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Different Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse

Putting a family member in a nursing home can be one of the most emotional moments in life, but at least we know that our loved one is in good hands. There is a friendly medical staff that has the capacity to take care of our loved one, and there is sufficient facilities for their medical needs.

But not all those in nursing homes are having comfortable lives. Some of them suffer from different kinds of abuses. What makes it worse is the fact that most of the time they do not have the capability to defend themselves, or even the capacity to communicate their situation. As someone who is not physically limited, you have the responsibility to make sure that your loved one is in a safe environment.

Physical abuse
This kind of abuse is the easiest to see, because most of the time there is physical evidence, like wounds. Physical abuse is mostly done by the medical staff and other patients. Some of the most common signs of physical abuse include unexplained wounds, bruises, or any kind of injury. If your loved one has clothes that are torn or bloody, he or she may also be a victim of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse
Believe it or not, even the elderly population is vulnerable to sexual abuse. If your loved one suddenly has difficulty in standing, walking, or sitting, unexplained injuries especially in the pelvic area, or unwarranted sexually transmitted diseases, he or she may be suffering from sexual abuse.

Emotional and psychological abuse
The different kind of abuses can have negative effects on the emotional and psychological state of your loved one. If you notice that your loved one is acting differently than usual, having anxiety attacks, or suddenly withdrawing from social interaction, he or she may be experiencing some kind of abuse in the nursing home.

Negligence
Sometimes, the abuse takes on a form that does not directly cause harm to your loved one, like negligence. If your loved one is experiencing negligence, he or she may look malnourished, dehydrated, or unhygienic.

Nursing home abuse is such a serious issue that there are even law firms specializing in them, such as the Bruner Law Firm. But you don’t want to get involved with legal matters, especially because of their money and time costs. So the best option is still to avoid nursing home abuse. If you see the signs stated above, start being suspicious and be vigilant. After all, we are talking about the safety of a loved one.

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

More than a million elders in the United States, upon reaching the age of 60, grow weak due to chronic fatigue, illness, or gradual loss of muscle strength, which is a result of aging and/or inactive lifestyle. This weakness often necessitates physical assistance even in the performance of the most ordinary daily chores, such as eating, bathing, toileting and dressing.

When work renders family members incapable of looking after their elders on a full-time basis, though, families turn to nursing homes where they know their loved ones will be provided the time, attention and quality care they have come to need.

In 2013, about 16,000 registered nursing homes in the U.S. gave shelter and provided care for more than 3 million residents: these are people who were victims of accidents are required rehabilitation and therapy; young adults suffering from mental or physical disability; and seniors, those aged 65 and above. Majority of the residents, besides needing assistance in their daily needs, also required medical attention.

Provision of quality care that skilled nursing facilities advertise and boast of id far from reality, though, as may probably be proven by all the alarming news of abuses committed against residents. These abuses are committed by home staff, nurses or co-residents, while types of abuse include financial, physical, mental, emotional or sexual.

Among the different types of abuse, sexual is considered to be the most wicked and degrading, yet the least reported due to the humiliation that victims experience. This abuse is committed through various ways, including fondling, forced nudity, showing of pornographic materials, forcing another resident to kiss or touch the victim and forced penetrative acts or rape. Rather than complain about their unpleasant and humiliating experience, however, many residents rather choose to remain silent in fear of being suspected of suffering from dementia (memory disorder or impaired reasoning). Any unexplained scar/s and the victim’s over-sensitivity to touch can be indications of sexual abuse, though, which authorities and family members should be observant of.

A family member sexually abused in a nursing home can result to some individuals blaming themselves for the suffering of their loved one. This is not their fault or their loved one’s fault, though. Sexual abuse is the work of depraved individuals who need to be held accountable for their grievous misdeeds.