Abuse of any kind is truly horrific and devastating to the victim and their families. Abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is particularly appalling and occurs more than one may like to think. According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, studies have shown that “only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities.”
Here are some of the most common types of abuse occurring in nursing homes throughout the country:
Physical Abuse – This kind of mistreatment is most common and is often the easiest to detect. Physical maltreatment occurs when there is unnecessary force placed upon a patient. This can show up in the form of bruises, scratches, fractures and broken bones.
Emotional Abuse – This type of abuse takes place when a caregiver purposefully humiliates, degrades or causes unnecessary anxiety and stress upon the elderly victim. Emotional abuse can come in many forms, including ignoring, unfairly blaming, screaming at, cursing or needlessly embarrassing an elderly patient.
Sexual Abuse –Sexual abuse can and does happen in nursing homes across the country, and it involves anything from rape, sodomy and forcing a person to view pornographic material to forcing the victim to take their clothes off unnecessarily.
Financial Abuse – Unfortunately, financial exploitation is one of the more common types of abuse in elderly care facilities. This frequently occurs through credit card and bank account fraud, scams or healthcare fraud.
Neglect – Medical negligence can be more difficult to identify than other types of abuse, but it just as wrong. Nursing home neglect is defined as “another form of elder abuse and is the failure to provide food, water, clothing, shelter, hygiene, medication, safety and comfort by someone who is responsible for the elder and includes strategies that withhold appropriate attention from the individual to intentionally failing to meet the physical, social, or emotional needs of the older person.”
Of course, not all elderly care facilities are guilty of abuse. In fact, many can provide your loved one with the compassionate care and 24/7 attention they require. The best way to make sure your loved one is not placed in an abusive situation is to research the facility thoroughly before placing them there. Also, it’s important to keep the communication lines open between you and your loved one so that they are comfortable confiding in you.
To learn more about these and other types of nursing home abuse, refer to this knowledge center article.
If you have an elderly loved one who has been victimized by a Tennessee care facility or one of its employees, contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Gilreath & Associates. We will help you obtain justice.