A Growing Problem

Nursing home abuse is a growing problem, as many elderly residents fail to report these incidents because they are ashamed or feel intimated. Nursing home injury cases caused by nursing home negligence is a growing problem in the United States. Federal government studies reveal that at least 30 percent of the nursing homes across the country have committed some form of negligence or malice that has resulted in personal injury to elderly patients.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in different stages of healing
  • Abrupt behavioral changes
  • Staff who do not allow you to be alone with your loved one
  • Bedsores
  • Mysterious venereal disease or genital infections
  • Residents who are kept constantly over-medicated
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding and stained or bloody undergarments
  • Staff who refuses to allow visitors or delays visitation

    Residents typically do not report neglect. Some are afraid or unable. Some simply do not recognize it themselves.Proper care in a nursing home may seem to some like excessive pampering, but it is not. Residents must have water available at all times, even if that means a staff member has to come to the room frequently to hold the glass. Residents must be supervised at all times to prevent nursing home accidents and injuries. And so much more.

     When you visit the staff may seem very attentive and helpful, but they may simply be on their best behavior because you are there observing. Be on the lookout for signs of neglect such as weight loss, bedsores, poor hygiene, dehydration, sunburn, injuries, infections, and unsanitary conditions

It can be very difficult when a loved one ages to know how best to continue to care for him or her. Many people struggle with the choice of putting a parent or grandparent into a nursing home, fearing that they could become the victim of abuse or neglect. Federal and state laws require that nursing homes maintain the highest practicable mental, physical, and psychosocial well-being for their patients. Unfortunately, such cases do happen, with elderly victims suffering at the hands of their supposed caregivers.

There are four common primary forms of nursing home abuse:

Physical Abuse

  • Physical abuse is defined as the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment.

  • Physical abuse can range from beating, pushing, shoving to inappropriate distribution of controlled substances and force feeding.

Emotional/ Psychological Abuse

  • Emotional abuse can encompass verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, public embarrassment, and harassment.

  • This type of social abuse can cause the elderly patient to exclude oneself from daily activities, be hesitant to speak up, among other long lasting traumatic effects.