When you put a loved one into someone else’s care, you may feel worried about how they will get treated. You hope that they would get the same kind of care provided at home. But, this is not always the case. Not every home is neglectful and abusive of their residents. But, to prevent abuse or neglect of your loved one, you must know about potential issues. Understanding definitions of neglect and abuse can help. You should do this while thinking about homes for your loved one.
Neglect and abuse in nursing homes may seem like they would be a similar situation. But, each are defined in different ways and are two different things. They can both cause harm to your loved one. But, the harm can get prevented.
Types of Abuse
- Physical abuse is any unwanted and intentional physical contact. Common examples of physical abuse include: hitting, punching, and any other physical injuries.
- Emotional and psychological abuse is an intentional act meant to reduce a person’s self-esteem. Common forms of emotional abuse include: screaming, insulting the resident, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, etc.
- Sexual abuse is any unwanted and intentional sexual contact. This might happen between a resident and a staff member or two residents. This includes sexual assault, unwanted touching, coerced nudity, sodomy, and more.
- Financial abuse is a common type of abuse that the elderly face. This can occur when someone takes advantage of an elderly person’s financial situation. This includes forging a signature, stealing possessions and coercing someone into signing a contract. It also includes cashing checks without permission and more. Another common form of financial abuse is healthcare fraud. Many elderly people experience this when they are in a nursing home.
- Neglect occurs when the staff in a nursing home fails to provide basic needs for a resident. This includes personal hygiene, food, shelter, clothing, water, medicine, etc.
- Discrimination is unfair treatment of a person based on a category that they fall into. For example, people can face discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age, etc.
- Medical errors are any negative effects of health care that could have been prevented. For example, any inaccurate treatment or diagnosis could be considered a medical error.
- Healthcare fraud occurs when someone files dishonest or false health care claims for profit.
- Insurance fraud is an action intended to defraud a person or company. This happens through some form of insurance process.
Neglect and abuse of any kind are terrible things that could potentially happen to your loved one. Here you can find information about how to prevent abuse.
There are many types of neglect and abuse that your loved one might face. It is terrible to have to consider these things because it should never happen to anyone. But, you need to be informed so you can watch out for your loved one while in the care of someone else’s hands. They include:
- Assault and battery. This includes kicking, slapping, pinching, pushing, shaking, beating, threats and verbal or emotional abuse.
- Lack of care for existing medical problems.
- Prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water.
- Sexual assault or battery.
- Unreasonable physical restraint or seclusion.
- Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication. These things can’t be used unless authorized by a physician.
These things have happened to residents in nursing homes. They could lead to serious problems for your loved one. These are all common things that go on behind closed doors of a nursing home. When you go to tour the nursing home and interview each facility, the home might try to hide issues. You should do everything you can to find out if these things do happen. It could lead to even more problems for your loved one than they already had before entering the home.
Nearly two million Americans live in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home. They are all at risk for the neglect and abuse that has been listed above. When considering putting your elderly loved one into a nursing home, know what to watch out for. Neglect and abuse in nursing homes are common occurrences. They might not be obvious while visiting the home. You need to be aware of these things and know how to find them if they are present.