Individuals trust that a nursing home staff will provide the care and attention their elderly loved ones require. From proper hydration and nutrition to the dispensing of medication and proper use of safety restraints, a nursing home staff must continuously monitor their residents. Unfortunately, a nursing home staff member might abuse the resident rather than care for them.
In general, experts categorize nursing home abuse in five ways:
- Physical: Broken bones, torn ligaments, bruising and lacerations are all indications of serious physical trauma. When a nursing home staff member abuses a resident, the resident can exhibit countless signs of bodily harm.
- Emotional: While physical abuse leaves visible damage, emotional abuse can lead to mental anguish and cognitive impairment. Common forms of emotional abuse include name-calling and bullying.
- Sexual: When the nursing home resident suffers unwanted contact or nonconsensual sexual activity, he or she has suffered abuse at the hands of the nursing home staff.
- Financial: An elder can suffer financial abuse in numerous ways. From cash stolen from the bedroom to online credit card purchases, the nursing home staff has access to numerous sensitive records.
- Neglect: If the nursing home staff neglects to provide the proper food and water, the elderly resident can suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. If the nursing home staff fails to ensure the elderly resident is repositioned at regular intervals, he or she might suffer from bedsores.
What is polyvictimization?
Polyvictimization (PV) is a term that has seen increased usage in recent years. It can apply to two scenarios:
- A victim that suffers different types of abuse at the hands of one individual
- A victim that suffers abuse at the hands of numerous individuals
Elderly nursing home residents can suffer many types of abuse at the hands of the facility’s staff. Unfortunately, many of these forms of abuse have a cascading effect – one abuse leading to another type and so on. Victims can suffer physical pain and visible symptoms, or they can exhibit emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression and withdrawal. A negligent or abusive nursing home staff must be held accountable for these actions.