Jun 10, 2014

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Truths about Abuse in Nursing Homes

A Few Truths about Abuse in Nursing Homes

It’s not easy making the decision to place an elderly relative into a nursing home – even when there really is no viable alternative. Many elderly people themselves are very reluctant to go into a home, some claiming they would “rather die” than do so.

Abuse in Nursing Homes – A Growing Pandemic
Recent research reveals that these feelings may actually be far more valid than we might realize, with shocking statistics of abuse in nursing homes becoming more and more common. In America alone, about 150 000 cases are reported annually, and up to 5000 death certificates a year, issued on behalf of deceased nursing home patients, cite starvation, malnutrition, dehydration or bedsores as cause of death.

Types of Abuse
There are different forms of abuse in nursing homes. The main types are:

* Physical Abuse – intentionally causing physical pain or injury
* Emotional Abuse – yelling, making threats, intimidation, humiliation, neglect and isolating the person from friends and/or activities.
* Sexual Abuse – this includes making the person look at pornographic material, watch sexual acts or undress against their will.
* Neglect or abandonment – this accounts for over half of all reported elder abuse cases, and includes a failure to properly feed the person, maintain acceptable standards of hygiene and deserting them in a public place.
* Financial exploitation – the unauthorized use of the person’s money or property.

Symptoms of Abuse
Symptoms are commonly mistaken for signs of dementia or frailty, which is why they are so often overlooked. Be on the lookout for:

* Changes in personality or behavior
* Unexplained bruising or injuries
* Broken spectacles
* Change in appearance – weight loss, dehydration, unsuitably dressed, unkempt, dirty.

The individuals who commit these crimes and/or look the other way when they are committed are personally responsible. There is no excuse that can be made for such abuse to the physically weaker among us. One telling statistic – background checks on employees are seldom carried out – 25% of those helpers prosecuted in abuse cases had previous criminal records.

How Can I Help?
If you suspect your loved one is being abused, report it. Call and visit as often as you can to keep an eye on the situation. Help your loved one get their financial affairs in order. Seek legal advice.

The experienced attorneys at Steven J. Malman and Associates have over 20 years’ experience in fighting this kind of neglect and abuse.

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