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All need to know about elder abuse in care facilities

Our elderly deserve only the best treatment.

Elder abuse in nursing homes refers to any form of mistreatment or harm inflicted upon elderly residents in long-term care facilities. It can encompass physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or neglectful actions that compromise the well-being and safety of older adults. Addressing elder abuse is crucial to upholding the dignity and rights of seniors in nursing homes.

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from one or more of these types of abuse, doing something about it as soon as possible is important. There is no time to waste.

Call (877) 270-4700 or our closest local office for a free consultation.

  What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Elder abuse in nursing homes, also known as nursing home abuse, refers to any form of mistreatment or harm inflicted upon elderlyelder abuse in California and how to report elder abuse residents within long-term care facilities.

This includes physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or neglectful actions that compromise the safety, dignity, and well-being of older adults who rely on these facilities for care and support.

Nursing home abuse can manifest in various ways, from intentional acts of violence to neglectful omissions of essential care services. Understanding what is elder abuse in nursing home settings is crucial for identifying signs of mistreatment, advocating for vulnerable residents, and implementing preventive measures to ensure their safety and quality of life.

Find out if our experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help with a free case review right now.

Statistics on Nursing Homes Abuse in California:

  • 13% of complaints filed to the California Department of Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman involve abuse or neglect, more than double the national average of 5%.
  • 1 in 10 elderly individuals experience some form of abuse, with nursing homes being a common setting for such incidents.
  • Residents with dementia, like Alzheimer’s which affects 690,000 Californians over 65, are considered more susceptible to physical abuse
  • 40% of staff in one study admitted to emotional/psychological abuse (insults, humiliation, isolation).
  • 7% of nationwide abuse cases involve sexual abuse against residents. [Source: Berberian Ain LLP, “Nursing Home Abuse Statistics (2018 – 2023)”]

Learn more how to get help for elder abuse in California→

Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Home

Elder abuse, unfortunately, is a prevalent issue, and nursing homes can sometimes be a setting where it occurs. Recognizing the different types of abuse in nursing homes and their warning signs is crucial for protecting our vulnerable elderly population.

Learn about the different nursing home abuse types below. Keep in mind that your loved one could suffer from multiple types of abuse at once.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in nursing homes encompasses any intentional act causing physical harm or pain to a resident. This can include:

  • Hitting, slapping, kicking, or punching
  • Grabbing, shoving, or pushing
  • Using restraints excessively or inappropriately
  • Administering medication improperly
  • Forcing residents into harmful positions

Learning more about physical abuse in nursing homes →


Emotional/Psychological Abuse

This type of abuse encompasses verbal threats, intimidation, isolation, or manipulation that causes emotional distress. Victims may exhibit symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or withdrawal. Creating a supportive and respectful environment and promoting open communication can mitigate emotional abuse.

Example: Two Chicago nursing home staff members were arrested for tormenting a 91-year-old dementia patient, leading to a lawsuit against the nursing home.

Learning more about emotional abuse in nursing homes →


Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide adequate care, leading to physical or emotional harm. Poor hygiene, untreated medical conditions, or malnutrition are indicative of neglect. Ensuring sufficient staffing levels and regular quality assessments can help prevent neglect in nursing homes.

Example: In Iowa, a resident fell after moving around her room unattended. Nurses neglected to send her to the hospital for 16 hours, leading to the resident passing away.

Learning more about nursing home neglect →

What are the causes of abuse in nursing homes?

Any older person in an assisted living facility may suffer from nursing home abuse and some environmental issues in nursing homes can increase the likelihood of abuse:

Understaffing and High Turnover Rates

Nursing homes with inadequate staffing levels or frequent turnover of personnel may struggle to provide adequate care and supervision for residents. Overworked or poorly trained staff members may be more prone to neglectful or abusive behaviors.

Poor Staff Training and Supervision

Inadequate training programs or supervision protocols can contribute to staff members lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to provide compassionate and competent care. Without proper guidance and oversight, employees may resort to abusive or neglectful practices.

Inadequate Resources and Funding

Nursing homes operating on limited budgets or facing financial constraints may struggle to allocate sufficient resources to resident care and facility maintenance. Substandard living conditions and insufficient medical equipment or supplies can exacerbate the risk of neglect and mistreatment.

Insufficient Family and Community Involvement

Lack of involvement from residents’ families, community advocates, or external oversight agencies can contribute to a lack of transparency and accountability within nursing home facilities. Engaging with families and community stakeholders can help identify red flags and promote a culture of accountability and transparency.

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Who can be “Perpetrators” of nursing home abuse

Nursing home abuse is a distressing reality that affects thousands of vulnerable elderly individuals each year. While much attention is rightly focused on the well-being and safety of residents, it’s also important to examine the perpetrators of such abuse.

Staff Members

Unfortunately, some individuals employed within nursing homes, including caregivers, nurses, and other staff members, may engage in abusive behaviors. This can range from physical violence and neglect to emotional manipulation and financial exploitation. Factors such as stress, burnout, inadequate training, or personal issues may contribute to staff members perpetrating abuse.

Administrators and Management

In some cases, the leadership and management of nursing home facilities may bear responsibility for instances of abuse. Failure to implement proper protocols, inadequate staffing levels, or prioritizing profit over resident care can create an environment where abuse flourishes. Administrators have to ensure the safety and well-being of residents and may be held accountable if they fail to do so.

Other Residents

It’s important to recognize that not all instances of abuse in nursing homes are perpetrated by staff members. In some cases, fellow residents may engage in abusive behaviors towards their peers. This can occur due to underlying mental health issues, cognitive impairment, or interpersonal conflicts within the facility. Nursing homes must have measures in place to prevent and address resident-on-resident abuse.

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How To Prevent Abuse in Nursing Home

Preventing abuse requires a comprehensive approach that addresses systemic factors and promotes a culture of respect, accountability, and transparency within nursing home facilities as well as action from the elder’s family. Here are some steps to help you protect your loved from abusing.

  1. Before choosing a nursing home, clearly identify your loved one’s care needs to ensure you find a facility that can best help them.
  2. Research different nursing homes and check if they have good ratings and enough staff.
  3. Visit the nursing home often, including at different times. This will help you determine if it provides adequate care at all times.
  4. Stay in touch with the staff and doctors, and watch the care your loved one is receiving.
  5. Learn the signs of abuse and take photos and detailed notes of anything unusual during visits.
  6. Know who to talk to in the facility if you have concerns and report nursing home abuse promptly.
  7. If you think abuse is happening, get help from legal professionals or state organizations.


How To Report Abuse in Nursing Home

Follow these steps to take action:

  1. Identify the abuse: Learn about the signs of nursing home abuse to help you recognize when it could be happening.
  2. Document evidence: Keep detailed records of any signs of nursing home abuse, including photos, videos, dates, times, and descriptions.
  3. Speak up: Talk to the nursing home administration about your concerns and contact a nursing home ombudsman for additional support.
  4. Contact authorities: If the situation does not improve or is severe, report the abuse to local law enforcement or adult protective services (APS).
  5. Seek legal advice: Consider contacting a nursing home abuse law firm to discuss your options and ensure your family’s rights are protected.

Working With a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you’re looking to work with a nursing home abuse lawyer, there are a few different ways to make the process easier.

  • Honesty and transparency: Be open and truthful with your attorney about all details of the situation.
  • Clear communication: Maintain clear and consistent communication with your attorney, asking questions and keeping them updated on any new developments.
  • Follow their guidance: Trust your attorney’s expertise and follow their recommendations throughout the process.

Fees and costs:

  • Contingency fee: Many nursing home abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. Their fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or award.
  • Be transparent about fees: Discuss fees and any other potential costs upfront with your attorney.

Learn more about how a nursing home abuse attorney can help you→

Find a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me

It’s crucial to provide support and care to those who have suffered from nursing home abuse and to take steps to help them recover from any physical and emotional harm they may have endured. By working together, we can create a safer and more supportive environment for all residents.

Working with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can help elder abuse victims and their families recover and afford medical care. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can provide legal advice, communicate with the facility’s lawyers and insurance companies, and much more.

Get a free consultant today to connect with our nursing home abuse lawyers in your area!

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