The consequences of nursing home abuse are severe and may include a higher risk of death in addition to exacerbated physical conditions.
Many elderly people living in nursing homes in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are abused or neglected by their caretakers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that between 1 and 2 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65 who also rely on another person for care have been exploited, abused or neglected. When an elderly person is abused, he or she may sustain injuries that require extensive medical care and also experience a variety of other adverse effects.
Consequences of elder abuse
The effects of elder abuse can be extremely severe and can even result in death. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in comparison with those who are not abused, elderly people who are the victims of abuse have a 300 percent higher risk of death. Research also indicates that those who are abused in a nursing home experience higher levels of psychological distress and are more likely to suffer from additional health problems. For example, a nursing home patient who is the victim of abuse may experience digestive issues, anxiety and depression, heart problems and problems with his or her joints and bones.
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms
There are many different types of nursing home abuse that can cause elderly people to experience negative consequences, like serious injuries. The NCEA states that some of the different forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Emotional or psychological abuse-in an emotionally abusive situation, a caretaker inflicts pain, distress or anguish on an elderly person through verbal or nonverbal acts. For example, a caretaker may isolate an elderly person from his or her family, prohibit the person from participating in activities he or she enjoys or intimidate, threaten, harass or humiliate him or her.
- Physical abuse-when an elderly person is physically abused, his or her caretaker may use physical force to cause bodily injury or physical pain. An elderly person who is physically abused may develop bruises, fractures, open wounds, sprains, black eyes and other manifestations of harm.
- Sexual abuse-this type of abuse is defined as any non-consensual sexual action that occurs with an elderly person and may include unwanted touching, coerced nudity, sexually explicit photographing and rape.
Nursing home patients in Pennsylvania who are emotionally, physically or sexually abused may not only incur serious physical and mental injuries, but may also experience a reduced quality of life. If you or one of your loved ones was abused or neglected in a nursing home, speak with an attorney to determine what legal actions should be taken next.
Keywords: nursing home, elder, abuse, neglect