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Elderly Abuse

Published on March 3rd, 2016

Abuse of the elderly is a serious issue that has really only come to light in the past decade or so, although it has been going on for a much, much longer time. The elderly are subject to all sorts of abuses in America, including financial abuse, being subject to prejudice, and physical abuse. When those living in assisted living homes are abused, it is identified as nursing home neglect or abuse. According to the National Institute of Justice, one in ten elderly citizens is abused in America every year. This post will explore just a few of the types of nursing home neglect and abuse that occur every day in nursing and assisted living homes across the country.

Negligent Care

Negligence is the cause of much of the harm to senior citizens living in nursing homes. Negligence can be the product of understaffing, poor training, or poor screening of staff members of these nursing homes. Negligent care can describe a gamut of different failures on the part of a nursing home staff to tend to the needs of residents. Caretakers may neglect to properly feed, medicate, clean, or hydrate their patients. Malnutrition may occur from either a lack of feeding or from improper diets. In some cases, mistreatment or lack of treatment of medical conditions or incorrect dosages of medication may result in harm to senior citizens living under this care. If a resident is left unattended for too long, it may result in bedsores or ulcers, which may lead to further complications like septic shock.

Physical & Emotional Abuse

In some cases, seniors are actually abused physically in nursing homes. Each year there are reported cases of those living in assisted living homes being brutalized, unreasonably restrained, or handled without proper care. Many times, these senior citizens do not have the strength or the means to defend themselves, making the attacks all the more tragic. However, abuse does not necessarily have to be physical in nature. Nursing home violence can be emotional. Staff members and fellow residents may inflict emotional abuse on victims, making their stay unpleasant and leading to a downward mental spiral. In a relatively recent development due to the prevalence of social media, there has been a spike in documented cases of seniors being humiliated on social networking sites. Staff members of some nursing homes have been caught posting humiliating or demoralizing depictions of these patients. Depression and anxiety may result from this abuse.

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