The idea of a loved one potentially being abused in their nursing home
can be unbearable. In homes where the elderly rely on staff for everything
from medication to meals, the potential for abuse of such authority exists.
You should know the types of abuse to be vigilant against.
False Imprisonment: This is constituted by an elderly person being prevented
from going to or leaving from certain areas. This may be in their room
or throughout the nursing home. Common methods include taking away one’s
wheelchair or other equipment if the individual is disabled.
Financial Abuse: An abuser can gain the trust of elderly patients and use
his or her position to extort money. This can range from taking an elderly
person’s cash to stealing their savings. Common practices include
stealing credit cards or identity
theft, as caregivers sometimes have ready access to financial information. Healthcare
fraud is another practice in which you or the individual in the nursing
home may be charged for services not rendered (i.e. medications or therapy
a patient may need).
Physical Abuse: There is little grey area when it comes to using force
against the elderly to inflict bodily harm or pain. This is inclusive
of forced restraints and over-sedation of a patient as well.
Sexual Abuse: Any form of sexual interaction without consent of the elderly
individual is wrong. This isn’t limited to physical contact. Examples
such as being forced to undress, or watch sexual acts also constitute
Emotional or Psychological Abuse: This occurs when a care provider behaves
in a way that can cause psychological and emotional distress. These may
be verbal or non-verbal gestures, such as name calling or threats.
Neglect or Abandonment: The term is self-explanatory. Constant around-the-clock
care is expected in a nursing home, and any form of desertion can be prosecuted.
Neglect constitutes a form of abuse by omission, in which services you
or an elder person pays for are not provided. Neglect ranges from ignoring
bathroom duties to not providing essentials such as food or water.
If you think you or a loved one is being abused,
contact the Kyle Law Firm to speak to one of our
nursing home abuse attorneys today.