Elderly adults who are dependent on caregivers are extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately, this is particularly true in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, which can be understaffed, and where staff are often overworked.
Research has shown that patients suffering from dementia are at a higher risk of being abused. Other research has shown that low staff ratios, particularly at those establishments where employees are asked to work double shifts, produces more abuse cases. Because of these factors, patience, tolerance and true caregiving can quickly be replaced with a loss of empathy and possibly abuse and neglect on the part of staff members.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse is one of the most common types of abuse endured by nursing home patients. Physical abuse covers a range of abuses including physical beatings, sexual assault and forced ingestion of food or medication. Neglect can also be a form of physical abuse when a patient’s needs are not being met, such as when nursing home staff forget or refuse to feed or bathe a patient. These oversights can result in serious health and safety hazards.
Not all abuse is physical. Many nursing home patients suffer from mental abuse, including verbal or emotional mistreat, humiliation, insults, forced isolation, or even threats. Mental abuse can be just as serious as physical abuse and should be met with the same attention.
Financial abuse is another problem those living in nursing homes can face. Staff, who are often underpaid and overworked, may take advantage of elderly patients by stealing or coercing money from them. Some even go so far as to have the elderly patient provide for them in their will. Signs of financial nursing home abuse can include frequent or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, loss of personal property, the appearance of new loans or mortgage contracts, and recent revisions to wills, deeds, or trusts.
What If An Elderly Loved One Is Being Abused?
If you suspect or know that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it is important to act immediately. The lawyers at Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York have extensive experience aiding those who have fallen victim to nursing home abuse. From initiating the complaint process to potentially representing you in court, the knowledgeable lawyers at Fitzgerald Law Firm can help you. Nursing home abuse, no matter what the type, is unacceptable. If a loved one is being abused, act now by contacting the Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free initial consultation.