Nursing Home Abuse

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An increase in the aging and elderly population has given rise to an expansion of the nursing home industry. As people are growing older, their potential need for long-term care is also increasing. Additional nursing homes have been built to accommodate an influx of residents needing care and existing nursing homes have gained more residents.

To meet the demands an increase in nursing home residents is creating on the nursing home industry, many nursing homes are resorting to hiring staff that may be inexperienced, or minimally trained. Inexperienced staff and staff that is not properly trained are contributing factors leading to an increase in nursing home abuse cases. Other factors may also play into nursing home abuse.

Nursing home abuse is a serious issue and one that everyone, but especially people who have loved ones in nursing home facilities, should be aware of.

What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a form of elder abuse. It occurs in a nursing home and usually happens between an elderly or vulnerable individual and a staff member, or staff members, within a nursing home. Staff members are in charge of taking care of all of the different seniors living at a nursing home. There are a number of different things a staff member might do to a senior that would constitute nursing home abuse, a few of which are outlined below.

Physical: This is the infliction or threat to inflict physical pain or injury on an elderly individual or elderly adult. This may include any sort of slapping, hitting, or pushing. Signs of this abuse may be visible in bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, burns, or abrasions.
Emotional: Emotional nursing home abuse is the infliction of mental pain, stress, or anguish on a nursing home resident through verbal or non-verbal acts. This sort of abuse may be visible in a resident through their withdrawal, or unwillingness to socialize. Emotional abuse includes things like blaming the senior inappropriately, yelling at a senior, or anything else of a similar nature.
Sexual: Any sexual harassment of or non-consensual sexual acts with an elderly adult or vulnerable individual. This may be evident in bruising around the breasts or genital region.
Neglect: Is the refusal or failure to provide basic necessities, such as food, water, shelter, or protection. This may lead to malnutrition, dehydration, or bed sores.

What can I do about nursing home abuse?

Make yourself aware of the rights nursing home residents have. There are laws in place to protect residents to ensure they are not abused. If you suspect that someone you know or love may be the victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to discuss the situation with the nursing home first and see if they will take actions to put a stop to it. If they are cooperative and do so the problem may be resolved. In addition, it might be necessary to contact the proper authorities about some abuse cases. It is also recommended, in some cases, to consider contacting a lawyer who is well-versed in nursing home law. They will guide you through the process and appropriate channels to ensure that your loved ones and others are not victimized again and those responsible for the abuse are held accountable for their actions.

Nursing home abuse is a very serious issue and can effect anyone. It is important that you are aware of the signs of abuse, as well as what channels to turn to in the event you suspect nursing home abuse. Be aware and ensure that the appropriate people are contacted so that the abuse does not continue.


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