Elder abuse targets one of our most vulnerable populations and comes in many forms including physical, emotional and financial. By familiarizing yourself with the most common forms of nursing home abuse, you can recognize the early warning signs and help protect your loved ones.
Physical elder abuse is the non-accidental use of physical force against an elderly individual. It may result in pain or impairment, or even death. Physical abuse also includes improper use of drugs or the unnecessary use of physical restraints. This type of elder abuse is often easy to identify, by observing bruises or other injuries, whereas other types of abuse are far less obvious.
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are the unidentified victims of a far more insidious problem – emotional elder abuse. This may include verbal abuse, or passive behaviors such as ignoring or isolating the elderly resident. This type of treatment can leave elderly residents in states of pain, distress, anxiety or fear. Left unchecked, these emotional responses can trigger physical symptoms that drastically affect the resident’s overall health.
Financial exploitation is one of the most common forms of elder abuse. While it is often perpetrated by family members or others known to the victim, it also comes at the hands of professional caregivers. Abusers may use their position of authority to extort money, or they may gain the elderly resident’s trust and embark on a grand scheme to deplete an elderly person’s accounts.