Types of Nursing Home Abuse You Might Not Have Known

Alessia Olsen

All residents of nursing homes have legally protected rights. Their most vital and basic right is to have access to an environment that is free of neglect and abuse. However, this right among several others gets violated many times.

Abuse encompasses a wide array of behaviors, actions, and treatments. This broad term involves everything from mistreatment, violence, negligence to disrespect. These are a few types of abuse at a nursing home.

Intentional or Unintentional Neglect

General neglect, whether intentional or unintentional is construed as abuse. This involves failing to provide residents with the proper care they need. It’s crucial to understand that while unintentional neglect may have consequences as abuse, it is different. Abuse needs to be a deliberate act with a malicious intent to cause the other person harm.

Nursing home abuse by way of general neglect can be in the following forms:

  • Leaving nursing home residents unattended for long periods of time
  • Not cleaning nursing home residents after bowel movements
  • Failing to provide food, water, and other basic necessities of life in time
  • Improperly administering or chronically forgetting medications

Physically Abusing a Resident

Physical abuse refers to an intentional act of causing trauma or bodily injury to a nursing home resident. Residents with cognitive disorders are more at risk of being physically abused. However, the abuse can be committed against all residents, regardless of gender or age.

Physical abuse involves:

  • Punching, biting, or kicking
  • Hitting, striking, or slapping
  • Grabbing, shoving, or pushing
  • Using restraints without just cause
  • Causing injury with an object

Emotional/Verbal/Psychological Nursing Home Abuse

Verbal, emotional or psychological abuse involves actions and words that are carried out with the intent to cause fear, distress or mental trauma. This type of abuse may include:

  • Name-calling
  • Insulting a resident on their intelligence
  • Insulting a resident on their appearance
  • Isolating the resident
  • Threatening the resident to be placed elsewhere
  • Exerting control by limiting transportation or use of telephone

Sexually Abusing a Resident

Sexual abuse involves all acts of intentionally violating a nursing home resident in a sexual capacity that is both unwelcome and unwanted. Sexual abuse can involve oral intercourse, full intercourse, or unwanted groping, feeling, and touching.

This type of abuse frequently results in physical symptoms, such as scratches, bruises, and lesions around the genital area. It may also cause the resident to contract a sexually transmitted disease.

Financial Manipulation or Abuse

Financial abuse is the intentional manipulation or exploitation of a resident to attain complete financial control over them. People committing financial abuse obtain unauthorized and illegal access to a resident’s finances. They do this by befriending the resident in some manner and gaining their trust.

Financial abuse involves:

  • Stopping financial access to funds
  • Stealing bank statements and other personal documents
  • Stealing possessions and money

It is recommended to seek advice from an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. In most cases, abuse is committed at the hands of those directly responsible for medical care, support, and personal care. Lawyers can help victims and their families acquire adequate financial compensation if any staff member harmed a senior at a nursing home.

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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