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What Is the Most Common Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home abuse is a common issue in California, dampening the lives of elderly individuals who depend on others for life-supporting care. Unfortunately, the reality is that with the responsibility of such important care comes depraved attempts of exploiting the vulnerable. For this very reason, nursing home abuse attorneys such as Joel Bryant are holding elderly care facilities accountable for their actions, forcing them to respond to allegations through the legal system. 

While there are many different types of abuse an elder may experience, some are more common than others. The various types of abuse that occur happen all too often and are seldom met with proper amounts of justice.

Psychological Abuse

The most common type of abuse, the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys (NANHA) reports that around 11.6% of seniors in nursing homes experience psychological abuse. In the same report, 40% of nursing home employees admitted to psychologically abusing patients. 

This astronomical number reminds Californians that abuse comes in many forms and happens more often than we think. Psychological abuse can be especially damaging to elders as it leads to suicidal thoughts/actions, self-harm, and an all-encompassing fear for one’s safety. 

Sexual Abuse 

The weakened state of our elderly population leads to large amounts of exploitation. As many seniors find it difficult to defend themselves from those with malicious intentions, many become victims of sexual abuse. The hardest factor to consider with cases of sexual abuse is the difficulty of the elder to report it, as they may suffer memory-altering conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or are simply unable to communicate as a result of their age. 

Sexual abuse includes touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other related sexual activity without consent. This category of abuse is experienced by 6.8% of senior residents. 

Financial Exploitation 

Equally as common as sexual abuse is financial exploitation. Between the difficulties of elders managing their own finances in our ever-evolving society and their vulnerabilities to be manipulated due to their weakened state of mind, many nurses will commit fraud, robbery of property and belongings like expensive jewelry or credit cards, or forgery of financial documents. While the issue is believed to be underreported, elder financial abuse accounts for a national loss of $3 to $20 billion each year.

Neglect 

Experienced by 4.2% of the elder population, neglect is a common occurrence for many seniors residing in nursing home facilities. In some cases, untrained caregivers can jeopardize the lives of elderly folk, while in others nefarious nurses perform intentional acts to worsen the elders’ quality of life. According to the National Adult Maltreatment Report System (NAMRS), 1 in 10 older adults suffer from abuse. 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse such as hitting, slapping,  and pushing are quite common in nursing homes. A national survey of nursing home staff showed that 10% of residents admitted to committing at least one act of physical violence against a senior in the last year whereas 36% of the same group witnessed at least one act of physical abuse in the last year. 

Reach Out to a California Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today 

As shown through data and statistics, nursing home abuse is all too common in the United States. In many of these cases, the acts are self-reported, indicating to experts that the reality of the situation may be much more grave. Joel Bryant and other California nursing home abuse attorneys are stepping up to the plate to hold these facilities and caregivers accountable for their actions. Reach out to Joel Bryant today for dedicated help regarding your case of elder abuse.