zinda Law Group!