Nursing Home Abuse


Elderly people who are in nursing homes demand utmost care from the facility personnel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 senior citizens more than 60 years old are abused or neglected every year. Neglect and abuse are two of the most common things that can happen to an elderly. While neglect can be similar to abuse, they are not the same.

According to the website of Abel Law Firm, nursing home abuse can be hard to detect. The relatives of the patients are not able to see their elderly family member on a daily or weekly basis. Federal nursing home regulations have different meanings for neglect and abuse. The former is defined as a failure to provide a person with the care and service necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain. The latter, on the other hand, refers to the intentional infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, and care/service deprivation that causes harm, pain, or mental anguish.

Their similarities lie in the various symptoms used in determining liability of the nursing home facility which may include the following:

  • Bed injuries/asphyxiation
  • Dehydration
  • Emotionally upset or agitated, extremely withdrawn and non-communicative
  • Falls, fracture, or head injuries
  • Infections
  • Instances of wandering/elopement
  • Malnutrition
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain; signs of malnutrition
  • Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff members
  • Unexplained or unexpected death of the resident
  • Unexplained injuries such as wounds, cuts, bruises or welts in various stages of healing

Whether it’s nursing home abuse or neglect, the facility can be held liable if any of the following factors contributed to harm or injury to a resident or patient:

  • Negligent hiring
  • Understaffing
  • Inadequate training
  • Breach of statutory or regulatory obligations
  • Medication Errors

The nursing home facility can also be held liable for the acts of its employees, including actions taken in the course and scope of worker’s job responsibilities.

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