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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
It’s an unfortunate reality that some of the most vulnerable people among us, the elderly, are abused by the very same people who should be caring for them. Due to their age, seniors often don’t have the strength to defend themselves, and some don’t have the presence of mind to avoid being taken advantage of in other ways.
Elder abuse in nursing homes is not always perpetrated by those with malicious intent; on the contrary, many instances of abuse involve frustrated and/or jaded staff members who either “snap” or simply lose interest. And to make matters worse, victims tend to keep silent out of shame or fear of being a burden. This is why it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse. Once you realize something’s wrong, only then will you be able to take the proper steps to remedy your loved one’s situation.
What are the Signs of Elder Physical Abuse?
Signs of physical abuse should make themselves immediately apparent upon inspection. Every time you visit your elderly loved ones, you should check for the following signs of abuse in Louisville, KY nursing homes:
- Bruises, welts, or scars that are unexplained and appear symmetrically on both sides of the body
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
- Over- or under dosage of prescribed medication
- Shattered eyeglasses
- Marks on wrists that indicate excessive modes of restraint
If your elderly loved one refuses to let you examine his or her body or wears long sleeves every time you visit, even in stifling hot weather, then you may have reason to suspect abuse and should take the proper measures to prevent it from happening again.
What are the Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is perhaps the most traumatic type of abuse one can go through, yet it may also be the hardest to detect since victims often remain silent and physical signs occur around sensitive parts of the body, such as the genitalia. It is highly advised that you have your elderly loved ones go through periodic physical exams conducted by a physician you trust. The physician may report to you any troublesome signs or symptoms in a discreet fashion.
What are the Signs of Elder Financial Abuse?
Perpetrators of financial exploitation rely on their victims’ inability to realize their victimhood due to some mental ailment that impedes their ability to reason and think logically. If you have the notion that your elderly loved one is being taken advantage of financially, look for the following signs:
- Unexplained and/or excessive withdrawals from the elder’s finances
- Drastic shift in the elder’s financial status
- Missing valuables or cash
- Suspicious changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies
- Unpaid balances or lack of medical services, although the elder should have enough to cover them
- Unnecessary services, goods, or subscriptions
Like with all instances of abuse, detection is based on paying close attention and retaining constant communication with your elderly loved one. That means visiting often and checking in with staff. Sometimes, “face time” alone can prevent further abuse from occurring.
Protecting You and Your Loved Ones from Harm
Whether you have suffered abuse as the resident of a negligent nursing home, or you are a family member who suspects your elderly loved one is being abused, the compassionate Louisville attorneys at the Thomas Law Offices can help you put a stop to such occurrences and fight for recompense for any resultant damages. For a free case evaluation, please call us today at (877) 955-7001. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information on how to protect your elderly loved ones, click here to download our eBook.