The Different Forms of Elder Abuse

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Oct 27, 2015 in Nursing Home Abuse News

Nobody puts an elderly loved one in a nursing home lightly. It's a difficult decision, placing the care of your beloved family member into the hands of someone you may barely know. You trust the facility to take good care of your relative, to provide safe and sanitary conditions and see to it that they are as healthy, comfortable and happy as possible. When a situation of abuse arises, it's heartbreaking and an outrage. You may be entitled to compensation when this happens. Our dedicated Las Vegas personal injury lawyers have provided this overview of what to look out for when it comes to the different forms of elder abuse.

Physical Abuse

When the use of physical force to restrain or discipline a person results in bodily injury, pain, suffering and impairment, this is abuse. There are many forms of violence that can apply in causing this sort of abuse. These include hitting or striking with an object (including slapping, kicking, punching, or pinching), pushing or shoving, shaking, inappropriate use of restraints, force-feeding, drugs and unreasonable physical discipline.

Symptoms to look for are:

  • Marks on the body including welts, bruises, lacerations or burns
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Open wounds or untreated injuries
  • Internal injuries or sprains
  • Broken eyeglasses, torn clothing
  • Behavioral or mood changes, especially if sudden or severe
  • Caregivers refusing access to elders, especially being left alone together

Sexual Abuse

One of the most agonizing forms of elder abuse, sexual abuse occurs when any kind of non-consensual sexual contact occurs between the elder and another person. If the elder has a disorder like Alzheimer's or dementia and cannot give consent, this also can be considered abuse. Symptoms include:

  • Emotional turmoil, mood swings or agitation
  • Withdrawal from communication or becoming non-responsive
  • Regressive behavior such as sucking, biting, rocking back and forth or dementia-like conditions in a patient not previously afflicted by dementia
  • A relative's direct accusation of abuse of any kind

Neglect

Many people don't realize that neglect is also abuse. Any time a caregiver fails to fulfill their basic duty of care towards an elder, this is neglect. Necessary care must be maintained at all times. If an elder is not properly fed, bathed, clothed, sheltered and safe, abuse by neglect could be indicated. Symptoms of neglect include:

  • Malnutrition, dehydration, sudden weight loss
  • Bed sores, poor hygiene
  • Poor or dangerous living conditions such as lack of heat or running water
  • Unsanitary living conditions such as bed bugs, fleas, lice, the smell of human waste or dirty clothes

Other Forms of Abuse

Other forms of abuse can include financial exploitation, where someone else steals or illegally uses the elder's funds; abandonment of the elder; allowing the elder to neglect their own health; and other forms of exploitation. If you or a senior loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, learn about how you can receive compensation for these injuries by contacting our Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorneys. For representation in the Las Vegas area, please call us for a free consultation today!