Elder abuse in nursing homes is a growing nationwide problem. Gwinnett County nursing homes are no exception to issues with elder abuse with nearly a third of all nursing homes in the county cited for a federal regulation that could have caused actual harm to a resident. More than half of nursing home workers admit to mistreatment of the elderly living in the nursing homes.
Elder Abuse Statistics
The National Center on Elder Abuse states that 44% of nursing home residents report abuse of some kind; 95% report neglect to themselves or another resident. Over 50% of nursing home workers admit to recent mistreatment of at least one of their patients. More than 50% of nursing home aides (CNA’s) admit to verbally abusing or yelling at the elderly in their care.
Elder Abuse More than Physical Harm
In Georgia nursing homes, elder neglect, abuse, or negligence is cited when a resident does not receive the proper medical, physical or emotional attention that they need or expect to live a dignified and safe life. Elder abuse can take the forms of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse.
Physical Elder Abuse
Physical abuse and neglect refers to harm caused by numerous means. While hitting or slapping a resident is physical abuse, other forms are often even more common. Physical signs may also be less obvious as the physical marks may be hidden beneath clothing. Examples of physical abuse can include signs of:
- Hitting, scratching, slapping, punching
- Burns with cigarettes, heating pads, hair curlers, appliances
- Abrasions from ropes, straps, strangling, physical restraints
- Bruises that wrap-around an arm or leg
- Traumatic hair or tooth loss
- Fractures, dislocated joints, sprains
- Black eyes, swollen jaws, skin tears
- Pain that limits movement, affects eating or sleep
- Withdrawal or fear responses when approached from side or with hugs and touch
Emotional Elder Abuse
Emotional elder abuse includes ridicule, humiliation, and intimidation, terrorizing, ignoring or isolating a nursing home patient which causes emotional distress, fear, or anxiety. Emotional abuse can be verbal and non-verbal.
Sexual Abuse of the Elderly in a Nursing Home
Sexual elder abuse occurs when non-consensual sexual contact is made, with physical and emotional abuse also playing a role. While they may be too afraid or ashamed to report this type of abuse, physical and behavioral signs may indicate a medical evaluation is indicated. Some signs to be alert to include pelvic injury, bruises on inner thighs or genital area, bloody or torn undergarments, anal or genital pain or bleeding, new difficulties with sitting or walking, development of panic attacks, withdrawal from social interaction, suicide attempts.
Elder Financial Abuse
Nursing home patients frequently report that money is missing from their wallet, pieces of jewelry “go missing,” or other personal items disappear from their room. Stealing from the elderly is financial abuse and a common complaint in the nursing home. Other forms of financial abuse include forging a patient’s signature on financial documents or checks, using their credit card information to make personal purchases, or gaining access to their bank account for personal use.
Elder Abuse Attorney Takes Action
Call the lawyer who will fight for your loved one, take legal action against the guilty parties, and take all the necessary steps to protect and keep that person safe from further harm. Call Joel Baskin, Attorney at Law, for immediate action.