Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse refers to any act of harm enacted on residents in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is not an uncommon occurrence. In the U.S. alone, one in three nursing homes has been issued a citation concerning abuse. There are multiple types of nursing home abuse, which we will outline below.

1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most commonly known type of abuse; this form of abuse involves physical harm being intentionally caused to residents and can include:

  • Kicking
  • Hitting
  • Violently restraining
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Pushing
  • Any type of physical violence

2. Abandonment

During the pandemic, many patients were abandoned by facilities that needed to have additional beds for COVID-19 patients. Abandonment involves either unfairly removing a resident from a facility and/or leaving a resident to care for themselves when they need help/assistance.

It is important to note that while abandonment can involve leaving a patient outside the facility, residents can also be abandoned while still on the premises. The staff may just leave them alone in a ward without checking on them or tending to their needs.

3. Emotional Abuse

Nursing home residents can suffer from various types of verbal or psychological abuse, which both fall under the umbrella of emotional abuse. Sometimes staff will take out their frustrations on residents by insulting them, isolating them, and/or threatening them (which are all acts of emotional abuse).

While physical abuse is life-threatening and can cause serious health problems, emotional abuse can also have a life-long impact on an abused resident. Oftentimes, those who suffer from emotional abuse develop mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

4. Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when a resident is taken advantage of and exploited for fiscal gain. Staff and/or visitors may misuse their power of attorney or steal from residents.

5. Neglect of Personal Hygiene

Nursing homes owe their residents a duty of care and should ensure they have hygienic bedding, clothing, and facilities. If a resident is not given access to hygiene products, clean clothes or sheets, or other personal hygiene needs, they are suffering from neglect. It is also important to note that residents with mobility issues should be provided with help for hygiene and movement.

6. Sexual Abuse

Residents who suffer from cognitive disorders, immobility issues, and other conditions can often be the victim/survivor of sexual abuse. However, while these groups of people are more likely to suffer from sexual abuse, any resident can be at risk. Sexual abuse involves any kind of nonconsensual sex act or unwanted sexual contact.

7. Medical Neglect

Long-term care facilities are supposed to monitor residents’ health and ensure they are cared for should a healthcare issue arise. Medical neglect occurs when a resident’s healthcare needs are ignored or mistreated by staff and can include overmedicating residents, failing to address existing healthcare issues, failing to report signs of illness to medical staff, and/or failing to help immobile residents avoid bedsores and other complications.

8. Emotional Neglect

Emotional neglect differs from emotional abuse. While emotional abuse involves antagonizing a patient, emotional neglect involves failing to meet a resident’s emotional needs (intentionally). Staff can emotionally neglect a patient by isolating them and not allowing them to attend visiting hours or facility events.

9. Neglect of Basic Needs

Our basic needs include food, water, air, and shelter. If long-term care facility staff fail to offer residents enough food, water, or resources, neglect the facility (in terms of cleanliness but also livability), or fail to meet their basic needs, they can be sued for negligence and/or abuse. This form of abuse is most common in facilities that are understaffed.

Consult with Our Personal Injury Attorneys

Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC is dedicated to defending the rights of nursing home abuse victims. If you or a loved one have suffered injury and damages because of nursing home neglect or abuse, our personal injury attorneys can help you:

  • Collect evidence to support your claim
  • Prove that the nursing home and/or other negligent party breached their duty of care
  • Calculate your damages
  • Communicate with authorities and the opposing counsel throughout the case and investigation
  • Navigate the case smoothly

Learn more about how we can help you by calling (866) 580-3089 or reaching out online.