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Look Out for Nursing Home Abuse

Did you know that more than “40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and more than 90% report that they or another resident of the facility have been neglected.” These statistics are extremely disheartening and concerning because there are more than 3.2 million people in the U.S. live in nursing homes. Because of their physical and mental states, the elderly demographic are less likely to report their abuses due to communication troubles.

What is considered nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse is a specific type of elder abuse. It is defined as the “intentional infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, care/service deprivation or punishment that results in physical harm, pain or mental anguish.” This is different from nursing home neglect, which is the intentional/unintentional “failure to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain; a failure to react to a potentially dangerous situation resulting in resident harm or anxiety.”

Evidence of nursing home abuse

  • Physical abuse, such as unexplained bruises or welts

  • Emotional abuse, such as unusual behavior of the elder. This type of behavior can be observable. Another example of emotional abuse is if the caregiver belittles the elder.

  • Non-verbal psychological abuse, such as isolating an elder from his/her family or friends

  • Sexual abuse, such as torn or stained undergarments

  • Financial exploitation, such as significant withdrawals from an elder’s account.

It’s impossible to understand why someone would intentionally harm an elder; however, it happens and is more common than you might think. Nursing home abuses highlight the need for better screening of caretakers and training of employees.

If you believe that you or someone you know is/has experienced any form of elder abuse, hesitate to contact Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC.


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