Abuse and Neglect
An estimated 5 million elders are abused each year.
Nursing home residents are meant to be protected and cared for by professional, well-trained staff. Unfortunately, incidents of abuse are extremely common.
Physical abuse, such as bruises, broken bones and bedsores, may be easy to recognize. But psychological abuse, potentially targeting patients with cognitive impairment, is much more difficult to identify.
Neglect, which is widespread in nursing homes, could be attributed to poor training and understaffing in the facility. When patients are subject to neglect, they can become dehydrated, malnourished or have advanced stage bedsores.
Types of Elder Abuse and Neglect
1 in 3 nursing home residents experiences abuse or neglect.
The National Center on Elder Abuse has identified seven common forms of abuse. Elder abuse can be classified as physical, sexual, emotional or psychological. Financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment and self-neglect are also forms of elder abuse.
Additional indicators of abuse and neglect are the presence of untreated bedsores or one or more incidents of a fall or fracture. Any actions of abuse and neglect against a senior citizen are illegal and punishable by law.
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