It can be difficult to watch your parents grow old. They tend to lose control of their faculties and experience a loss of agency. Moreover, they may find that they can no longer adequately meet their own needs. Here, asking for help can be as difficult as finding out you might be dependent on it. An impending danger of being victimized by elder abuse is always there, besides. However, all the mishandling never comes under the banner of “abuse”; there are also many lapses that fall under the heading of “neglect”.
What Is the Difference between Elder Abuse and Neglect?
Elder abuse means to inflict some intentional injury, impose unreasonable confinement, intimidate, cause care or service deprivation, inflict punishment causing physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, means a failure, whether intentional or unintentional, to provide some elderly person with the care or services required to rescue them from harm or pain. It also includes a failure to react to a certain alarming situation bringing resident harm or anxiety.
What Types of Elder Abuse May Be There
1. Assault or Battery
It includes shaking, pushing, pinching, beating, kicking, slapping, threats, and verbal or emotional abuse.
2. Lack of Services or Care
Here, they ignore or do not attend to the old victims for their existing medical or other physical problems.
3. Continual or Prolonged Depriviation
In this type of elder abuse, the elderly person is not provided with food, water, or other edibles regularly and properly.
4. Sexual Assault or Harrassment or Rape
Irrespective of gender, the victim always feels under the pressure of sexual harassment. As a matter of fact, there have also been a few cases of rape at different nursing homes.
5. Unreasoning Physical Restraint or Seclusion
The elderly are sometimes under enforcement to live in sheer loneliness or have permission to move around only through smaller distances. This is purely unreasonable and is there only to torture the victim.
6. Use of a Psychotropic Medication or a Chemical Restraint
Here, they treat the sufferer with self-medicated pills that have nothing to do with what their physician has actually prescribed.
Why It Is Hard to Tackle Elder Abuse
However, not many people’s lives are constructed properly. They can’t take on the responsibility of giving care to their elders themselves. The fast-paced nature of modern life, the rising costs of living in the US, and an unstable economic situation make it difficult to do so. They are unable to accept a duty that will require an extensive amount of money and time. There’s absolutely no shame in that. All that means is that you will likely have to find a third party to take care of your parents.
How to Handle Elder Abuse at Your Best
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a real and prevalent problem in nursing homes and elder-living communities across America. As a result, it can be hard to commit your parents to the care of people who you cannot say for sure will treat appropriately. While committing your parents to a third party will always be a risk, knowing how to recognize the telltale signs of abusers will make it easier to avoid riskier situations. This article aims to teach you everything you need to know about the practice and the signs of elder abuse. So, if your parent receives mistreatment, you can recognize the signs and pull them out of that dangerous situation.
Watch for Hostile Behavior From Staff as a Big Sign of Elder Abuse
Everyone has bad days, and you must remember that first impressions are not always accurate; especially after the Coronavirus pandemic hit, nursing staff are frequently overworked and under-rested, and it’s possible that they may accidentally snap at people or carry a rude-seeming demeanor. Yet, if you see a staff member verbally berating other patients, limiting their access to facilities for what seems like arbitrary reasoning, or you notice that other patients seem to respond to one staff member with fear, there may be more going on. Definitely don’t allow your parent to stay at that facility.
Keep Track of Changes in Your Loved One’s Habits
If you notice any sudden changes in weight or how your loved one communicates, they may be depressed due to something going on when you aren’t around. The same goes for any changes in sleeping habits: nursing homes are supposed to monitor how much their patients eat and sleep, ensuring that healthy habits are maintained. If you notice your parents’ habits changing and becoming unhealthy at all, whether it happens suddenly or over a more protracted period, don’t be afraid to investigate; at the very least, that may imply negligence on the nursing staff’s part.
Unexplained Injuries – Enough Said
Sure, your dad may fall once or twice over the course of his stay at any nursing facility; even the most cautious, thoughtful practices can’t erase the possibility of accidents occurring altogether. But if you notice he seems to be falling with some regularity, or other bruises start popping up that nursing staff cannot give you a reasonable explanation for, pull them out immediately and seek legal action. At a bare minimum, nursing homes are supposed to do everything in their power to mitigate the chances of an accident occurring: these kinds of events are caused by a lack of proper preventative mechanisms at best, which is still negligent behavior.
At worst, physical abuse may be occurring. Don’t hesitate to move quickly if you suspect that your parent may be experiencing more “accidents” than most.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse Starts With You
Like other forms of abuse, nursing home abuse tends to live in the shadows, occurring where people least expect it and affecting a wider group of people than reports tend to reflect. It’s extremely difficult to avoid it altogether, even if you are looking to avoid facilities where abuse has been permitted in the past. But keeping an eye out for these subtle signs, as well as others, will help you make the decisions you need to make to keep your loved ones safe and drag these abusers out into the light.
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