As our loved ones age, entrusting their care to nursing homes or assisted living facilities can become necessary. There are over 1.4 million residents in U.S. nursing homes at the moment.
These facilities should provide excellent care so you can rest assured your loved ones are cared for, but that isn’t always the case.
Elderly abuse in nursing homes is a growing problem in the USA. Older adults become victims of neglect, mistreatment, malpractice, theft, and even physical or emotional abuse. It’s essential to be aware of the signs and what you can do to prevent them from happening.
Keep reading for three facts about elderly abuse in nursing homes.
1. Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be broken down into seven types:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Neglect of a resident’s basic needs
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
Elder abandonment occurs when a caregiver leaves an older person alone when they require help. This often results in older people harming themselves as they try to get help or complete a task they shouldn’t attempt independently.
Emotional abuse is also described as verbal or psychological abuse. This occurs when someone threatens to control the resident or insults them. It is, unfortunately, the most common type of nursing home abuse.
Examples of emotional abuse include:
- Controlling a resident’s activities
- Isolating residents from others
- Making threats
- Insulting the resident
Financial exploitation happens when a caregiver steals from a resident or manipulates them into giving them money.
When a resident’s basic needs aren’t met, this is a form of abuse. Elder people need to be fed, clothed, and bathed regularly. If an elder is living independently, this is a form of self-neglect.
Physical abuse occurs when a resident suffers bodily harm or injuries. Whereas sexual abuse occurs when a resident experiences any form of unwanted sexual contact, touching, or groping.
2. There Are Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
While there isn’t a flashing sign indicating abuse is happening, there are some things to look out for.
Common signs include:
- Residents complaining about the level of care
- Notable staffing shortages
- Complaints of unethical actions
- Residents deteriorating quickly
If you suspect anything is happening, you must contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
3. You Must Report It
If you suspect or you’re made aware of elder abuse, you must report it. Elder abuse is considered a felony in Texas. Knowingly failing to report elder abuse is a Class A misdemeanor.
No matter the severity of the abuse, you need to report it ASAP. An investigation will determine how severe the case is.
Learn About Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes
When you entrust a nursing home to take care of your loved one, chances are you never even think of the possibility that you need to look out for signs of nursing home abuse.
Elderly abuse in nursing homes is a stain on the industry that can’t be ignored. While nursing home abuse is rare, you must know what to do if you encounter it.
If you suspect a loved one might be a victim of elder abuse, contact us immediately. At WestLoop Law, we have experience dealing with nursing home abuse cases in the Houston area.