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Working to identify elder abuse in nursing homes

| Aug 26, 2020 | Nursing Home Abuse |

Regardless of the type of job that a person has, there are frustrations. But for some people it may be especially frustrating at times when working with patients who struggle to communicate or meet their basic daily needs without assistance. As such, nursing home facilities in New Mexico and across the country must take steps to ensure that all of their employees are suited for the sometimes frustrating tasks they may have ahead of them. When nursing homes do not do this and take other measures to protect residents, elder abuse can occur.

In fact, reports indicate that 5 to 10% of older adults are abused. Often, injuries from abuse could be passed off as injuries from a fall, either in a deliberate attempt to hide the true cause or out of ignorance. However, researchers have been working to recognize abuse patterns that can help identify whether injuries are from abuse or from an unintentional fall.

To do so, researchers studied cases of patients who sought medical care as a result of a fall to cases in which someone was convicted of abuse. Many of the indicators are related to the type of injury suffered. Victims of abuse are more likely to have injuries to their face, teeth and neck. Because the shoulders and head provide protection to a neck, people who suffer falls rarely suffer injuries to their neck. On the other hand, victims of an unintentional fall are more likely to injure their lower extremities when compared to abuse victims.

Unfortunately, people in New Mexico make the difficult decision to place their loved ones in nursing home because they are unable to provide them with the care that needed. Because some of these residents are unable to communicate efficiently, they may be unable to report that that they are victims abuse. Being able to recognize signs can help family members take appropriate action — potentially including taking legal action against a facility in which the abuse occurred.