Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Symptoms and Effects of Nursing Home Abuse

Just like all humans, our parents develop health issues as they grow up. Once they fall, it is the responsibility of us, as their children to take care of our elderly parents in just the same way they took care of us. Most of the time, elderly patients need hospitalization or 24/7 care due to several health complications. Although Healthcare is costly in the United States, most of the children always try to provide the best medical attention to their elderly parents and prefer admitting them in Nursing Homes where they believe their parents would be taken care of in the best way possible. But during a recent 3-year study by the University of Canton Center for Elderly Health, there was a series of shocking videos which revealed the truth of what happens inside the walls of a Nursing Home once the family members of the elderly patients leave the spot.

Horrible Nursing Homes

Generally speaking, people believe that they could give their parents the best medical care by getting them admitted to Nursing Homes. However, these facilities can turn out to be some of the worst places in the United States to leave your elderly parent or relative. A recent video which surfaced on the Internet as a part of the University of Canton study, shows show elderly parents who are rarely visited by family people are abused to the worst extent in nursing homes by the staff. The staff can be extremely rude to most of the patients and in the video, a nurse was shown kicking a 70-year-old elderly patient and continually abusing him almost every day and tossing him like a football from the wheelchair to the bed in the most inhumane way possible.  Such Nursing Homes will only worsen the health condition of the patient instead of improving them.

Types of Abuse

There are such nursing homes throughout the U.S. which treat elderly patients whom had toiled throughout their life, with almost zero respect. A recent survey had revealed the shocking truth that almost half of the Nursing Homes in the United States had been accused in multiple instances of the abuse of Elderly Patients. The severity of the abuse varied with each nursing home and type of abuse also varied depending on the Nursing Home. The poor elderly patients were subjected to a wide range of abuses such as physical abuse and psychological abuse. However, few Nursing Home staff members did the unthinkable and had also sexually abused the poor and weak elderly patients. The survey also brought to light the sufferings and effects of this abuse on the elderly patients. Although this percentage was extremely low, the fact that it was present was concern enough.

Health Effects 

The shocking survey had not only exposed the vile nature of the Nursing Home staff but also the difficulties the victims had to face due to these abuses. Another shocking truth which came to light was that almost five out of six abuse cases go unreported. This means that most of the elderly victims of Nursing Home Abuse were silently suffering for a long time. This can cause a lot of health issues in the victims like Weight Loss and Fractures. The psychological effects can too be severe as they are let to suffer in solitude. This can cause a lot of psychological problems like emotional outbursts, wild mood swings, and sometimes even death. The other common health issues are dehydration, frequent infections from lack of hygiene, and signs of bruises. In some cases, the patient’s requests are ignored most of the times which can also cause Psychological and health issues in the victim.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

There are a lot of easily identifiable issues which might be symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse on Elderly Patients like bruises, cuts, and fractures.  Elderly Abuse Attorney, Ed Atkinson, of Atkinson Law in Norfolk, VA states; “The next time you notice a bruise mark, question the staff about how it happened and if they do not give a proper reason, there are high chances of the elderly patient being abused in the Nursing Home.”If there are numerous documented instances of this type of occurrence, you may have good cause for a lawsuit on your hands.

Dehydration and unexplained weight loss are also signs of Nursing Home Abuse. If the patient suffers from mood swings or tends to be reclusive, it is possible that the patient has been abused regularly for a long time now. Refusal to take medicines from the nurse is another indicator that a patient has been subjected to physical abuse at the Nursing Home. If the elderly patient is unable to talk, ask them to convey their thoughts about the Nursing Home to find out if they are being abused.

Apart from this, placing a secret camera in your loved one’s room with their permission is one of the best ways to confirm suspected abuse and can also serve as proof if you sue the Nursing Home for abusing such elderly patients.

The information provided in this article should not serve as legal advice. If you or a loved one are believed to be victims of nursing home abuse, consult with a social services professional and/or or a local attorney specializing in the laws in your state regarding this subject matter.

This is a guest blog entry.

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