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Nursing Home Abuse: Would You Know It When You See It?

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

Nursing home abuse and neglect can manifest in a number of different ways, some more easily identifiable than others. Physically, signs of abuse or neglect may be more easily recognizable, whereas signs of emotional or verbal abuse may be more than difficult to recognize, let alone identified in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to have a solid understanding of what signs and symptoms are indicative of abuse and neglect among the elderly of some nursing home care facilities throughout the nation. Knowing what to be on the lookout for and how to act in response could make a world of difference for the elderly individuals suffering; sometimes, it could be the difference between life and death.

For anyone suffering from abuse, the act of making the mistreatment known can seem more than impossible, frightening even. For the elderly, these feelings are often multiplied greatly. Physically less capable than they once were, older individuals are not often able to successfully defend themselves against abusive behaviors of any nature - verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional. Instead, many elderly patients of nursing homes resort to confinement and withdrawal. It is not uncommon for these individuals to become depressed and hopeless, a mere specimen of the person they once used to be. This situation is unfortunate in more ways than one: Not only are the elderly persons suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally, but they are likely doing so alone, unknown to those around them.

Certain signs of abuse and/ or neglect may be abundantly visible, as some physical behaviors leave marks that cannot be hidden. If an elderly resident of a nursing home begins to don open wounds, cuts, bruises, etc. that cannot be seemingly explained for there is a good chance that they may be suffering from physical or sexual mistreatment; neglect may lead to physical manifestations of the problem as well. Therefore, keeping a vigilant eye out for any wounds, unexplained sores, and the like is the best way to ensure that physically abusive behaviors do not plague the aged residents of the care facility in which they live.

Aside from the obvious signs, there are much less subtle warning symptoms that should not be overlooked when attempting to detect abusive behaviors of any type. A sudden drop in weight, burns, poor hygiene, bloody clothing, and the like are almost surefire indications of abuse or neglect in some way or another. However, these signs are not symptomatic of other types of abuses such as emotional, verbal, and financial exploitations. Very often, older adults react to mistreatments of this nature by withdrawing from social activities, sometimes even retreating from their closest friends and family members. Warning signs that may be less obvious include: strange behaviors that are out of character, emotional withdrawal, listlessness, unresponsiveness, unusual financial transactions, and even a disappearance of personal items.

It is far too easy for an able-bodied person to take advantage of a less physically apt person, and this is often the impetus for many of the abuses that occur within nursing home facilities throughout the country. Very often, older individuals are less than willing to make known their abuses out of fear for what could happen. Therefore, it is up to the friends and family of nursing home residents to take swift action in their notice of the emotional behavior and physical appearance of their loved ones who may be in a nursing home facility. In this way, abusive and neglectful actions can be quickly identified and put to an end.

The Florida Law Group is a personal injury law firm that is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been wrongfully victimized. Throughout Florida, thousands of injury victims have been helped by one of the firm's Board Certified specialists. When you contact a Tampa personal injury attorney from the firm, you will be working with a law office that has been recognized by some of the nation's most featured news stations, including CBS, 20/20, and 48 hours. For a free case evaluation, simply contact the firm toll-free at (888) 467-6475.

Source: EzineArticles
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