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Elder Law

Nursing home abuse can happen more often than most people realize. Statistically, 1 in every 6 residents of a nursing home may endure neglect or abuse each year. While most residents are probably well taken care of, there may be instances where a staff member is intentionally abusive or neglectful. There are many red flags for nursing home abuse, and it is important that family members are aware of the signs so they can prevent it from happening or take action if needed.

If you are worried about whether your family member may have suffered mistreatment, you can turn to an attorney for insight. They can offer advice on how what to do if your loved one expresses being abused, neglected, or feels unsafe. Here are the five most common types of nursing home abuse:

Physical Abuse

This is when a senior resident suffers physical harm from a staff member either directly or indirectly. For example, a staff member may become frustrated and hit or pinch a resident into cooperation. Or, the resident suffers bruises and scratches from overuse of restraints.

Sexual Abuse

The definition of sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual exploitation or attention. Sexual abuse may also happen to patients who are unable to express their wishes or mentally comprehend what is happening. Patients with dementia or other cognitive conditions can be particularly vulnerable to such mistreatment.

Psychological Abuse

This refers to abuse that is not as easily identifiable, where a staff member humiliates, criticizes, shames, or yells at the resident. A common sign of psychological abuse, is when a loved one starts to exhibit changes in his or her behavior that is unlike them. For example, he or she may start to act fearful, anxious, or act out by refusing to take medications or eat. An attorney suggests taking these cries for help very seriously.

Financial Access Abuse

Exploitation of finances can occur when a staff member takes advantage of having access to the resident’s finances. The staff member may steal and rearrange finances in such a way that he or she could remove money for personal benefit. A sign that this may be happening is if the resident’s bank account slowly decreases overtime, and neither you or your loved one know why.

Neglectful Inaction

Neglect can include things like not providing resident with food, not assisting resident with personal hygiene, and ignoring requests to be helped. This can happen when there are not enough staff members on the clock, or personnel have not been adequately trained to accomplish job tasks.

If any of this information may apply to your loved one’s quality of living in the nursing home, please call a nursing home negligence attorney relies on right away. They can advise you on what steps to take next.