Nursing home abuse often results in severe consequences for the elderly

Elderly people living in a nursing home may experience many different physical and psychological effects if they are abused.

Many nursing home residents in Pennsylvania are abused every year. According to the American Psychological Association, it is estimated that on an annual basis, 4 million older Americans are the victims of some form of abuse. Those who are mistreated in an assisted living facility may experience consequences that harm them both psychologically and physically.

Potential consequences

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the physical effects of nursing home abuse include welts, wounds and injuries that result in persistent pain or soreness. Abused nursing home residents may also experience sleep disturbances, nutrition and hydration issues and an increased susceptibility to illness.

The CDC states that one of the established psychological effects of elder abuse is an elevated risk of depression and distress. However, those who are abused in a nursing home may also feel extremely helpless and may develop post-traumatic stress syndrome.

In addition to these psychological and physical effects, abused nursing home patients are more likely to pass away prematurely. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in comparison with older people who are not abused, mistreated elderly people have a 300 percent higher risk of death.

Types of abuse

There are many different forms of nursing home abuse that can cause assisted living residents to experience both physical and psychological consequences. The NCEA states that these include some of the following:

  • Physical abuse - this type of abuse is defined as the use of physical force to inflict pain, injury or impairment on another person. For example, in a physically abusive situation, an elderly person's caretaker may push, shove, shake or slap him or her.
  • Sexual abuse - this type of abuse occurs when a non-consensual sexual act of any kind is performed. For instance, an elderly person is sexually abused when his or her caretaker rapes or photographs him or her in a sexually explicit manner.
  • Emotional abuse - emotional abuse can occur when nonverbal or verbal actions are used to cause another person to experience anguish, pain or stress. For example, an elderly person is emotionally abused when his or her caretaker isolates him or her from regular activities or friends and family members.

Those who have a loved one living in a Pennsylvania nursing home should familiarize themselves with some of the common signs of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Doing this can prevent an abusive situation from developing or continuing. If you believe that your loved one was abused in a nursing home, turn to an attorney to find out what legal steps should be taken next.

Keywords: nursing home, elder, abuse