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03/26

What Is Elder Abuse?

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

While you may have gone to great lengths to find the right nursing home for your elderly loved one, he or she could still suffer from elder abuse. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect is more prevalent than you might think. In many cases, this type of abuse is not due to malice but to a shortage of staff or the use of staff who have not been properly trained. Those who live in nursing homes often require constant care and attention which they may not be getting.

To make the situation worse, many of those who experience elder abuse may not be able to report it. This could be because the individual is not able to communicate about the abuse or because they do not realize it is happening. Elder abuse can be emotional, psychological, and even financial.

Common types of elder abuse include:

  • Withholding food or failing to provide the food according to a prescribed schedule
  • No access to water resulting in dehydration
  • Medication errors
  • Poor facilities
  • Inadequate daily care and grooming
  • Abandonment
  • Failure to diagnose or recognize a serious health concern like a heart attack or stroke
  • Failure to treat a condition or provide emergency care
  • Wandering of the patient because of lack of attention
  • Intimidation of the patient

What Are The Signs of Elder Abuse?

Some elderly patients may be experiencing abuse but are not able to communicate it. This means that you should be on the lookout for common signs of abuse including:

  • Emotional Signs – If you notice behavior and/or personality changes, including the patient becoming withdrawn, anxious, agitated and uncommunicative, it could be a sign of abuse.
  • Physical Signs – If the patient shows any unexplained injuries like bedsores, fractures, muscle atrophy, burns, rapid and unexplained weight loss or unwarranted use of physical restraints, abuse may be an issue.
  • Sexual Signs – Sadly, some elders are even sexually abused. If you notice unexplained venereal disease, bleeding or bruising in private areas, abuse is a possibility.

Experts say that another common sign of abuse is when a staff member refuses to allow the family or friends to visit or insists on being present during the visit. If you notice odd behavior like this, especially if it is coupled with any of the above signs, your loved one could be suffering abuse.

What Do I Do If My Elderly Loved One Has Been Neglected or Injured in a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes are required by law to provide a certain level of care. Federal and state laws are designed to protect those who live in nursing homes from abuse or neglect. If you are afraid that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, the team of attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas can help.

We have extensive experience obtaining justice for victims of abuse in nursing homes, and can help you not only determine if abuse is happening but also put a stop to it and seek compensation for damages. When facing the horror of nursing home abuse, turn to the trusted team at Bernstein & Poisson for help.

 

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