The elderly are certainly at risk when it comes to financial abuse. A lot of scams specifically target them. One part of the reason is that they often have excess money -- you can't scam someone who doesn't have what you want -- and scammers target their life savings. Another part of the issue, though, is that they really are more susceptible.
In nursing homes, there are two negative things that can happen: abuse and neglect. Abuse is typically seen as an intentional act, whereas neglect occurs because an elder is not being treated or taken care of due to oversights or mistakes. However, the terms can actually be interchanged and may refer to the same kinds of situations.
It can be difficult to talk to the elderly. Even when you love them dearly and you want to spend time with them, you may find some serious roadblocks that make you feel like a deep, meaningful conversation is impossible.
You may have several worries about your parent living in a nursing home. One common concern is whether your parent will be safe and treated with respect. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect nursing home residents.
Elder abuse is one of the problems that the elderly may face when they're in the care of others. In the short-term, abuse might lead to small injuries or symptoms like dehydration or a change in behavior. However, as time goes on, the impact of long-term abuse becomes much more apparent.
You want to know when to move your loved one into an assisted living center. You don't want to do it too early, taking away some of the freedom they enjoy before it's necessary. At the same time, you don't want to wait too long, potentially putting them in a dangerous position.
Elderly people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities may wind up in the emergency room if the facility cannot provide the level of acute medical care required of a specific illness. However, hospitals report that many of these frail residents show up for critical care due to injuries, abuse or neglect.
When you think about bedsores, you might think of some minor inflammation or small ulcers from friction or sitting in the same place too long. The reality can be much darker. When a person is unable to move to relieve pressure from an area of the skin, they can develop ulcers. Those ulcers are a result of the blood supply being cut off to that area of the skin for two to three hours. After that, the skin begins to die.
One of the biggest problems with elder abuse is that the elderly may not actually report it. Sometimes, they stay silent out of fear. Other times, they have dementia or other cognitive disorders that make reporting impossible.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are not quite the same thing in most people's minds. Abuse feels like it is aggressive or violent, while neglect is complete insensitivity to another person's needs. In either case, any action that leads to the harm of an elderly person in a nursing home could be called abuse or neglect.
Has your loved one suffered emotional abuse in a nursing home? Perhaps it never went beyond that, or maybe the emotional abuse was just the first step, and it then turned into financial or physical abuse as well. Regardless, you may find yourself wondering why it happened. Why would a staff member do such a thing?
U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey recently released their findings on the Special Focus Facility program that monitors nursing home quality and safety deficiencies.