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Recognizing elder abuse and how to prevent it

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse

Many residents of New Jersey have a loved one in a nursing home. While it’s normal to expect an elder loved one to be safe in that setting, negligence may still occur that results in injury. Recognizing elder abuse can help you prevent it.

What are the signs of elder abuse and neglect?

When a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected, there are certain signs. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or psychological. All of these forms of abuse can present symptoms in the elderly victim. Nursing home residents suffering physical abuse can show the following signs:

  • Cuts, sores and other fresh injuries
  • Bruises that mostly show on the head or torso
  • Lack of access to assistive devices, medication or food and water
  • Confinement to a bed, chair or wheelchair or unnecessary medications

Some nursing home residents are assaulted by staff or other residents. Sexual abuse signs include the following:

  • Bleeding in the anal or vaginal area
  • Torn underwear that may be bloody
  • Bruising in the genital area or breasts

Elders who are victims of emotional or psychological abuse may behave very differently than their loved ones are used to. They often show the following signs:

  • Fear and intimidation
  • Sudden change of personality, such as going from being outgoing to shy
  • Sudden loss of interest of favorite activities
  • More frequent crying

Nursing home neglect can manifest in a variety of ways. Your elder loved one might be a victim of neglect if their personal hygiene deteriorates and they are seen in dirty or soiled clothing. Their bedding may also be dirty, and their room might be cluttered and messy.

What can you do to report elder abuse?

Sadly, you can’t always prevent elder abuse from occurring. If it happens in a nursing home and you suspect that your loved one has been a victim, you can look for signs. If you notice anything unusual in your loved one, you should immediately report it to nursing home administration or even law enforcement.