Tuesday 24 May 2022

Types of Elderly Abuse and Challenges at Nursing Homes and Ways To Cope


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Aging is a natural part of life. Once you reach a certain point in your life, there is nothing more you want from life but endless peace and serenity. This is precisely the kind of life anyone wants for their older loved one. Unfortunately, since caring for an elderly patient is a full-time job involving tenfold responsibilities, it is not unusual to shift your relative to a nursing home.

These are professional institutes made for elderly folk by providing them care, comfort, and the appropriate medical treatment. Yet, some sinister establishments still abuse their power and mistreat older patients in the most heinous way.

About two to three staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities confess to elderly abuse in the past year worldwide. Unless measures get taken to stop these atrocious acts, with the growing population now entering old age, the rate of assault will only increase. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the prevalence of abuse in older homes. Here is what you need to know:

1.       Forms of Elder Abuse

Abuse has many forms. Some can be psychological, while others are more physical. Older patients may be experiencing more than one type of assault under the staff's supervision. These malicious attacks are deliberate and malicious. They are dehumanizing but taking advantage of an older and far more vulnerable patient who can't protect themself. The wounds and after-effects of abuse are lasting and easy to notice. 

Therefore, if you have evidence that your loved one is going through horrendous mistreatment, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer and register your case. A legal entity will always give you and your close ones the justice they deserve. But for your understanding, here's a glimpse of the assault that occurs:


        Medical Negligence. Depriving residents of their required medication or overdosing on them is a form of abuse. Additionally, not taking care of their hygiene, keeping their room and bed clean, and not correctly disinfecting medical apparatus before using them come under this banner. This leads to many infections and wounds that need immediate treatment and proper care. Some residents may even be sick most of the time because of their poor health. In many cases, this may turn into fatal conditions; thus, people lose their family members. So if any of your loved ones are facing such situations, you can suggest they consult a lawyer and discuss their case to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. They can search for abogados de accidentes or nursing home lawyers in their area to find the best services. The experienced attorneys help get the deserving compensation for the victim’s losses, whether emotional or financial.


        Physical Abuse. Several kinds of physical abuse occur in nursing homes. These include slapping, punching, and kicking older residents. Some staff members may aggressively pull the more senior person or harshly transfer them to a wheelchair. Deliberately pushing them on the staircase and tripping them all constitute physical violence. These residents may have bruises, fractures, wounds, and scars that may not heal properly and become infected.


        Sexual Abuse. Staff members may sexually abuse residents. These include all acts of sex and molestation. The lasting trauma of abuse of this magnitude reflects a resident's mannerism. They may become frightened of their abuser and suffer from psychological conditions such as extreme paranoia. In some cases, the older person may cower in fear even if you're stopping by for a visit. Physical signs include testing positive for STIs and wounds around the genitals.


        Emotional Damages. Staff members may yell, scream or use abusive language around residents. They may also mock, taunt and ridicule them. Residents may also be not allowed to speak and are interrupted frequently by shrill voices or harsh tones. A consequence of emotional abuse is a meek demeanor, anxiety, depression, not imitating conversions, and trying to stay as submissive as possible. Your loved one may even seem distant and scared.


        Financial Coercion. Nursing homes can steal from residents by overcharging them or billing services they never provide. Some staff members may take money from the resident's allowance, leaving them nothing for their use. If a resident protests or tries to save their money, they may get assaulted.


2.       What Challenges Do Nursing Homes Face?

While not all nursing homes are abusive, some are experiencing intense problems which make providing care an issue. Some of these circumstances lead to staff becoming abusive out of pure frustration. While this is not a justification, it gives insight into why neglect occurs. Some challenges include:


        Difficult Patients. Some residents are not open to treatment or any help, which causes them to act out. They may refuse to eat, get their medicines, and comply with the staff. As a result, the employees may have to hold the resident down or restrain them. It is also not uncommon for residents to become violent or resort to self-harm. This can make providing care hard, especially for nursing homes looking to make a difference.


        Lack Of Financial Resources. Older patients may be using insurance like Medicaid to take care of their bills. However, these insurances come with their limitations providing inadequate reimbursement. The lack of state funding also puts pressure on these institutes since they don't have enough to provide for the needs of the residents.


        Understaffing. Looking after older patients is a full-time job. This can lead to a caretaker burnout. There are also not enough workers to look after more geriatric patients. The skills, patience, and knowledge needed to provide senior care are challenging. The staff is also unwilling to settle on a lower income for such a strenuous job. So for ten or more residents, one worker may be handling their cases.


3.       How To Resolve These Issues?

Witnessing the collapse of good nursing homes is painful. These establishments are assets to a growing aging population. But abusive facilities are a different story. Here's how you handle both:


        Prevent Abuse. Anytime you witness an assault or pick up signs of trauma in your loved one, with no hesitation, get the authorities involved. This includes calling the police, registering a complaint, and filing a lawsuit. You may also need to relocate your elderly relative to safety and get medical help for their wounds and injuries.


        Discuss The Usage of Restraints. Nursing homes that use restraints like a vest to tie patients and restrict mobility must follow the nursing home reform law. According to this, the staff cannot use physical restraints casually if the resident needs medical treatment. This is not a form of discipline and should get avoided as much as the staff can.


        Appeal For Funds. Nursing homes with nothing but stellar reviews deserve a fighting chance to be in the community. So those deserve a petition at the state level.


        Check-In With Your Loved One. Never leave your elderly relative at the mercy of the nursing home. You should call them frequently, visit them and take their complaints seriously. If needed, you may need to take your loved one to therapy but don't abandon them.

Final Thoughts

A nursing home should be the pinnacle of care. These facilities are responsible for the aging population who need tender care. Yet despite this, there are establishments that abuse senior citizens causing them a great deal of harm and pain. These assault cases can be physical violence to emotional abuse and leave lasting scars on the resident.


A deep dive into nursing homes depict why these facilities struggle, including lack of money, uncooperative patients, and no staff. On a systematic level, you can appeal for good facilities to get government allowance while reporting the abusive ones to the authorities. Try to be there for your loved one as much as possible to prevent any tragic situation from getting worse.

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