As people age, they are often more respected due to their life experience. However, elders can often face abuse from family, caretakers, or nursing homes. Any person can be subject to abuse, but The National Institute on Aging estimates that thousands of people over the age of 60 are taken advantage of every year.
Taking care of an aging loved one is not a commitment everyone can make. Older people require specialized care, and you may not have enough time to meet their needs. Nursing homes are a great alternative for elders who need assisted care. Someone can be there around the clock to help with basic tasks or administer medicine, and nursing homes can combat loneliness by creating a social environment. Unfortunately, there is also a dark side to nursing homes where vulnerable people are abused.
It is possible or any elder to face abuse in a nursing home, but the most likely victims are people who rely on assistance for basic life skills such as getting dressed, bathing, or taking medication. A person who has an illness such as dementia or Alzheimer may also be subject to abuse, or people who do not have friends or family to check the system. Older women are more likely to be abused, but older men face abuse in nursing homes as well.
When visiting a loved one in a nursing home, keep an eye out for changes in personality, unexplained injuries, and dissociation. A vulnerable person in a nursing home may face the following abuse:
- Physical: Physical abuse is one of the most common forms of elder abuse seen in nursing homes. This kind of abuse is considered anything that causes an elder physical harm. It may be an intentional hit or slap, or negligence. The misuse of restraints is one way that an elder can be abused. Restraints are only to be used short term for medical purposes, but they are sometimes used as a punishment. This can cause damage to limbs if used long term. Abuse can also be physical neglect when a patient in a nursing home is not getting what they need to survive.
- Emotional: Nursing homes should be a safe space for elders. Verbal and psychological abuse can be just as damaging to a person as physical. A person who is emotionally abused long term can face mental problems such as depression or anxiety. Emotional abuse may be present with financial or sexual abuse where the victim is blamed or threatened. An emotional abuser may keep friends and family members away to keep them blind to the abuse.
Contact a Kane County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
When a family member is sent to a nursing home, it is thought that they will be happy and taken care of. When abuse is suspected, contact an Aurora nursing home abuse attorney to keep negligent establishments accountable. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.