Finding a nursing home for a loved one is not easy from a financial and emotional perspective. On top of that, you may also worry about nursing home abuse and neglect. An estimated 5 million elders are abused each year.
It is important for family members of nursing home residents to recognize signs of nursing home abuse and neglect to protect their loved ones and hold facilities accountable for the wrongdoing.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Today, we will discuss five common types of abuse in nursing homes in Florida.
Physical abuse in a nursing home occurs when staff members intentionally cause trauma or bodily injury to a resident. This type of abuse is more widespread among nursing home residents who have dementia, memory loss, and other cognitive disorders.
Examples of physical abuse in nursing homes include:
- Restraining or confining
- Withholding food or water
Psychological or emotional abuse is subtle and not as obvious as physical abuse in nursing homes. Unlike physical abuse, which leaves scarring, the effects of psychological abuse are not immediately visible.
Examples of psychological or emotional abuse in nursing homes include:
- Limiting access to the phone
- Ignoring the resident’s concerns
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is any intentional action against an elder that is sexual and unwanted in origin. A nursing home resident can become a victim of sexual abuse when a staff member engages in unwanted sexual contact with the resident.
Examples of unwanted sexual contact in nursing homes include unwanted touching, groping, oral or sexual intercourse. Some of the symptoms of sexual abuse in nursing homes include:
- Bruises of the genitals or inner thigh
- Torn or bloody underwear
- Developing a sexually transmitted disease
- Having difficulties walking or sitting
- Irritation or pain of the anus or genitals
- Having a pelvic injury
Sexual abuse can have a long-lasting impact on the victim’s mental and psychological health and negatively affect the quality of life.
Financial abuse in nursing homes occurs when a staff member intentionally exploits or gains control of a resident’s finances. Often, financial abuse occurs through manipulation or other deceptive tactics.
Examples of financial abuse in long-term care facilities include:
- Stealing money
- Stealing possessions and personal belongings
- Gaining control of a resident’s credit card or bank account
- Blocking a resident’s access to their own funds
- Forging financial documents
- Misusing power of attorney
Nursing Home Neglect
Unlike other types of nursing home abuse, neglect does not involve an action. Instead, neglect involves a lack of action. Some examples of neglect in nursing homes include:
- Leaving a resident alone for long periods of time
- Ignoring a resident’s basic needs
- Leaving a resident without food, water, or medication
- Forgetting to administer medication
- Ignoring a resident’s complaints
- Failing to report injuries or illnesses
- Not cleaning a resident’s room
- Not changing a resident’s diapers
- Failing to provide clean clothing or bedding
If you suspect that your loved one has been subject to any form of nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to speak with a Lakeland nursing home abuse attorney. Schedule a consultation with our attorney Sanga Turnbull at The Turnbull Firm to discuss your particular case. Call at 863-324-3500 to schedule a free consultation.