When we hear about nursing home abuse, we imagine horrifying instances of physical attacks against vulnerable senior citizens. However, actual physical assault makes up a small minority of nursing home abuse injuries. Instead, the majority of nursing home abuse injuries arise from neglect of the resident.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is defined by The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) as “failures by a caregiver to satisfy the elder’s basic needs or to protect the elder from harm.” This means if a resident is neglected inside a nursing home, this can be considered nursing home abuse. For example, if a resident’s medication is withheld or they are not kept clean, this neglect is a form of nursing home abuse.
Most often, nursing home abuse does not occur when family members or caretakers are present. This is why it is so critical for laypeople to recognize the common nursing home neglect injuries, which serve as red flags for abuse. If you spot a nursing home negligence injury on your loved one, investigate the incident to determine how and why the harm occurred.
Common Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
Nursing home abuse can take many forms and result in a number of different injuries. However, we commonly see the following injuries in nursing home negligence cases:
• Bed Sores (Decubitus Ulcers)
• Patient Falls
• Unexplained Broken Bones
• Dehydration and Malnutrition (Rapid Weight Loss)
• Wrongful DeathSteps To Take If You Believe Your Loved One is Being Abused
If you think your family member is being abused or neglected inside a nursing home, act immediately:
1. If they are injured, get them to a hospital or outside doctor immediately.
2. Work with an uninterested Geriatric Care Manager to secure a safe place for your family member.
3. Report the neglect to the proper state authorities. In Florida, the free elder abuse hotline is 1-800-96-ABUSE and the Florida Ombudsman can be reached at 1-888-831-0404.
4. Speak with a caring, qualified nursing home abuse attorney to learn about your rights following a preventable nursing home injury.
It is believed that only 1 in 5 instances of elder abuse ever gets reported. This lack of accountability allows negligent nursing homes to continue the cycle of nursing home abuse indefinitely. If you believe your family member is being abused inside a long-term care facility, report it today.
To learn more about how to report nursing home abuse in your geographic region, follow this link.
About the Author
Nursing home abuse attorney Michael Brevda is a partner at Senior Justice Law Firm. Mr. Brevda specializes in representing victims of nursing home abuse. He is available at 561-717-0817 or reachable by email at Michael@SeniorJustice.com.