Most people automatically assume physical abuse when they hear about a case of elder abuse. However, elder abuse in nursing homes can take many forms. Our New Orleans nursing home abuse attorneys discuss the various types of elder abuse and signs of nursing home abuse in this article.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse is a common form of nursing home abuse. Elderly or incapacitated patients are often unable to resist physical abuse. Some patients are unable to communicate that they are being abused. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of physical abuse in nursing homes. Some signs of physical abuse include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
- Marks from ties, ropes, or other restraints
- Open wounds
- Sprains and strains
- Broken eyeglasses
If a patient has any unexplained injury, it may be wise to investigate further to determine the cause.
Psychological or Emotional Abuse
Verbal abuse is often used when emotionally abusing a patient. Humiliation, threats, insults, harassment, and intimidation are also types of emotional and psychological abuse. Patients who are being abused tend to be withdrawn, unresponsive, emotionally upset, and frightened.
Neglect is another form of nursing home abuse that can cause serious harm to a patient. Elderly patients often need assistance with daily hygiene and feeding. If they are neglected, they could develop bedsores, infections, depression, malnutrition, and other health problems. Failing to give a patient medicine and allowing a patient to live in unsanitary living conditions is also considered neglect.
Sexual abuse is a problem in nursing homes. Patients, staff members, or visitors may sexually abuse a patient. Elder sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual act or contact with an older adult. Signs of sexual abuse in nursing homes include:
- Genital infections
- Bleeding from the vagina or anus
- Bruising around the genitals or breasts
- Underwear that is torn or stained
Elder sexual abuse should be reported to the authorities immediately, and steps should be taken to protect the person from further abuse.
Financial abuse can take many forms. A patient’s money or property may be taken without his or her consent. Money that is in an account for a patient may be converted or used for other purposes. A patient may be coerced into signing legal documents, checks, or other financial documents. Signs of financial abuse in nursing homes include:
- Changes to legal documents
- Money and property disappear
- Providing unnecessary services
- Adding someone to a financial account
- Changes in beneficiary designations
- Changes to wills and other estate documents
Financial abuse can be difficult to detect. Family members may want to review accounts each month to detect any wrongdoing as soon as possible.
Contact a New Orleans Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Help
If you suspect that a patient in a nursing home is being abused, you can report the abuse to the authorities. You can also contact our law firm to discuss your loved one’s legal rights and options for recourse.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by telephone at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation with a New Orleans nursing home abuse attorney.