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Nursing home abuse and neglect aren't always visible

Nursing home abuse is a horrifying thing that some elderly residents have to deal with. In some cases, the mistreatment of residents can take forms that aren't physical. Even though these abuses won't necessarily leave bruises or similar marks, they can be just as devastating.

Nursing home residents and their families rightly expect proper care, safety and dignity. Some nursing home staff members defy these expectations with their egregious conduct.

Emotional mistreatment

Emotional abuse can occur in a nursing home when staff members think residents won't speak up about what is going on. This can have a negative impact on residents' health, especially if they are already in a fragile emotional or cognitive state.

Your loved one might seem to be more withdrawn than usual if he or she is being attacked emotionally. In some cases, this withdrawal comes from a fear that they will be berated or get into trouble for speaking up about what is going on in the nursing home. For this reason, it is important to have time alone with your loved one, spent away from hovering employees.

Isolation and lack of help

Nursing home residents often need help to accomplish basic tasks, like getting dressed. Refusing to help residents get ready for the day or not helping them with toileting and hygiene could isolate them from other residents. They might not feel comfortable being around others if they don't feel they are clean or dressed appropriately.

Another area of neglect involves eating and getting proper nutrition. It is possible that malnourishment and dehydration might land a resident in the hospital without this type of help when it is needed. Choking is also possible if the person needs help with cutting food into small bits but staff members refuse to handle the task.

Ignoring residents and understaffing

Nursing home residents are sometimes ignored by staff members who are too busy to handle the demands of the facility. This is often the case if there is a staffing shortage. Some nursing home managers choose keep staffing to a minimum to increase profits. However, this means that residents of the nursing home might suffer due to the unethical placement of profit over people.

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