If you have an elderly friend or family member who is living in a nursing home in Iowa City, IA, you are going to want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the various types of elder abuse that could be occurring in the nursing home they are staying in. Did you know that “approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse?” In fact, “some estimates range as a high as five million elders who are abused each year,” says the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
While elder abuse has been and continues to be a serious issue for the elderly occupying the nursing homes here in Iowa, it is estimated that “only one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.” What this tells us is that the elder abuse that is occurring inside and outside of nursing home facilities isn’t being reported to the authorities which only makes the issue more difficult to address. In an effort to help those who do have someone close to them living in a nursing home, the Iowa City, IA personal injury attorneys here at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. are here to explain to you the types of nursing home abuse your loved one could be subjected to as well the signs to look out for when you visit with them.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Although nursing home abuse comes in many different forms, the Iowa Department of Justice highlights these as some of the most common forms:
- Physical abuse. This involves an older adult having physical pain inflicted upon them or being injured.
Warning signs of physical abuse include “bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns,” etc.
- Sexual abuse. This includes “touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.”
Warning signs of sexual abuse include (1) Bruises around the inner thighs, the genital area, or breasts,(2) Unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases, (3) Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, pain, or irritation, (4) New difficulty sitting or walking, (5) Torn, stained, or bloodied underclothing [Source: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care].
- Emotional abuse. This might include “verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.”
Signs of emotional abuse include “unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, or unusual depression; strained or tense relationships; frequent arguments between the caregiver and older adult.”
- Financial abuse which might include the “misuse or withholding of an older adult’s resources by another.”
Signs of financial abuse include sudden financial changes.
- Passive neglect which is when a caregiver fails to “provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.”
Signs of neglect might include “bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss,” etc.
- Willful deprivation. This is when a caregiver denies “an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physician assistance, and exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm—except when the older, competent adult has expressed a desire to go without such care.
What do I do if I have recognized some of the signs listed above?
If you think your friend or relative is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff in a facility located in Iowa City, IA, we encourage you to contact our firm today for legal advice and guidance. Knowing how to handle a situation of this nature isn’t always easy and there may be some form of legal recourse you can take so that justice is served for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
At Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C., our Iowa City, IA personal injury attorneys understand how difficult it can be to find out that someone you love isn’t receiving the proper type of care they deserve or isn’t being treated in the manner that they should. While you might be feeling angry and upset, our lawyers are here to provide you with the guidance and advice you need right now so that the issue can be addressed and resolved. If you would like to find out how our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers can assist you through this confusing time, contact us today at (319) 393-1020 and we would be happy to schedule an initial consultation.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000