Elder abuse is a problem that arises all too often in our society and it can have long term consequences. This blog will discuss the physical and emotional effect of the abuse on the elderly and the consequences felt by other family members.
Physical Consequences of Elder Abuse
The first and most obvious consequences of elder abuse are the physical injuries suffered by the victim. In extreme cases, elder abuse can even result in death. According to a 2020 study, elder abuse victims most commonly experienced:
- Severe bruising.
- Face, teeth and neck injuries.
- Lower extremity injuries.
Bedsores in Nursing Homes
Bedsores are another common physical sign of elder abuse and neglect in the nursing home setting. Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, develop when a person is confined to a bed or chair for an extended period of time. Without the opportunity to move and shift position, the weight of the body presses down on the skin and underlying tissue, reducing blood flow to the area.
This can cause the skin to break down and form an open sore. Bedsores are especially common among elderly nursing home residents who are unable to move on their own. While bedsores may initially seem like a minor issue, they can quickly become infected and lead to serious health complications. Bedsores can also be a clue that the elderly person may be experiencing other forms of neglect or abuse.
Lasting Psychological Effects
The long-term psychological consequences of nursing home abuse can be devastating. The physical and emotional pain caused by nursing home abuse can lead to a loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychological effects of nursing home abuse can be just as damaging as the physical injuries.
While it can be difficult to identify, there are some common signs that may indicate that an elderly adult is being emotionally abused. These can include:
- Sudden changes in mood or behavior,
- Withdrawal from social activities,
- Appearing agitated or confused, and
- Exhibiting signs of depression.
Effects of Nursing Home Abuse on Family Members
Nursing home abuse can have a profound effect on family members. Not only does it cause emotional distress, but it can also lead to financial hardship. In some cases, family members may be forced to take on the role of caretaker for their loved one. This can be a full-time job, requiring the individual to give up their own career and income.
In addition, family members may feel guilty for not being able to prevent the abuse from happening or for not noticing it sooner. They may also be overwhelmed with worry about their loved one's safety and well-being. If the victim is forced to move out of his or her home because of the abuse, in situations where family members cannot care for their loved one, they may also feel guilty about not being able to provide a safe place for them to live.
If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact us today at (540) 318-7360 to schedule a free consultation.