Nursing home abuse can be manifest in a number of ways: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, financial exploitation or self-neglect. We all need to be attentive to the seniors around us, keeping watch for signs of abuse. The elderly can suffer at the hands of caretakers in retirement homes, nursing homes, home-based heath care or even family members.
According to the United States Depart of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging:
- Females are more likely than males to suffer elder abuse.
- Elderly abuse occurs 2 to 3 times more often to seniors age 80 and over.
- In elder abuse and elder neglect cases where the abuser is known, 90% of the time the abuser is a family member and two-thirds of the time the abuser is an adult child or the spouse of the abused.
When Abuse Hits Close to Home
Signs of abuse to an elderly friend or family member can be subtle or suddenly very obvious. One of the most important ways to prevent or intercept abuse of the elderly is by listening to what an elderly person is saying to you. Don’t assume a report of physical mistreatment, theft or negligence by nursing home staff or other caregivers is imagined or overblown.
In many Chattanooga cases, though, the elderly are unable to report abuse or neglect because of speech or cognitive issues and, sometimes, fear. Far too often, administrators who become aware of abuse or neglect will do everything in their power to cover it up. They might even prevent visitors from seeing an abused resident without the supervision of a facility employee.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse:
- emotional irritability, anxiety, sudden changes in personality/behavior
- unexplained weight loss, malnourishment, dehydration
- poor personal hygiene, torn or stained clothing and belongings
- bruises, black eyes, other unexplained marks on the body
- signs of use of restraints
- changes in financial habits, large monetary withdrawals with bank accounts
- untreated bedsores
- poor living conditions
- depression, withdrawn behavior
As soon you suspect a friend, neighbor or family member could be the victim of elderly abuse, contact Jay and Brent for help. Consultation with our attorneys could protect the well-being, or even save the life, of your elderly loved one.