What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), disabled adult and elder abuse in nursing homes can come in the form of neglectful, financial, emotional, physical, or sexual harm.
Examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Neglect: This is when staff either incompetently or intentionally neglect residents, including late or missed medications, failure to respond when called for assistance, and inattention to the cleanliness of their environment or their bodies.
- Financial exploitation: Stealing, overcharging, or unfairly withholding money from nursing home residents is an abuse of their trust and may be a crime. Similarly, visitors or other staff may help themselves to a resident’s data or documents — these are also legally acknowledged violations.
- Emotional injury: Taunting, insulting, or belittling elders is a disgusting form of psychological abuse. Such harm may easily go unreported or denied in cases of Alzheimer’s or dementia patients — their calls for help may be deemed unreliable due to their condition.
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse can range from forcing residents to remain in uncomfortable positions, to outright attacking or beating them. Nanny cams have captured egregious incidents of elder abuse on camera, which is one way to gather proof of abuse.
- Sexual assault: Molestation, rape, and sexually-based humiliation or mockery are forms of sexual assault, and should have no place in a home for elders, the infirm, the vulnerable, or anywhere.
Nursing home abuse could stem from individual staff members, as is common in cases of physical abuse. It could also come from the facility’s management, as in cases of neglecting abuse between residents, overcharging families for care, or under-medicating patients to save costs. Whatever the source, such treatment is unacceptable.