Nursing Home Abuse
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is devastating for elders, and victims may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney today.
Nursing home abuse is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States, occurring when nursing home staff members ignore their duty to provide residents with an adequate standard of care and subject elders to neglect and physical, emotional and psychological abuse. One of the main reasons that nursing home abuse continues to be a national problem is that many residents fail to report the abuse, for fear of retaliation by nursing home staff members. Nursing home abuse is becoming such a significant problem, in fact, that statistics show between one and two million Americans over 65 are affected by the unthinkable act. Regardless of whether the abuse is physical, psychological or emotional, nursing home abuse can have debilitating consequences for affected elders, causing them to become depressed, withdrawn, or seriously injured. If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney for legal help.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are a number of different kinds of nursing home abuse plaguing elderly individuals today, including neglect and physical and psychological abuse. Some forms of nursing home abuse are physical, such as if a staff member inflicts pain or bodily injuries on the resident, while some are mental, such as if a staff member taunts, threatens or manipulates a resident. Regardless of whether the elder abuse is physical or mental though, the associated consequences can be severe.
Physical Nursing Home Abuse
Physical nursing home abuse occurs when a staff member intentionally uses physical force that may cause bodily injury or pain to the resident. Common types of physical nursing home abuse include pushing, shoving, kicking, pinching or beating the resident; force feeding the resident; burning the resident; or using unnecessary physical or chemical restraints on the resident. Indicators of physical nursing home abuse may include black eyes, broken bones, internal injuries or bleeding, burns, bed sores, or cuts and bruises.
Psychological Nursing Home Abuse
Psychological abuse, also called emotional abuse, is a more subtle form of abuse, although the resulting harm can be just as serious. Psychological nursing home abuse typically involves emotional manipulation, isolation or emotional threats made by staff members to influence a resident’s actions. This may include manipulating or threatening a resident into being afraid to ask for help, possibly resulting in serious harm like dehydration or malnourishment. Psychological abuse may also include threatening or manipulating a resident into keeping quiet about something the resident sees, such as abuse against another elder. Isolation is another significantly damaging form of psychological abuse, occurring when a staff member intentionally isolates a resident from friends, family members and social activities.
Nursing Home Neglect
Elder neglect is defined as the failure of a person to fulfill caretaking obligations, such as if a nursing home staff member fails to provide the resident with an adequate standard of care regarding personal hygiene, nutrition, medical attention and general care. According to national statistics, neglect accounts for more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse, and can be further classified as active (intentional) or passive (unintentional, based on factors like ignorance or denial that a resident requires as much care as he or she does). Common examples of neglect include malnutrition or dehydration, unsanitary or unsafe living conditions, untreated physical problems like bed sores, being left dirty or unbathed, or unsuitable clothing for the weather.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
One of the most devastating aspects of nursing home abuse is that so few cases are actually reported, allowing perpetrators to get away with their despicable actions. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, contact a qualified nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent nursing home, in order to pursue financial compensation for the injuries, medical bills, and emotional pain and suffering commonly associated with abuse. Elderly individuals and their loved ones depend on nursing home staff members to provide a qualify, safe environment in which elders and disabled individuals can live without fear of suffering abuse. With the help of a skilled nursing home abuse attorney, you can seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries and protect the rights of yourself and your family.