When abuse in a care facility occurs, the bonds of trust have been completely broken. Not only is this a criminal offence, but it can take years for your loved one to recover from the mental and physical trauma they have experienced at the hands of someone who was supposed to care for them. Sadly, many instances of abuse go unreported, simply because the resident is either too ill to report and speak out against their abuser, they’re too frightened or they’re embarrassed.
Here we’ll look at the common forms of abuse in nursing homes and what you need to be aware of. Remember, if you believe your loved one has been the victim of abuse at their care facility then you should speak with the police as soon as possible.
Emotional abuse takes many forms, however, each one can have a devastating impact on the victim. The signs aren’t always noticeable, but severe mood changes and behavioral patterns, irritability, anger, shyness, unexplained mania or even signs of depression are common in these cases. Emotional abuse can be:
- Aggressive or threatening behavior from caregivers
- Controlling behaviors
- Leaving the resident purposefully isolated for long periods
Do the staff keep reporting sudden and unexplained falls, even though it’s not in your loved one’s nature to have accidents? Will they not leave you alone with your relative? Are the injuries unexplained? Does your relative fear being touched and recoil? These are tell-tale signs of physical abuse.
- Slapping, hitting and punching
- Hitting with objects
- Using unnecessary force to restrain them
- Shoving, pushing and shaking
Financial exploitation can happen in a number of ways, thankfully it can be easier to spot, even if your relative is reluctant to discuss financial irregularities. Financial exploitation can be classed as the following:
- Items of value e.g. jewellery or cash going missing
- Credit/debit card purchases that your loved one can’t explain
- Bank withdrawals
- Unexplained cheques for large amounts or lots of little amounts
- Power of attorney being handed over to an unknown care giver
When moving your loved one into a care facility someone you know and trust such as a lawyer, or family member must be monitoring their money and accounts. Visitors should also check that items of value haven’t gone missing.