What is Nursing Home Abuse?

With advances in healthcare, American adults are living longer than ever before. As a result, families are dealing with advanced-age issues that can require that the senior receives round-the-clock care. As a result, a lot of families are not equipped to take proper care of their loved one, so they have to place them into a nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is common and widespread. Abuse and neglect occur at a significant percentage of nursing homes. From stealing cash and personal property to overmedicating to tying the person to their bed, to restrict their movement, to physical and sexual abuse, to social isolation, dehydration, and name-calling, maltreatment is all too common in the nursing home setting.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), “The Center for Elders and the Courts states that elder abuse is generally defined to include abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional), financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Every state has an adult protective services law with definitions and may have other relevant civil or criminal laws. Definitions vary from law to law and state to state.” The NCEA goes on to say that some states have elder abuse laws on the books, but in every state, an act that constitutes elder abuse may violate criminal laws, such as theft, fraud, sexual assault, battery, and murder. Common forms of nursing home abuse (elder abuse):

  • Physical abuse (slapping, hitting, punching, etc.)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Emotional abuse (e.g. name calling, social isolation, ridicule)
  • Neglect (e.g. improper hygiene, malnutrition, and dehydration)

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Understandably, each form of abuse would have a different sign. If you’re concerned your loved one may be a victim, here are some red flags to look for:

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Restraint marks
  • Injuries in the genital area
  • Bleeding in the genital area
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Tension around caregivers
  • Fear of caregivers
  • Complaints of abuse (often passed off as the victim’s imagination by the caregiver)
  • Bedsores
  • Broken bones
  • Fall injuries
  • Unclean living quarters
  • Foul odors in their room
  • Missing property
  • Recent revisions to estate planning documents
  • Unexplained purchases and withdrawals from bank accounts

Do you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse? If so, contact our firm to request a case evaluation with a compassionate Plano personal injury attorney.

Next: Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

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