Understanding the different types of nursing home abuse

There are several types of abuse those with a loved one living in a nursing home should be aware of.

Elder abuse is a significant and growing problem in nursing homes and other care facilities in Texas. According to the National Council on Aging, it is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse. Other estimates believe as many as 5 million elderly people are abused on an annual basis. Since elder abuse is so prevalent, those with a loved one in a nursing home should familiarize themselves with the most common types of abuse and their associated signs.

What are the most common types of abuse?

The most common types of elder abuse include the following:

  • Physical abuse-Elderly people who are harmed by physical force, which may include impairment, physical pain or bodily injury, are physically abused. This type of abuse may include beating, pushing, shaking, hitting, kicking, burning and pinching. Those who are physically abused may have unexplained bone fractures, sprains, broken eyeglasses, broken bones, lacerations or welt marks.
  • Sexual abuse-This type of abuse is defined as non-consensual sexual contact inflicted on an elderly person. Sexual abuse includes coerced nudity, rape, sexually explicit photographing and unwanted touching. Elderly people who are sexually abused may have bruises around their breasts or genital area, experience unexplained vaginal bleeding and have torn, stained or bloody underclothing.
  • Emotional abuse-When a caregiver inflicts anguish, pain or distress on an elderly person using verbal or nonverbal acts, he or she is emotionally abused. Emotional abuse can include insulting, threatening, humiliating and harassing an elderly person.
  • Neglect-Caregivers are neglectful when they fail to fulfill their obligations or duties to an elderly person. Elderly people who are neglected may become dehydrated, for example, or live in unsafe situations.
  • Abandonment-This type of elder abuse occurs when an elderly person is deserted by his or her caregiver. For example, at a nursing facility, the elderly person may not receive the care he or she needs.

In addition to the above-mentioned points elderly people can also be materially or financially exploited. This type of abuse occurs when an elderly person's funds, assets or property are used improperly.

Contact an attorney

Elderly people in Texas who experience any form of abuse in a nursing home may suffer from severe emotional, psychological and physical harm. Those with a loved one who was mistreated in a nursing home or another type of care facility should contact us to discuss what legal steps should be taken next.