The different types of nursing home abuse

by Hessig & Pohl | Apr 16, 2019 | 

It is a horrible thing when a family learns that their elderly loved one who lives in a nursing home was abused in some way, either by the employees of the nursing home or by other residents. Sometimes it is hard to spot the signs of abuse. There are several different kinds of abuse. If you can understand them and the signs and symptoms of abuse, you might be able to stop it and hold the abusers accountable. Often, your loved one cannot communicate well enough to tell you of the abuse. Sometimes your loved one can communicate, but is afraid the abuse will get worse if they reported it.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse of a nursing home resident can take many forms and can cause many types of symptoms. Some of the actions of nursing home staff or other residents can include the following:

  • Slapping;
  • Hitting;
  • Punching;
  • Kicking;
  • Pushing;
  • Biting;
  • Choking;
  • Pinching;
  • Shoving;
  • Force-feeding;
  • Improper restraining; and
  • Over-medicating.

You have to understand that when some of these actions are taken, they may not leave any indications of physical abuse or violence. However, there are some signs and symptoms you should keep an eye out for. If you see anything suspicious, please ask to speak to a manager or supervisor or even the person who runs the nursing home for an explanation.

  • Bruises, fractures, welts or cuts;
  • Unexplained injuries that do not match up with the explanation given by staff;
  • Marks from ropes or other constraints; and
  • Medication that runs out before it should.

There also could be non-physical signs and symptoms that could indicate that abuse might be taking place. If your loved one is more easily frightened or their mood has changed, this could be a sign of some type of abuse. Also, another non-physical sign of abuse is if your loved one is frightened of certain staff members or residents or do not want certain staff members or residents near them.

Psychological Abuse

As with physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse can take many forms. Whenever someone causes fear, anxiety, anguish or emotional pain, then they will be guilty of committing psychological abuse on your loved one. This form of abuse can be caused by yelling at your loved one, humiliating them, threatening them, intimidating them, ignoring their needs and requests in some way. The signs and symptoms of psychological abuse can be the following:

  • Isolating the resident from friends or activities they enjoy;
  • Unresponsive or withdrawn behaviors from the resident;
  • Being agitated or emotionally upset;
  • Regressive behaviors;
  • Hearing the staff call the resident names or make threats towards the resident; and
  • Reports from the nursing home about verbal or emotional maltreatment;

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is tantamount to stealing money or something of value from your loved one. This can come in many forms — stealing money, jewelry, forging checks or withdrawals from bank accounts, or even changing estate documents such as wills. Financial abuse can also take the form of the nursing home either over-billing for services or charging your loved one for services that were not performed. Common signs of financial abuse include:

  • A new name added to an account or card;
  • Changes to legal documents like wills or power of attorney;
  • Large cash withdrawals;
  • Unmet financial needs;
  • Unexpected charges;
  • Forgery of documents;
  • Transfer of assets;
  • The loss of tangible assets; and
  • The receipt of unnecessary services.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves nonconsensual sexual contact between the nursing home staff and a resident or between residents. Many nursing home residents lack the capacity to enter into a consensual sexual relationship. Common signs associated with this type of abuse include:

  • Bruising around genitals;
  • Unexplained infections;
  • Bleeding; and
  • Stained or torn clothes or bedding.

If your loved one has suffered from some form of abuse while under the care of a nursing home, get the justice your family deserves — our nursing home abuse attorneys can help you hold negligent nursing home facilities accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today to review your claim and discuss your legal options. No upfront payment is required and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you. Please contact us here or at (502) 777-1111.

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