Knowing the warning signs of elder abuse

Nursing homes are where people can take loved ones for medical attention, safety, wellbeing and peace of mind -- not for mistreatment. After the revealing of the horrors that some elderly residents faced as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the country has given significant attention to the varying states of nursing homes nationwide. But nevertheless, tragic stories of neglect continue to surface. In Alabama, elderly residents have rights to basic necessities and quality care; when this care is compromised, those residents and their families may decide to take legal action.

Last month, WHNT News reported on an incident that hardly helped this bleak reflection on nursing homes in America. In early November, a Florence nurse was found sexually assaulting an elderly patient; when another member of the staff witnessed the incident, the nurse attempted to hide. Making matters worse, the patient suffered from an injury while attempting to fend off his attacker. Yet the situation did not end there, as the nurse faced charges for sodomy and elder abuse. 

Situations such as these unfortunately occur more often than many might assume. Next Avenue, a journal for older Americans, shares some warning signs that an elderly patient may be suffering from abuse. Neglect is more common than instances such as the one shared previously, but Next Avenue stresses the severity of this crime. Poor hygiene, physical issues caused by lack of a healthy diet and unexplained injuries are among the many ways elders can suffer from abuse while under the care of nursing home staff. While there may not be one single answer to solving this heartbreaking problem, knowing warning signs such as these can help prevent more incidents from happening in the future.       


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