According to the US Department of Justice, nearly 10% of people age 65 and older suffer abuse at the hands of elder care staff.
The paramount duty elder care facilities is to care for our aging loved ones. While many institutions provide excellent care, some facilities fail expectations, abusing their residents through neglect, fraud, and other forms of abuse. Because we are not there to monitor their care 24×7, it can be difficult to recognize signs of abuse.
Forms of elder abuse
The primary methods of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: resulting in suspicious or unexplainable bruising, fractures, or broken bones
- Emotional abuse: this can be verbal abuse or withholding care, leading to depression, anxiety, confusion, or extreme withdrawal.
- Neglect of basic needs: resulting in weight loss, malnutrition or dehydration, infections, or bedsores.
- Healthcare fraud: typically manifesting in mysterious prescriptions being filled for unnecessary drugs.
- Sexual abuse: resulting in pelvic injuries, trouble sitting or walking, rectal or genital bleeding, emotional or social withdrawal, panic attacks, or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Financial abuse: changes to a will or trust, beneficiaries, or power of attorney, unexplainable disappearance of funds from bank or investment accounts, strange charges to credit cards, or forging or endorsement of checks or other documents.
Abuse can lead to fear of facility staff causing victims to remain silent about what they are going through. This is especially true for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. When our parents or grandparents are unable to speak for themselves, it is up to us ensure their safety and well-being.
Awareness is key
Spotting signs of abuse can be challenging when there is no physical manifestation of the abuse. Knowing what to look for can help you put a stop to the abuse. No matter how trustworthy an elder care facility and their staff may seem it is best to keep a sharp eye for signs of abuse.