A recent incident at a Pennsylvania dependent care facility has brought to light concerns of negligent dependent care and nursing home neglect. For those with loved ones living in long-term health care facilities, it is important to know the signs of elder abuse and neglect.
Earlier this summer, a temporary employee assaulted a special needs resident of a Pennsylvania dependent care home. The employee allegedly struck the resident in the back and cornered him in his room. The caregiver-who worked on a contract basis at the home-was later charged with neglect of care of a dependent person, harassment and assault.
While many incidents in long-term care facilities are not always this extreme, is it important to watch for signs of dependent and elder abuse when loved ones are living in long-term care facilities.
Signs of Elder Abuse and Dependent Neglect
The following warning signs are high indicators that problems of abuse or neglect are happening to your loved one:
- Physical marks, such as bruises, burns, abrasions and broken bones all point to physical abuse
- Bedsores, poor hygiene, or weight loss are common signs of neglect
- Withdrawal or depression. An unwillingness to talk about financial matters or lack of money may be the result of exploitation. Withdrawal from normal social or community activities could indicate emotional abuse.
- Strained relationships. Frequent, tense arguments, or constant belittling and threats from spouses or caregivers are also signs of verbal and emotional abuse.
Many elderly and handicapped individuals also experience social isolation or dementia which increases their risk of vulnerability. Many may recognize they are being taken advantage of, but feel ashamed and refrain from confiding in anyone. If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect, talk to an experienced attorney in your area.
Sources: Elwyn employee allegedly strikes resident; The National Center on Elder Abuse