Orlando Personal Injury Blog

Elder Abuse: Know How to Recognize the Warning Signs

Posted By Todd Miner Law || Aug 31, 2016

If you are thinking about placing a loved one in a nursing home facility, you’ve probably thought of all of the advantages and disadvantages of that decision. Nursing homes can be a great option to provide care for people whose medical needs require the attention of licensed nurses, but not the more intensive care of a hospital. Although nursing homes strive to provide a high level of care for their residents, patient abuse is a sad reality.

And it’s something you need to be thinking about.

Of course, we all hope that this never happens to you or your loved ones, but you need to be armed with the right information before it occurs. Cases of nursing home abuse are not to be taken lightly. If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact the team at Todd Miner Law immediately. Only a qualified personal injury attorney can help you determine the best course of action. Remember: your reaction to nursing home abuse is about far more than money; it’s about protecting your loved ones from further harm.

United States Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Even a single case of nursing home abuse is one too many. And, sadly, the statistics surrounding this crime are staggering. Elderly abuse takes many forms, and it is all damaging in some way. As the elderly population continues to grow in Florida and our society favors nursing home care over in-home care, we must be extremely vigilant and aware of the protections in place to keep senior citizens safe.

One thing that caught our eye was a report on nursing home abuse statistics[1] from the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging (NCEA). The report highlights some of the most widely used estimates of elder abuse incidences in the United States today.

The following statistics have been approximated by the NCEA:

  • 1 in 10 Americans age 60 and older has experienced abuse in the last year
  • Between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been abused or mistreated
  • Nearly 1 in 2 people with dementia will experience some form of elder abuse
  • For every case of elder abuse reported to authorities, about five more go unreported
  • Elderly adults who experience abuse or neglect are twice as likely to be hospitalized
  • For every reported case of financial exploitation, about 44 more go unreported

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. In many cases, it’s hard to spot unless you know what to look for. However, what it really comes down to is this: if you see something, say something. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, don’t hesitate to speak up. Listed below are some of the most common warning signs[2] of nursing home abuse.

Physical & Sexual Abuse

  • Unexplained bruises, fractures, or lacerations
  • Unreasonable physical restrain or seclusion
  • Frequent infections and lack of medical care
  • Bruising around the genital area or breasts

Emotional & Verbal Abuse

  • Extreme withdrawal or isolation from others
  • Feelings of fear around a specific caretaker
  • Reclusiveness or refusing to speak
  • Mood swings and emotional outbursts

Neglect & Mistreatment

  • Untreated bed sores / pressure ulcers
  • Unsanitary or unkempt living conditions
  • Sudden changes in personal hygiene
  • Signs of malnutrition or dehydration

How You Can Help Put an End to Nursing Home Abuse

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be difficult. Many sons and daughters just like you find the very thought disturbing, and feel guilty that they don’t have the time or resources to properly care for their loved ones. The truth is that qualified, caring professionals may provide your family with care you simply cannot. Unfortunately, within the ranks of those qualified professionals are a few thoughtless individuals. As more and more people choose nursing home care, attention to abuse in these facilities becomes increasingly important.

If you or someone you know has been abused, contact our Orlando personal injury lawyers at Todd Miner Law. We have been helping wrongfully injured victims seek justice for more than 20 years, recovering millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf.

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