4 Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, and it is important to be aware of the different types of abuse so that you can recognize and report any signs of mistreatment. The four main types of abuse that can occur in nursing homes are physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.
Physical abuse is any intentional act that causes physical harm to an older adult. This can include hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, kicking, or using excessive force when restraining an older adult. Physical abuse can also involve the inappropriate use of restraints, such as tying an older adult to a bed or wheelchair for an extended period of time.
Signs of physical abuse may include bruises, cuts, burns, or broken bones, especially in areas of the body that are not easily visible. An older adult who has been physically abused may also be reluctant to discuss the abuse or appear fearful or anxious around staff members.
Emotional abuse is any intentional act that causes emotional pain or distress to an older adult. This can include belittling, humiliating, intimidating, or ignoring an older adult. Emotional abuse can also involve isolating an older adult from family and friends or threatening to withhold care or services.
Signs of emotional abuse may include depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or a sudden change in behavior. An older adult who is being emotionally abused may also appear hesitant to speak or appear fearful around certain staff members.
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact or activity with an older adult. This can include unwanted touching, fondling, or kissing, as well as sexual assault or rape. Sexual abuse can also involve forcing an older adult to watch or participate in sexual acts.
Signs of sexual abuse may include unexplained bruises or injuries, difficulty sitting or walking, or sudden changes in behavior or mood. An older adult who has been sexually abused may also express reluctance or fear around certain staff members.
Financial abuse is any unauthorized use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets. This can include stealing, forging signatures, or coercing an older adult to give away money or property. Financial abuse can also involve charging excessive fees or prices for goods or services.
Signs of financial abuse may include sudden changes in an older adult’s financial situation, such as unexplained withdrawals or transfers of funds. An older adult who has been financially abused may also express fear or anxiety about discussing their finances or appear to be in financial distress despite having sufficient resources.
Preventing nursing home abuse requires a multi-faceted approach that involves not only identifying and reporting abuse but also addressing the underlying causes of mistreatment. This can include improving staffing levels, providing training to staff members on identifying and preventing abuse, and implementing policies and procedures that prioritize resident safety and well-being.
If you suspect that an older adult is being abused in a nursing home, it is important to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. This can include state agencies, local law enforcement, or adult protective services. You can also contact the ombudsman for assistance and support.
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for older adults and their families. By being aware of the different types of abuse and the signs of mistreatment, you can help prevent abuse and protect your loved ones. If you suspect nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to report it and seek legal help. The Terry Law Firm can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.