Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Jul 19

It is an unfortunate reality that nursing home neglect and abuse are on the rise in the United States. However, there are telltale signs that can help identify neglect and abuse that can stop it before doing any more damage.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, abuse is an intentional act of violence against elders, whereas neglect can be either intentional or unintentional, but ultimately involves improper care for an elder. Both have definite warning signs and serious implications on the health of nursing home residents.

Physical and sexual abuse and neglect typically have obvious physical manifestations upon the elderly. Bruises, broken bones and wounds are telltale signs of physical and sexual abuse. Neglect is shown through dehydration or malnourishment, rapid changes in weight, and bed sores. However, other lurking signs of abuse and neglect can be harder to catch. More often overlooked signs of abuse and neglect include a caretaker’s refusal to allow visitors alone in a room with the resident, sudden changes in behavior or temperament, heavy medication or sedation, and even personal hygiene neglect.

Emotional and psychological abuse of nursing home residents can often be even more difficult to detect, as it includes verbal abuse and degradation that do not leave physical traces. It often reveals itself through changes in temperament, depression and withdrawal from social activities, all of which can be tough to detect from outside the nursing home.

Although it is tragic to have a family member subjected to this kind of treatment, the website for the law office of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® says that whether the harm is intentional or not, there may be grounds for a negligence suit to give the abused elder and their family justice.

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