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Elder abuse is a troubling occurrence in all circumstances. However, there is one aspect that is even more horrendous. This is when the abuse is at the hands of nursing home staff members who are supposed to be caring for the senior citizens.

Residents of a nursing home aren't usually there because they want to be. Instead, they need the constant help to function on a daily basis that only a nursing home can provide. They are fully dependent upon the paid staff to get things done. When elder abuse does occur, the residents can suffer greatly.

What types of actions are considered elder abuse?

Some elder abuse is physical, so it leaves marks like bruises, cuts and scrapes. Other types aren't so obvious. Senior citizens may suffer from verbal, emotional and financial abuse. These aren't as easy to spot. In some instances, an abused resident will be isolated from others in an attempt to prevent them from being able to speak out about the abuse.

Another form is confinement, which could mean that they are restrained for non-medical reasons. The use of restraints for no apparent reason or only to control the resident's behavior is illegal. This includes chemical and physical restraint.

What issues make it hard to spot elder abuse?

One issue that presents a huge problem when it comes to elder abuse is the altered mental status of some people in this demographic. Some of the signs of abuse are mistaken for symptoms of conditions like dementia. If there is any question about whether the issue is abuse or the result of a medical condition, the situation must be investigated. Seniors who are abused are 300% more likely to die than those who haven't suffered that type of treatment.

Another problem is that some of the events that occur when an elder is being abused might be attributed to medication or health status. For example, an elder who falls repeatedly may be said to have ambulatory issues due to medications they are taking.

However, it is also possible that they are suffering from neglect. This is the case if they need help to walk about and aren't provided that assistance for activities like going to the restroom or walking to meals.

When abuse or neglect is suspected in a nursing home in Alamosa, you have to react immediately. The primary goal is for the atrocious behavior to stop. Once this is done, you can explore options for seeking compensation since getting treatment for the problems caused by elder abuse can be costly.

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