What Is Considered Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, with neglect and physical abuse serving as just a few examples. In this article, you will learn what nursing home abuse is, become more familiar with the different types that exist, and find out what steps you can take if you think your loved one is being treated poorly or receiving substandard care in the facility where they are living.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse generally falls into one of the following categories: physical abuse, verbal/psychological abuse, or sexual abuse. Below, you will find a detailed explanation of each.
Physical abuse involves intentionally hurting someone or causing them pain or harm. Striking a resident or pushing them down are examples of physical abuse. Other examples include scratching a resident, shoving them, force-feeding them, depriving them of food, refusing to change their soiled sheets or clothing, or slapping them. Staff members, visitors, and other residents can be guilty of physically abusing nursing home residents.
Although it seems unimaginable for nursing home workers to cause physical harm to vulnerable individuals who rely on them for care, support, and assistance, physical abuse in nursing homes is commonly reported.
Verbal abuse can involve a staff member yelling at a resident, calling them foul or inappropriate names, or ridiculing them. Cursing at a resident or making threats toward them are also examples of verbal abuse. Although verbal abuse doesn’t involve physical contact, it can make a resident unhappy, depressed, or scared. This, in turn, can have a physical effect on them if the effect of the verbal abuse causes disruption with their daily activities and/or eating habits.
Sexual abuse is when a resident is touched inappropriately, forced to perform sexual acts, or is unknowingly coerced into engaging in sexual behavior with a worker or resident. Because many nursing home residents rely on staff members to assist them with the most basic tasks such as bathing, changing, and using the restroom, they are easily taken advantage of.
Sexual abuse among nursing home residents is an underreported form of abuse. It can be challenging to determine if a resident is experiencing sexual abuse as signs might mirror those a resident would display if they are unhappy or suffering physical or verbal abuse.
Sexual abuse cases often go unnoticed either because a resident is too afraid to come forward or because they suffer from one or more health and/or mental conditions, such as dementia, that cause them to forget what they have been through.
Nursing home residents have a right to live free from all types of abuse. When a resident’s rights are violated, they or their family members can take civil action against the facility and worker(s) who caused them harm.
Examples of Neglect
Neglect is another serious concern for nursing home residents and falls under the nursing home abuse umbrella. Nursing home residents who are neglected either don’t receive the proper type of care and/or are not taken out of situations that could potentially cause them harm. Examples of neglect include:
- Not feeding a resident regularly. Aging individuals, like all others, rely on a nutritious diet to keep them healthy and active. When a resident isn’t provided with their required meals, they can suffer from malnutrition.
- Failing to bathe or change a resident. Many residents rely on health care workers to bathe and change them daily. Unfortunately, understaffing and a lack of skilled workers can result in residents skipping showers or not being changed for days.
- Failing to change a resident’s soiled linens. It isn’t uncommon for residents, especially those who are bedbound, to soil their bedding as they aren’t able to get up on their own. Because soiled linens are uncomfortable and unhealthy to sit in, residents and their bedding need to be changed immediately. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and can cause a resident to develop skin infections and other types of internal infections.
In addition to these examples, neglect can also include a resident being ignored or left to sit in the same position for extended periods, failing to administer medication or treatment, which can make them more susceptible to developing bedsores, as Johns Hopkins Medicine explains.
Get Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse Today with One of Our Skilled Attorneys
When individuals move into a nursing home, they expect adequate care, supervision, and respect. However, this doesn’t always happen. If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP.
We strive to protect the rights of nursing home residents who have been harmed by careless or negligent individuals. A nursing home neglect lawyer in NYC can help your loved ones seek the justice they deserve and get them out of the unsafe environment. Learn more about how we help victims of nursing home abuse by scheduling a free consultation now. Call or text (646) 692-0204 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form
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