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5 common types of nursing home abuse

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing homes are important institutions that help provide much-needed care for elderly individuals who may require assistance with daily tasks, medical care and companionship. They can serve as a haven for those who may no longer be able to live independently, theoretically offering a supportive environment where residents can receive specialized care tailored to their needs.

Unfortunately, patient abuse is a rampant issue in these facilities, raising concerns about the safety of residents. Nursing home abuse manifests in different ways and understanding the various types is crucial for recognizing and addressing the problem effectively.

Neglect of patient’s basic needs

Nursing home patients may not be able to communicate their needs effectively, making them particularly vulnerable to neglect. This form of abuse can involve the failure to provide adequate nutrition, hydration, hygiene or medical care. Staff shortages, inadequate training or lack of supervision can contribute to neglectful behavior in nursing homes.

Physical abuse

Rogue nursing home caregivers may resort to physical abuse, which can include hitting, punching, slapping, pushing or restraining residents inappropriately. This type of abuse leaves visible signs such as bruises, cuts, fractures or other injuries. Physical abuse can also extend to the misuse of restraints or medications as a form of control or punishment.

Sexual abuse

Any non-consensual sexual contact or activity perpetrated against a resident can be referred to as sexual abuse. This can include unwanted touching, sexual assault, rape or coercion into sexual acts. In many circumstances, due to physical or cognitive impairments, residents may be unable to resist or report sexual abuse, making them easy targets for perpetrators.

Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional abuse in nursing homes may be more subtle but equally damaging. It may involve verbal threats, intimidation, humiliation or isolation of residents. Caregivers may use emotional manipulation or coercion to exert control over residents, causing them distress, anxiety or depression. Emotional abuse can have long-lasting effects on a resident’s mental and emotional well-being.

Financial exploitation

Some caregivers or staff members may exploit residents financially, taking advantage of their vulnerable state. This can include stealing money or personal belongings, coercing residents into signing over assets or property or fraudulently obtaining access to their financial accounts. Financial exploitation not only undermines the resident’s financial security but also violates their trust and autonomy.

It is important to report any suspected case of nursing home abuse to relevant authorities. Seeking legal guidance can also help loved ones to determine suitable approaches to addressing the situation and seeking justice for victims.