You placed your loved one in an assisted living facility to receive the care you cannot provide. Unfortunately, your aging family member may not be as safe as you think.
Nursing home abuse is a widespread issue, with approximately 64% of staff members admitting to abusing residents in a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization.
Types of abuse against nursing home residents
Several kinds of abuse take place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Those types include physical abuse, mental abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. Physical abuse consists of any type of intentional bodily harm staff causes a resident. Mental or psychological abuse is behavior that has a negative impact on a patient’s emotional well-being. This could include yelling, teasing or isolating a resident from the community or family members.
Neglect is failing to attend to a patient’s needs in a timely manner. It could include withholding meals, baths or appropriate medical treatment. Sexual abuse, though less prevalent, does happen in facilities for seniors.
Warning signs of elder abuse
Signs of mental or sexual abuse can be difficult to identify in a nursing home. Though harder to detect, you should still look out for subtle changes such as your loved one becoming more withdrawn, frequent bouts of crying and incontinence. Alerts of potential physical abuse are easier to spot and include:
- Broken bones
- Weight loss
- Bruises, burns, and welts on the skin
- Cuts or lacerations
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Head and dental injuries
- Poor personal hygiene
Remain vigilant in looking out for signs of abuse in your loved one and take action if you suspect mistreatment.