No one deserves to endure any kind of abuse, especially a vulnerable elderly person who is residing in a nursing home to receive care and living assistance. But nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality for some residents. To protect your loved one, make sure you know some of the signs of elder abuse and how to spot them.
Types of Elder Abuse
There are multiple types of elder abuse that may occur within a nursing home. The following are the most common types of abuse.
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Neglect or abandonment
- Financial exploitation
Below are some possible signs of physical and sexual abuse.
- Unexplained bruising, cuts, sprains, or fractures
- Obvious fear about a certain person or the nursing home in general
- Depression and anger
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Changes to a will or new financial loans
While physical abuse and neglect or abandonment can be the most life-threatening, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation are often extremely detrimental to an elderly person within a nursing home, and can cause serious health and emotional implications for the victim. In some cases, your loved one’s life may even be in danger.
Signs of Nursing Home Physical, Sexual, or Emotional Abuse Video
Some signs of nursing home abuse are more evident and obvious than others. According to the Administration on Aging (AOA), some warning signs of nursing home abuse include the following unexplainable injuries or maladies.
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Other signs of nursing home physical or sexual abuse might be these reactions or evidence.
- Fear around certain people
- Broken eyeglasses or frames
- Signs of being restrained (such as bruises or rope marks)
- Report of a drug overdose
Signs of sexual abuse can be read in the following.
- Unexplained sexually transmitted infection
- Bruising or bleeding in the genital area
- Torn or bloodied undergarments
Emotional abuse might include some or all of the following.
- Verbally berating the elderly person
- Depression and other mental health detriments
- Changes in personality or behavior such as withdrawing from normal activities or changes in alertness
- Isolation, either self-imposed or imposed by staff of the facility
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abandonment
Neglect is usually characterized by the following.
- Lack of proper hygiene
- Untreated bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Lack of medical aids
- Lack of food
- Lack of social stimulation
- Leaving an elderly person who requires constant care unsupervised
If an elderly person has unexplained weight loss, for example, it might indicate a lack of food.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
In terms of financial abuse, look for these signs.
- Frequent and large withdrawals from bank accounts
- New loans
- Changes to a will or trust
- A loss or lack of personal property
These can all be signs of financial abuse within a nursing home. In addition to observing the physical and emotional health of your loved one, be sure to keep an eye on his or her finances as well.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you believe that an elderly person in a nursing home in Olympia is in immediate danger, you should call 911. If you do not think that the danger is immediate, but do suspect abuse, you should report the abuse as soon as possible to the proper authorities, such as the OPD.
If you think that an elderly loved one is being mistreated in an Olympia nursing home, filing a lawsuit can help your loved one recover the compensation that he or she deserves. In Washington, the statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury case is three years from the date of injury, so get started now.