It is estimated that about 1 to 2 million U.S. citizens over the age of 65 are subject to mistreatment, abuse, or exploitation by a caregiver. Given that many of us are unable to care for our elderly loved ones on our own, whether because they suffer from a condition that requires professional care or due to a tight work schedule, it is likely you will have to entrust a nursing care facility to look after your elderly loved one. Unfortunately, sometimes this trust is broken.
While there is nothing anyone can do to ensure elderly abuse never happens, you can be on the lookout for the warning signs, so you are able to put a stop to it and take action as soon as possible. Below are some of the warning signs you should be aware of that could potentially indicate nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Physical Abuse: First, it is important to note that there are many different types of abuse and each has its own indicators or red flags. Physical abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse and its signs are easier to detect. Some of the signs and symptoms of physical abuse include broken bones, dislocations, sprains, bruising, signs of restraint, broken eyeglasses, and failing to take medications properly. Additionally, if your elderly loved one’s caregiver refuses to leave you alone with him or her, this could also be a strong indicator of abuse.
- Emotional Abuse: Not all abuse results in bruises, broken bones, and scars. Emotional abuse is another common form of abuse elderly individuals are subjected to in nursing homes. Some of the signs you should be aware of include unusual behavior that resembles dementia, thumb-sucking, mumbling, or rocking. If you witness belittling or controlling behavior from the caregiver, you should also suspect emotional abuse.
- Sexual Abuse: It might seem unconscionable, but sexual abuse is not uncommon in nursing homes. Warning signs you should be aware of include unexplained STDs, bruising near or around the genitals and breasts, stained or bloody underwear, vaginal or anal bleeding that is not related to a medical condition.
- Neglect: In some cases, neglect can occur simply because a nursing care facility is understaffed and caregivers are asked to look after too many residents. Regardless of how this occurs, it still results in the suffering of your elderly loved one. Red flags that indicate neglect include the presence of bed sores, unsafe living conditions, unusual loss of weight, dehydration, soiled bed clothing or dirty clothes, and unsanitary living conditions.
- Financial Exploitation: Another form of abuse that is not as frequently reported is financial exploitation. Some of the signs you should be on aware of include changes in your elderly loved one’s financial situation, missing cash from his or her room, changes in power of attorney, unexplained withdrawals from his or her account, unusual goods or services your loved one would not have signed up for, and lack of medical care despite being able to afford it.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney in Orlando
If you believe your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected, you need to act now and retain the skilled legal services of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At The Wiseman Law Firm in Orlando, our attorney is dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured to ensure they are able to obtain the fair and just compensation they deserve.
Get started on your case today and reach out to us at (407) 708-9127 to request your free initial case evaluation.