Those who have a loved one in a nursing home should watch for signs that abuse is occurring to prevent future harm.

Every year, many senior citizens in New York are abused in some way while residing in a nursing home. According to the National Council on Aging, it is estimated that of Americans over the age of 60, one in 10 have been abused in some way. Some estimates even ascertain that as many as 5 million elderly people are victims of elder abuse on an annual basis.

Watching for the signs

Elderly people who are abused may exhibit a wide range of symptoms. Those who have a loved one in a nursing home facility should watch for the following signs:

  • The elderly person has a difficult time sleeping and often seems depressed or confused.
  • Their loved one is losing weight for no reason and shows signs of trauma, like rocking side to side.
  • The person in the nursing home becomes uncharacteristically violent, agitated or withdrawn.
  • Their loved one stops participating in activitys he or she enjoys and has unexplained signs of physical harm, like burns, scars or bruises.

Those with a loved one in a nursing home should also watch for signs that the elderly person looks unkempt or develops bed sores or other conditions that could have been prevented.

Types of abuse

Not only are there many signs that elder abuse is occurring, but there are also several types of elder abuse that can occur. For instance, those who are physically abused in a nursing home experience bodily harm caused by pushing, slapping or hitting. Those in a nursing home can also be psychologically or emotionally abused. This occurs when a caregiver says hurtful words, yells, threatens or purposefully ignores an elderly person in his or her care.

Those with a loved one in a nursing home should remember that elder abuse does not typically stop on its own. This is because many older people are ashamed they are being mistreated in a nursing home or fearful that if they report an incident, their abuser will make the situation worse.

How to handle an abusive situation

Those who suspect their loved one in a nursing home in New York is the victim of abuse should talk to their friend or family member when they are alone to determine if something is wrong. Those with an abused loved on in a nursing home should also contact the attorneys at Smiley & Smiley, LLP for assistance obtaining justice for their friend or family member.