Entrusting your loved one to a facility will always take a heavy emotional toll and leave you wondering whether or not they will get the best treatment possible. While many facilities offer care and consideration to their residents, some house bad eggs that will abuse their power and those under their care.
One of the first things you can do to advocate for your loved one is to recognize the signs of elder abuse. Many types fall into seven distinct categories.
Commonalities among abuse
The American Psychological Association discusses seven types of elder abuse. Each type of abuse takes advantage of the vulnerability in the aging population, knowing that the victims cannot properly fight back or even report the wrongdoings of their aggressors in many cases.
Physical and sexual
First, you have physical abuse. This is the use of any sort of physical force that causes pain, injury or impairment to a victim. This can go hand-in-hand with another type of abuse: sexual abuse. This includes any sort of non-consensual sexual act with an elderly individual.
Neglect and abandonment
Neglect and abandonment often go together, too. Neglect is the failure or refusal to fulfill obligations toward an elderly person. This is a huge issue in many facilities today, which simply do not have enough staff to keep up with the rising demands of an aging population. Abandonment happens when the person meant to take care of the elderly individual deserts them, leaving them to fend for themselves.
Emotional and financial
Emotional abuse involves inflicting pain, distress, or anguish through both non-verbal and verbal acts. Financial exploitation involves the improper or illegal use of an elderly person’s assets and finances. Finally, self-neglect involves behaviors of an elderly individual that put their own health and safety at risk.
You may notice signs of any of these at your loved one’s nursing home, and if you do, you may want to contact legal aid to see how you can combat it.