Nursing home abuse can be one of the worst fears of loved ones who have had to place their family member in nursing home care. It is helpful for family and loved ones to be familiar with the different types of nursing home abuse and what to watch for.
Physical abuse and more
There are several types of nursing home abuse including physical abuse that includes the infliction of bodily harm by hitting, slapping or other forms of physical abuse. This could also include holding an older adult against their will. Another form of nursing home abuse can include emotional abuse or psychological abuse such as when a caregiver uses hurtful words or yells at or threatens the older adult. Emotional abuse can also include ignoring the older adult or isolating them from friends and family.
Yet another form of nursing home abuse can include neglect which occurs when the caregiver is unresponsive to the needs of the older adult. This can include ignoring the older adult’s physical, emotional or social needs or withholding food, medications or access to medical care. Abandonment can also be considered nursing home abuse if a caregiver leaves the older adult alone without planning for their care.
Additional forms of nursing home abuse can include sexual abuse by forcing the older adult to participate in sexual act or to watch sexual acts. Lastly, financial abuse can also occur when money or belongings are stolen from the older adult or in several other circumstances. A caregiver with access may be able to forge checks in the older adult’s name or use their credit cards without permission. A caregiver with access may also take the older adult’s retirement or Social Security benefits which can all be examples of financial abuse. Changing designations on a will, bank account, life insurance policy or title to a home without the older adult’s permission may also constitute financial abuse.
Depending on the nature of the nursing home abuse, different legal protections, including personal injury protections, may be available to the victim and their family. It is important to know what to watch for and to be familiar with legal remedies to help hold a negligent nursing home accountable.