Isenberg & Hewitt, PC | A Business And Personal Injury Law Firm | Since 1989
Isenberg & Hewitt, PC | A Business And Personal Injury Law Firm | Since 1989
To talk with a lawyer call (770) 901-2666
Isenberg & Hewitt, PC | A Business And Personal Injury Law Firm | Since 1989
To talk with a lawyer call (770) 901-2666

Distinguished Georgia Trial Attorneys

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Firm News
  4.  » Elder Abuse: Different Types and What to Do If You Suspect Abuse

Elder Abuse: Different Types and What to Do If You Suspect Abuse

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Firm News

We place our elderly loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities because they can no longer care for themselves. When our loved ones move to these facilities, we place our trust in these institutes and their caregivers to take care of our often fragile loved ones. Unfortunately, staff members are sometimes poorly trained, the facilities are understaffed, and all too often people are hired that are unsuitable to work with elders.

Elder abuse typically falls into five categories: physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

  • Physical abuse occurs when a caregiver intentionally causes physical harm such as intentionally grabbing a patient with enough strength to leave bruises, and includes hitting, punching, kicking, or using restraints in a punitive way.
  • Another common problem within elder communities, in and outside of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, is financial abuse. Financial abuse can include stealing residents’ personal property or identities, misappropriating funds or convincing them to participate in a scam.
  • Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver purposely causes distress, trauma or emotional suffering. These could include yelling, taunting, threatening harm, or ignoring the needs of their patients.
  • While people may not think sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, this type of abuse can and does happen. This can include a caregiver touching their patient inappropriately or forcing them to engage in non-consensual sexual conduct.
  • Negligence is failing to meet the basic emotional, physical, and/or health care needs of patients and is unfortunately a reoccurring problem in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and behavioral institutions. Negligence happens when a resident is isolated or abandoned; when the proper diet or medication is not provided; or when physical needs are neglected such as properly turning a disabled patient or failing to follow fall protocols.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is frequently underreported. The fear of retaliation from the caregiver if a patient or resident reports the abuse is a common reason why residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities underreport abuse. Residents often feel embarrassed or ashamed or simply don’t want to acknowledge the abuse. However, many patients who are abused by their caregivers are not physically or cognitively capable of reporting the abuse. These instances should never happen but do in fact happen and too often go unreported.

What can you do to help potential victims of nursing home neglect or abuse?

  • Check in on your loved ones regularly. Stay in contact, ask questions, let them know you support them and take notes of any physical, emotional or psychological changes.
  • Keep up with your loved one’s finances and question any unusual financial transactions. You know your loved one’s habits better than anyone. Question any unusual changes or actions.
  • If you believe someone is being abused, report any concerns to the appropriate administrator or director of the facility. If the facility doesn’t make changes, refuses to take action or fails to respond, you can report the concerns to your local nursing home ombudsman. An ombudsman’s role is to resolve issues between the nursing home and the elderly patient through various types of informal mediation. Always keep documentation of any concerns, changes in behavior, wounds or bruising.
  • If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, report it to your local law enforcement.

If your loved one is a victim of abuse, the Isenberg & Hewitt team is available to discuss your concerns, answer questions and make sure you are taking the necessary measures to protect your loved one and seek justice.