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The 5 main ways elder abuse happens in nursing homes

Nursing home abuse is something that everyone worries about when trying to find a home for an aging loved one. What you should know is that it typically happens in one of these five ways:

— Neglect. Though this isn’t direct abuse, things like failing to give a person his or her meals or neglecting to help with showers and bathroom needs can be just as harmful.

— Physical. You should look out for signs like unexplained bruises or lacerations. Accidents do happen, but so does direct abuse.

— Emotional. This abuse happens when a person is yelled at, insulted, belittled and verbally attacked. Signs can include depression and a formerly happy person who turns quiet and troubled.

— Scams and fraud. This can take on a lot of forms, but one of the more common in a nursing home is a care worker who asks for money or otherwise financially takes advantage of the elderly patient. This could also involve identity theft and/or forged checks.

— Psychological. This type of abuse is a bit subtler, but it can include things like isolating the elderly person from everyone else or ignoring him or her.

Keep in mind that multiple types of abuse can happen at once. For example, financial abuse could happen first. Then, when the elderly person refuses to keep giving the care worker money, it could turn physical.

If you’ve seen any signs of abuse or neglect, you may be able to take legal action. Make sure you know all about your loved one’s rights and your own legal options as a close family member.

Source: CSI Caregiver, “6 Types of Elder Abuse in our Society,” Nina Plonka, accessed Dec. 12, 2016

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