No New Mexico resident wants to think that their elder family member is being abused in their nursing home. Sadly, this problem is more common than many realize. This is what you need to know about elder abuse in nursing homes.
Understanding elder abuse
Elder abuse can take several different forms, but each involves victims 65 and older. According to the president and CEO of Jewish Home Family, the most vulnerable group to suffer nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence are women 85 and older who are cognitively impaired. This type of maltreatment is often carried out by nursing home staff members.
Types of nursing home abuse and neglect
Elderly nursing home residents can suffer abuse in a number of ways. Physical abuse such as hitting, punching, kicking or using restraints can leave bruises, lacerations and even more serious injuries like broken bones or head injuries. This is one of the most common forms of elder abuse.
Psychological abuse is not always easy to pinpoint because it doesn’t leave physical evidence. It occurs when someone verbally threatens, taunts, yells at, criticizes or humiliates a nursing home resident.
Sexual abuse is one of the worst forms of elder abuse in nursing homes. Victims are often too frail or cognitively impaired to even try to fight back. Those who have cognitively aware and experience sexual abuse in the nursing home often show a significant change in demeanor.
Financial elder abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member takes advantage of a resident to gain access to their finances, property or even identity. Cash or property may go missing, and fraudulent purchases may occur.
Nursing home neglect usually happens because of understaffing. Residents are often left alone to their own devices while staff members struggle to care for multiple patients, focusing on those who are particularly needy.
Elder abuse can have lasting consequences and even death. Never be afraid to bring up concerns that you have to the nursing home’s management.