Often, vulnerable people are the target of abusers because they are easier to attack. In most cases, the abuser may find it easier to cover up and get away with their mistreatment. And when abusers are not identified and held accountable for their actions, they will only continue hurting more people. One demographic that is particularly susceptible to a wide variety of abuse is the elderly. While the elderly may go into a nursing home because they need care and safety, it’s disheartening and heartbreaking to know that they may be stepping into the exact opposite environment.
If your loved one was the victim of elder abuse in their nursing home, you may be able to take legal action and help them recover financial compensation for all of the harm they endured. Read on for a few classic examples of nursing home abuse. Or, if you need help you’re your case today, contact our team at The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types and Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several ways that elder abuse can happen in a nursing home. In many situations, these individuals may be afraid or confused by their situation and as a result, not speak up about it to get help. This is why it’s important that if you have a friend or family member who lives in a nursing home, not only should you visit and spend quality time together, but also check their situation and living conditions. You may need to be their advocate if an abuse situation exists.
Another reason why it’s good to check in on loved ones is that when the staff sees that a resident has concerned and attentive visitors, this could ward off any potential offenders from marking your loved one for abuse. Abusers often seek those who are more isolated.
Considering the many different types of abuse that exist, it’s easy to see why abuse is so prevalent amongst the elderly, particularly when they are residing in a nursing home.
Here are some examples of nursing home abuse:
1. Physical Abuse
In 2020, according to the World Health Organization, 9% of staff employed at nursing homes admitted to physically abusing a resident. We suspect this number is much higher because these are only the staff members who admitted to engaging in the act—the majority of abusers never admit their behavior. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, restraining, or pushing a resident.
Not properly caring for, listening to, ignoring, or not acknowledging a nursing home resident can lead to substantial health deterioration and emotional distress if not death. For example, if a resident is not fed or bathed, their skin can begin to break down and sores can develop. Without nutrition, healing could be impossible, and those wounds could become infected. Lack of medical treatment can leave residents suffering. Improper daily medication administration is another way neglect can lead to poor health outcomes and death in a nursing home resident.
3. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse happens by way of words with awful attacks on an individual’s self-esteem. Common forms of emotional abuse include gaslighting or stonewalling. It can be through psychological means that make a resident feel confused, scared, or intimidated. Emotional abuse can be yelling and screaming at a resident. The WHO’s study also found that as high as 32% of individuals working in nursing homes engaged in some form of emotional abuse of residents of their facility.
4. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be physical on nursing home residents, forcing them to engage in certain acts. It can be sexual acts happening in front of an elderly person where they are forced to watch. Sexual abuse can also be by making offensive and unwanted comments regularly. Sexual abuse can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, physical bodily harm, emotional trauma, and more.
5. Financial Fraud
Whether it be by forging checks, physically stealing a nursing home resident’s valuable items, taking over a resident’s identity, or a perpetrator defrauding a victim by getting them to include them in their estate plan or will, the deception and treachery that takes place to rob nursing home residents of their wealth happens quite frequently.
Elderly people living in a nursing home may be abandoned and left behind to fend for themselves. If they venture out of the home, staff may not ensure they make it back to the facility, or staff members in a facility may actually just drop an elderly person off somewhere far from the home and leave them there.
Who Are Nursing Home Abusers?
In addition to staff members, other residents can be the source of abuse. In some situations, it is fellow residents that are molesting and manhandling other inhabitants of a nursing home. And while this is one of the duties of staff–to be mindful of such situations to stop them–not all abuse situations between residents are caught.
Regardless of who is responsible for neglecting, abusing, or defrauding your loved one in a nursing home, it’s important to know that help is available. Individuals that have behaved in such an outrageous and unjust way can be held accountable under the law. Our elder abuse attorneys at The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC are here for you when you are ready to take legal action.
Get the Help You Need Today
We hope you found this list of nursing home abuse examples helpful. If you aren’t sure if your situation qualifies, don’t hesitate to ask the professionals. We are here to help. Get the answers you need today by contacting our team for a free no-obligation consultation.