Ohio nursing home abuse is far more common than you may realize. Knowing what type of abuse your aging loved ones are susceptible to is key in preventing abuse, and recognizing the signs when it occurs. The types of nursing home abuse include:
What constitutes physical abuse of a senior?
Physical nursing home abuse is what many people consider the definition of abuse. It includes intentional physical harm of the nursing home resident by caregivers, other residents, or family members. This may include hitting, grabbing, pinching, and other ways of inflicting physical pain. It may also include restraining, force feeding, or overmedicating.
Neglect can also be a type of physical abuse. Caregivers are under an obligation to protect the safety and wellbeing of seniors. This includes ensuring they receive all medications as well as necessary assistance with daily activities.
What is emotional abuse of an elder?
While it does not leave physical bruises or scars, emotional nursing home abuse is just as harmful to the victims. Emotional abuse occurs when the senior is hurt through intimidation, humiliation, and threats.
Emotional abuse is often harder to identify than other types of nursing home abuse, because it sometimes looks like there is simply a personality clash between the senior and a caregiver.
What is senior sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse of a nursing home resident includes any non-consensual sexual behavior, from rape to exhibitionism. While it may involve physical violation of the victim, abuse also includes non-physical sexual advances.
In some cases, forced nudity or unwelcome loss of privacy also fall into this category. Nursing home residents have a right to privacy, and any violation of this should be reported to management immediately.
How do caregivers financially abuse nursing home residents?
The majority of nursing home staff do not have access to the resident’s financial records on a regular basis. However, there may be times when staff or even family members assist aging nursing home residents with their checkbook, or even have access to debit and credit cards. If these trusted caregivers use this opportunity for personal gain, they commit elder financial abuse.
What do we know about these types of elder abuse?
Elder abuse, including the abuse of seniors who live in nursing homes, is extremely difficult to track. Abuse often goes undetected and is highly underreported even when it is discovered. Studies conducted in an attempt to estimate the frequency of senior abuse have found:
- No one can agree on how common elder abuse really is: According to the most recent information from Weill Cornell Medical Center of Cornell University, New York City Department for the Aging, and the American Journal of Public Health, seven to 10 percent of the elderly reported they had suffered abuse in the previous year. However, according to the National Council on Aging, the number may be as high as 5 million elderly Americans suffering abuse each year.
- Abusers often get away with it: The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study estimates there are 24 undiscovered cases of elder abuse for every reported case.
- Dementia increases the risk: Almost half of all seniors with dementia have been abused by caregivers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
- Nursing home abuse is even more common: In a study conducted by Atlanta Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and Atlanta Legal Aid Society to the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, 44 percent of nursing home residents said they had suffered abuse.
How can I get help?
If you know or suspect your loved one was the victim of any of these types of nursing home abuse in Ohio or southeast Michigan, an elder abuse attorney from Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. can help your family protect your loved one, stop the abuser from abusing others, and recover compensation for the damages. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 to schedule an appointment.