Identifying Subtle Signs of Elder Abuse

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200Physical abuse of elders in nursing homes that results in bruises, scratches, burns, or other visible injuries is easy to spot, but there are a number of other injuries that the elderly can suffer in nursing homes that can easily go unnoticed. In California, elder abuse is illegal and can result in both civil and criminal charges. Below is a list of more subtle signs of elder abuse and how you can spot them in your loved ones. If you believe your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, call the personal injury attorneys at The Brod Law Firm today to find out how we can help.

Elder Neglect

Elder neglect constitutes nearly half of reported elder abuse cases. Whether intentional or unintentional, elder neglect occurs when nursing home staff fails to care for residents as the law mandates. This can include failure to regularly change the resident’s bed sheets, failure to assist the resident in maintaining their personal hygiene, failure to fix maintenance problems in the residents’ rooms, failure to provide meals to the residents, or a variety of other failures to comply with their duties of care as nursing home staff.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse oftentimes goes unnoticed, unless the victim of the abuse speaks up. However, in many instances of emotional abuse, the victim is made to feel that he or she does not have a voice and cannot speak up. Here are a few common types of emotional abuse that you may wish to speak with your loved one about if you sense that he or she is suffering from emotional abuse in the nursing home.

  • Intimidation: Nursing home staff may yell and make threats at residents to emotionally intimidate them and make them fearful of speaking up about their needs and wishes.
  • Humiliation: Nursing home staff may humiliate and ridicule residents to cause them emotional distress.
  • Blaming: Nursing home staff may habitually ridicule or blame residents for everything that goes wrong in the nursing home.
  • Isolation: Nursing home staff may attempt to isolate a resident from friends and family, prohibiting visitations and forcing the resident to stay in his or her room.



Financial Exploitation

Nursing home staff who have access to residents’ financial records may use residents’ personal funds in unauthorized ways, such as the following:

  • Stealing cash, bank account information, or property
  • Misusing personal checks, credit cards, and bank accounts
  • Forging signatures
  • Stealing a resident’s identity

How to Detect Elder Abuse

Physical symptoms aside, elder abuse can result in the following behavioral symptoms:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Defensiveness
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Helplessness
  • Hesitation to talk openly
  • Made up or implausible stories
  • Lack of responsiveness
  • Withdrawal

Call an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney Today

If you detect any of the above symptoms in your loved ones and suspect elder abuse in their nursing home, call an experienced elder abuse attorney at The Brod Law Firm immediately. We have helped elderly individuals and their families obtain full recovery for their injuries and are here to do the same for you. Contact us online or at (800) 427-7020 to schedule your free, confidential consultation with our attorneys today.

(image courtesy of Jeremy Wong)

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