After an incident involving a loved one at a nursing home facility leads to injuries, you may be wondering what the different types of nursing home abuse and neglect are. These types of abuse can include failure to meet basic needs, physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and exploitation.
Those who cause the abuse could include employees at the facility, other residents, and visitors to the facility. Regardless of who creates the abusive situation for your loved one, the nursing home facility should have taken steps to protect your loved one.
Understanding the Types of Elder Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), abuse of an elder is any intentional action that leads to harm to an adult age 60 or older. Elder abuse also can involve someone choosing to take no action that leads to an injury. Multiple types of abuse for seniors exist.
When a nursing home resident ends up with an injury to the body, this can be a sign of physical abuse. Injuries can include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Torn ligaments or muscles
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of eyesight or hearing
Physical abuse involves the use of force by one person that leads to an injury for the senior. The abuser may employ a variety of acts of force to cause the injury, such as punching, kicking, pinching, slapping, burning, and pushing.
Signs of physical abuse are not always obvious to others. If the abuser is punching the nursing home resident in an area always covered by clothing, bruises may be hidden. Broken bones are not always obvious either, especially if the victim has reported constant pain or weakness before the abusive injury occurs.
Emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse can all have devastating effects on the well-being and mental health of the victim, too. This type of abuse is more common than you may think, involving any non-physical behaviors designed to create fear or anguish among elderly victims. The abuser might yell at a nursing home resident, threatening the resident with physical harm, causing fear and anxiety.
Isolation can be a form of psychological abuse as well, where a caregiver does not let the resident see loved ones as a form of punishment.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), elders who have some form of dementia are especially at danger of suffering emotional and other kinds of abuse, with almost 50% of those with dementia experiencing abuse.
When a caregiver refuses to provide proper basic care for a nursing home resident, such as failure to deliver needed medications on time or to help the resident at mealtime, it can be neglect. Failing to respond in a timely manner to requests for help using the restroom or to move from a bed to a wheelchair can be neglect, too. This could lead to a resident ending up with bedsores and significant pain.
Should the nursing home resident develop a medical condition that requires care at a hospital or doctor’s office, caregivers at the facility need to help the resident set up and travel to the appointment. Failure to do so also qualifies as neglect, especially if the victim sees his or her symptoms become worse because of the lack of timely care.
Residents of nursing homes have a right to remain safe and protected from all kinds of abuse, including sexual abuse. This can involve any sort of sexual interaction that is unwanted, including sexual penetration, touching in a sexual nature, or verbal sexual harassment.
Sexual abusers in a nursing home could be staff members, visitors to the facility, or other residents. Caregivers at the nursing home need to be on the lookout for the possibility of sexual abuse occurring, and they need to take any complaint or report of sexual abuse seriously, performing investigations as necessary.
Call an Attorney for Help Defending Your Loved One’s Rights
If your loved one suffers an injury at a nursing home, it may have simply been an accident that no one could have prevented. However, the injury may also have occurred because of an intentional act from someone at the nursing home. Abuse can be physical, psychological, and emotional, and these types of abuse can lead to ongoing health problems for your loved one.
Even if your loved one is nervous about pursuing a case, bringing the abuse to light may protect your loved one and other residents at the nursing home from an abusive staff member, which can be a motivating factor. At Bernstein & Poisson, we are ready to defend your loved one’s right to receive compensation for injuries. For a free case review, call us today at (702) 633-3333.