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The 7 types of elder abuse

A nursing home staff is tasked with providing the care and attention elderly residents require to stay safe, happy and healthy. Unfortunately, a negligent or abusive staff can cause serious injuries, worsening conditions or new ailments.

While every situation is unique, the National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse that can occur:

  • Physical abuse: An abusive staff member can injure an elderly resident using physical force. This can include striking, tripping or the misuse of physical restraints.
  • Sexual abuse: A staff member might engage in non-consensual sexual contact with a resident.
  • Emotional abuse: Physical abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment, for example, can have devastating emotional consequences. The resident might experience feelings of anxiety, depression or other emotional states.
  • Financial exploitation: An abusive staff might steal cash, use a resident’s credit cards or force a resident to include them in a will.
  • Neglect: A staff member might simply refuse to correct a harmful situation. This can include providing food, water or medication when needed.
  • Abandonment: A staff member might desert an elderly resident, leaving them trapped in bed with rails up or in a wheelchair with locks engaged.
  • Self-neglect: Whether from medications or cognitive impairment related to the aging process, a staff must pay careful attention to prevent residents from injuring themselves.

Whether it is distributing daily medication or turning a bedridden resident to prevent bed sores, a nursing home staff must be diligent in their care and attention to detail. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for acts of negligence and acts of intentional abuse to have a similar result. An elderly nursing home resident can suffer broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord trauma, torn ligaments and lacerations. Additionally, these individuals might struggle with dehydration, malnutrition and other emotional or cognitive impairment.