Although any resident of a nursing home is at risk of being a victim of nursing home abuse, studies show that residents who are disabled face the highest risk of being victimized. One of the reasons why they may be in a higher risk group is because of the care they need. Many disabled residents suffer from cognitive or physical disabilities and require special care. Disabled residents often show signs of:
- The resident is unable to communicate effectively with staff
- The resident may need extra help with personal care
- The resident may act aggressively towards nursing home staff
These behaviors often require extra work and attention for nursing home staff. It also is why disabled residents are more at risk of being abused. Nursing home staff may assume the disabled resident can make their own choices or be independent. They may assume the resident is unable to make decisions or join in different activities. Depending on the staff members’ compassion, they may not regard the disabled resident’s importance or value.
Many disabled residents are forced to rely on nursing home staff because they are unable to care for themselves. This may make them fearful of speaking up if they are abused. Some residents may not even be aware they are being abused because of their disability.
Different Types of Abuse
Any nursing home resident can be a victim of one or more of the following abuse:
- Physical abuse: This type of abuse is the easiest to detect because of the marks that can be left on the resident. Some of the different types of abuse include hair pulling, kicking, punching, or physically restraining the resident.
- Emotional abuse: This type of abuse involves intimidating the resident, control their activities, and calling them names.
- Medication abuse: The resident is given medication that has nothing to do with their medical condition. Instead, the medication is used to sedate them.
- Sexual abuse: The resident is forced to engage in some type of sexual activity, including unwanted touching, unwanted kissing, being forced to watch sexual films, and other unwanted sexual encounters.
- Financial abuse: The resident is forced to give staff money or sign over financial documents or their money is used to purchase money for a staff member.
- Neglect: When a resident isn’t being cared for the way they are supposed to, this is neglect. Neglect can involve not having their personal hygiene needs met, bathing, destruction of their property, and not being fed properly.
If you suspect your elderly loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact a nursing home lawyer in Houston, TX immediately. They can help you determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of your loved one. Call a law office today.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and nursing home abuse of disabled residents.