6 Facts You Should Know About Nursing Home Abuse

We all care about our loved ones, especially about our seniors, so when the time comes that we are forced to put them in nursing homes, we want to find a place where they will receive proper care.

Simply a place where they will live in peace. Unfortunately, the reality isn't always great and there are a lot of elderly folks who become victims of abuse precisely in the nursing homes. How sad that fact is!

There are numerous kinds of abuse, however, if you pay attention to the signs, you just be able to recognize them on time. To help you out with it, we've decided to provide you with some facts about the most common problems older people face in these facilities.

1. Physical Abuse Is Easy To Notice

If you notice that your beloved one, or maybe somebody else from the nursing home is having any type of bruises, scrapes, cuts, or anything similar, bear in mind, that it may be the first sign of abuse.

Sometimes, people can come across broken or fractured bones, but that's really rare. Now, it doesn't instantly mean that the resident was molested or beaten, it may just be a sign that he or she wasn't handled carefully.

At times, you won't notice any scars on the resident's body, however, you may see that the glasses or any other possession are broken, which can also be a sign of mistreating. If that's the case, then you should talk to your loved one, calmly, to see whether he or she is going through something like this.

2. It's More Common Than A Lot Of People Think

Many studies have shown that more than twenty-four percent of nursing home residents have been physically abused at some point. Therefore, experienced lawyers at suggest that you should immediately do something about it, without any hesitation. So what are you supposed to do?

Gather evidence, talk to the owner of the nursing home and see what other relevant steps you must take. A good attorney will know exactly what to tell you! Sadly, many statistics have shown that elder abuse is frequently under-reported. There are many forms of elder abuse and they typically involve:

  • Neglect
  • Self-neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional or physical abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Financial exploitation 

3. Emotional Abuse Is Not Easy To Notice

Unfortunately, it's quite difficult to recognize this, unlike the physical one. Why is that? Well, that's because there aren't any precise signs when it comes to it. Now, if you notice that your beloved one doesn't want to be left alone, or if he/she is continuously asking you to be there, or if he or she is too anxious then all these things can be signs of emotional abuse.

Namely, every sudden change in the behavior can be the reason for concern. Some residents even develop various patterns and typically, OCD is the most common one when it comes to this type of abuse. In some instances (luckily, that's very rare) they may even stop eating and drinking water.

nursing home abuse

4. A Lot Of Nursing Homes Have Many Citations Against Them 

Viz, the federal government has cited more than one thousand nursing homes in the country for sexual abuse which is a lot, if we take into consideration that there are around 15,600 nursing homes in the United States and that oftentimes, this type of abuse is never reported. That's why these numbers are more than shocking.

5. Abuse Can Be Caused By Different Factors

There's almost never one factor that triggers nursing home abuse. For something like this to occur, there is a mixture of economic, social, and psychological factors that contribute to putting your loved one at risk for mistreatment. According to the NCEA, these factors normally involve:

  • Dementia or some cognitive impairment
  • Caregiver burnout or burden
  • Financial issues
  • Physical weakness
  • Living situations, such as nursing home, home, long-term care, etc.
  • Level of dependence on a caregiver

6. Women With Disabilities Frequently Deal With Abuse

Unfortunately, a woman with a disability is frequently at higher risk of this type of abuse. One study has shown (regarding institutionalized adult women) that twenty-one percent reported nursing home maltreatment that was some sort of interpersonal violence, while one-third of women with some kind of disability reported problems. 

Nursing homes are supposed to be safe havens for our seniors, and even though they usually are, sometimes, you can stumble upon some horrible cases that can send chills up your spine. That's why it's crucial to stay informed so that you know what you're supposed to do next.

Susan Harris

By Susan Harris

Susan Harris is the owner of Rooted Mama Health. She is the mother to two amazing children and wife of a loving husband. She strives to provide the world with all the information they need to live a happy and health lifestyle.