When you put your parents or grandparents in a nursing home, you want them to be taken care of. You want the best care from their nurses, doctors, and any caregiver they will have. However, this is not always what happens. Even though these facilities are governed by detailed laws and regulations designed to protect their residents, nursing home abuse and neglect still happens.
Noticing signs of abuse early is the key to protecting your loved ones and helping the elderly in our society. According to NusingHomeAbuseGuide.org, the signs of nursing home abuse include: broken bones or fractures, bruising, cuts, bed sores, frequent infections, dehydration, mood swings, reclusiveness, refusal of food, unexplained weight loss, and poor physical appearance. According to Charleston personal injury attorneys of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, the elderly are often reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they don’t want to get the abuser in trouble. This means that it is often up to relatives or outside third parties to notice and report abuse.
The physical and emotional abuse that often occurs in nursing home facilities can have significant effects on the elderly victims. Abuse and neglect can lead to mental and emotional issues, and can have disastrous financial consequences for victims. Physical effects can be very serious considering the age and physical condition of the residents already. If you do suspect abuse, it is important to act quickly.
Nursing home abuse can come in a variety of forms. Aside from physical, verbal, health, and life issues, another type of maltreatment in nursing homes is sexual abuse. The number of these incidents has become alarming that it has become a growing problem in nursing homes. Elderly patients can be subject to sexual abuse because of their frailty and unlikely to be taken seriously when filing a claim.
In most nursing homes, sexual abuse may involve patients that are already suffering from dementia or other mental illnesses. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) revealed that the older the victim is, the less likely it will be for the sexual offender to be charged. Aside from that, the same study also revealed that elder sexual abuse victims are likely to be believed unless there are signs of physical trauma. The incidence of sexual abuse in nursing homes may be a result of being understaffed in most of the facilities.
The family of the sexually abused elderly can play a crucial role in making the perpetrators of the crime liable. To prevent elderly sexual abuse, it is important that the facility be filled with more staff to prevent sexual abuse. At the same time, they should be properly trained to handle such kind of incidents.
Elderly abuse in the nursing home can manifest the following symptoms:
Preventing sexual abuse in a nursing home can prove to be a challenge. Unless preventive measures are implemented, the number of victims of sexual abuse in the nursing home will continue to increase. Nursing home abuse, in general, should be subjected to a thorough investigation. The party responsible for the act of sexual abuse should be held accountable.