When you allow a loved one to reside in a nursing home, you will want to feel safe in the knowledge that he or she is receiving the best care possible. While you can never monitor your loved one’s care for every minute of the day, you may be able to sense when something is wrong or when they are being mistreated.
If you have a reason to believe that your loved one is being abused in his or her nursing home, it is important to understand what the most common types of abuse are and how they are commonly recognized.
Emotional abuse in nursing homes
While physical abuse might be considered to be the most common and obvious form of abuse, emotional abuse could actually be considered the most threatening to a nursing home resident’s well-being. Forms of nursing home abuse could include being yelled at, shouted at or intimidated. Often a patient could be bullied or made to feel like a child, and this type of treatment could make him or her feel depressed, lonely or worthless.
In response to this type of abuse, your elderly loved one might start acting nervously or more withdrawn. Due to the devastating nature of emotional abuse, a nursing home resident may be afraid to speak up for fear of retribution.
All types of physical abuse are simply unacceptable in nursing homes. Shockingly however, 95 percent of nursing home residents report that they have witnessed the abuse of another nursing home resident during their residence. It is vital that nursing home residents have a voice so that any unacceptable behavior can be brought to justice.
Common examples of physical abuse include using restraints when it is not necessary, thereby limiting the patient’s freedom, physical neglect and active abuse. Active abuse can be spotted more easily because it will likely result in physical bumps and bruises.
No matter what type of abuse you believe your loved one is suffering from at a nursing home, it is important to take action quickly so that his or her safety and the safety of all nursing home residents is ensured.