Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair. Unfortunately, many senior Americans are currently victimized by this type of abuse in the very facilities they envisioned protecting and caring for them. These supposed safe havens for the aging are increasingly becoming dangerous institutions that place their residents’ well-being and lives in jeopardy.
Recent studies have revealed that nearly 10% of nursing homes had a reported violation that resulted in the serious injury or death of a resident. It is estimated that more than a third of all nursing home patients experience some form of abuse, with 90% of the abusers being someone familiar to the victim. When you factor in that 8 out of 10 nursing abuse incidents remain unreported, the statistics can be particularly frightening.
Not All Cases of Elder Abuse Involve Physical Actions
Elderly patients can be victimized in a variety of ways, including:
- Emotional Abuse
Abusers can psychologically torment their victims through humiliation, ridicule, intimidation, or scapegoating. The focus of this behavior is usually designed to terrorize the victim into submission.
- Sexual Abuse
Nursing home patients may be victims of rape or other forms of sexual assault.
- Financial Abuse
Theft of money or personal property is a form of financial abuse. Additionally, abusers can trick or pressure a patient into disclosing bank account information and/or credit card numbers.
- Physical Abuse
Victims of physical abuse in a nursing home many be subjected to hitting, scratching, shoving, biting, and / or punching. Inappropriate use of restraints can also fall under this category.
- Medical Abuse
Residents of nursing homes can fall prey to practices that severely endanger their health. This can include overprescribing medication, malnutrition, dehydration, and denial of treatment for known injuries.
Taking Action Against Nursing Home Abuse
If you observed warning signs of nursing home abuse or have reason to believe your loved one has been a victim, don’t delay in taking the necessary action. The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that victims of elder abuse have a 300% increased risk of death over the remaining senior population. All states have government agencies available to investigate and cite incidences of nursing home abuse. Depending on the type of abuse, you may wish to contact local law enforcement and remove your loved one from the facility.
For more information on your loved one’s right to receive compensation for their injuries, and how you can file a claim contact the attorneys at NursingHomeAbuseAwareness.com.