Different Types of Abuse and Neglect
The National Center on Elder Abuse is an excellent source of information on the various types of Elder Abuse. This is a growing problem that preys upon the most vulnerable of our citizens and can only be stopped by caring friends and family members who know what to look for.
In most cases, the services of a Jacksonville nursing home attorney need to be brought in to launch an investigation into the wrongdoing while there is still a trail to be followed.
Forms of Elder Abuse
Physical Abuse is any unwanted force that results in injury or impairment. It can include striking, beating pushing, pinching and burning, among other acts. Physical restraint use could be defined as physical abuse, as well as force-feeding or excessive drug use on the elder. Signs and symptoms of physical abuse include broken bones and fractures, bruises, and rope marks. Broken glasses or an elder’s report of being mistreated, hit or slapped should never be ignored. The caregiver may refuse to allow the elder to see anyone alone or have a visitor.
Sexual Abuse is defined as non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person. Sexual abuse also is defined as contact with a person who is incapable of giving their consent. It includes, but is not limited to, unwanted touching, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity, sexually explicit photographing and having one resident touch another. Signs may include bruising around the genitals, breasts, or thighs, venereal disease, torn clothing or the person’s report of being sexually abused.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse is defined as the infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. This can include verbal assaults, insults and threats that embarrass or humiliate the elder. Talking to and treating an older person like an infant is a form of psychological abuse as is isolating them from friends and family that enforces social isolation.
Neglect is defined as the failure to take care of an elderly person whether it be withholding the basic necessities of life such as food, water, and clothing or financially. Neglect can be seen when an elder is malnourished, dehydrated, has untreated bed sores or poor hygiene. There may be no water or electricity in the house and the elder may complain of being mistreated.
Abandonment is defined as the desertion of an elderly person by a caretaker.
Financial or Material Exploitation can be the improper use of funds or assets that belong to the elder person. That could include cashing a check without authorization, forging a person’s signature, and stealing money and possessions. Caretakers should look for a sudden change in bank accounts or money that is unexpectedly withdrawn. The exploiter may get their name on the elderly person’s will or financial documents and there can be unauthorized ATM withdrawals. The senior may find themselves out of money and out of luck, unless an investigation is launched immediately.
Self-Neglect is behavior by the elderly person that threatens his or her own health and safety. It can include a failure to eat and drink and keep oneself clean. Caregivers should look for any signs of malnutrition or dehydration, medical conditions that go untreated, an unsafe living condition that can lead to trips and fall, unsanitary living quarters, and homelessness. It may appear to be the individual’s choice but family and friends need to intervene to keep the elderly person safe from themselves.
Our Jacksonville FL Elder Abuse Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse, please contact a personal injury attorney at Farah & Farah at 855-797-9899 today.