It is never an easy decision to place a family member or close friend in a nursing home. If you do have to make this painful choice, you want to be certain that your loved one will be properly cared for. However, even if you thoroughly investigate the nursing home, your family member could become the victim of elder abuse. Due to physical or mental ailments, an elderly person may not be able to defend himself or even recognize that he is being abused. In order to protect your loved one, it’s important to know the ways staff members can take advantage of his situation.
5 Ways Your Loved One Could Be a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, and the abuser may be the nursing home staff or another patient. The most common ways elderly residents are injured include:
- Physical abuse. This is the non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that causes him pain, injury, or impairment. It not only includes hitting or shoving the person, but also restraining or confining him and prescribing inappropriate drugs to sedate him.
- Emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when nursing home staff speaks or treats the elderly resident in ways that cause him emotional pain and distress—this can be verbal or nonverbal. Yelling, threatening, and humiliating the person are forms of verbal abuse; ignoring or isolating the person are ways the staff can engage in nonverbal abuse.
- Sexual abuse. This includes not only unwanted sexual acts, but also showing the elderly person pornographic material, making her watch sex acts, and forcing her to undress.
- Neglect. Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to fulfill their duty to provide needed care. This includes not assisting patients with eating when they are at risk of choking, as well as ignoring residents who need assistance using the restroom, so they do not fall. The neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
- Financial abuse. Financial abuse involves the use of the elderly resident’s money or property without permission. Staff members may steal money or property, forge signatures on checks or other legal documents, or steal the resident’s identity.
We Can Help You Protect Your Loved One
If you discover your family member is being abused at a nursing home, you can pursue a claim of abuse and neglect on his behalf. Call our experienced legal team at 888-591-9976 to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We’re here to help.