Types of Elder Abuse

Although we rely on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to provide around-the-clock care for our elderly family members. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a common occurrence and a significant health issue throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hundreds of thousands of adults ages 60 and over are abused, neglected, and financially taken advantage of annually in this country. The World Health Organization reports the rates of elder abuse are high in nursing homes and other facilities--with two in three staff claiming to have committed abuse within the past year.

The following is an overview of the most common types of elder abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, our Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg are committed to holding the facility liable for their negligent and reckless actions.

Physical Abuse

Considered the most common form of abuse in U.S. nursing homes, physical abuse consists of hitting, scratching, biting, or other types of physical harm inflicted by staff members. Common types of injury include cuts, bruises, broken bones, scarring, fear, and depression.

Sexual Abuse

Due to the physical and mental vulnerability of seniors, a staggering number experience sexual abuse. Female residents are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse compared to their male counterparts. Unfortunately, only approximately 30 percent of sexual abuse cases are reported. Physical signs of sexual abuse include bleeding from the genital area, bruises in the groin area, broken bones, and even sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Emotional/Psychological Abuse

Mental abuse can also cause significant harm to residents. Staff members typically use cruel language to degrade seniors or verbal threats to make them more obedient and/or prevent them from reporting abuse to loved ones.

Common signs of emotional abuse include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, mood swings, changes in behavior and habits, and suicidal. Keep in mind, these symptoms could also be confused for other medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which can be challenging to figure out if mental abuse is happening.

Financial Abuse

More and more residents are being financially exploited by caregivers, who may steal money and/or credit cards from the senior’s purse or wallet or forge check’s from their accounts. Additionally, staff members may force patients to change their will or sign over their property rights. However, financial exploitation can also be caused by other family members.

Abuse from Other Residents

While many cases of elder abuse are caused by caregivers and other staff members, fellow residents are also capable of causing harm. Staff members may neglect to supervise patients, leaving them vulnerable to abuse.

For more information about elder abuse, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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