It is usually a difficult decision to put a loved one into an assisted care facility to augment that person’s special needs and care. The relationship with the healthcare workers at the assisted care, nursing home, or other types of live-in care facility needs to be one of complete transparency, trust, and a promise to respect your loved one at all levels of care.
This trust is breached when your loved one is mistreated in a nursing home. These cases can sometimes be called “nursing home abuse” or “elder abuse” cases, whereby an elderly person is taken advantage of in the situation of being a resident at a nursing home or elder care facility.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Several types of nursing home abuse can occur in a nursing home or assisted living environment. These types include:
Resident to resident abuse
The incidence of nursing home abuse or elder abuse is widespread in our healthcare facilities that house sick or injured older adults. For example, some statistics show that almost 1 in 3 nursing homes in the United States have been cited for abuse. This means that at some time in their stay in a nursing home, your loved one may be the victim of an elder abuse or nursing home abuse situation.
Do the Staff in Nursing Homes Mistreat Elderly Residents?
Yes, statistics show that over half of nursing home staff members have admitted to having been abusive to a resident in a nursing home or assisted living facility. This is despicable behavior and should not be tolerated by any nursing home or assisted living facility director. It is difficult to believe that a helpless and defenseless elderly person in a nursing home would be abused this way, and yet it does happen. When your loved one cannot communicate well, has had a stroke, memory loss, restricted mobility, or is unable to see or hear well, this may set the environment for abuse. Elder abuse is difficult to report because your loved one may not be able to communicate to you the instances of abuse as they are occurring.
What Other Types of Elderly Care Abuse Are Seen in Nursing Homes?
Other types of abuse can occur in a nursing home or assisted care facility. For example, suppose a resident also witnesses someone else in the nursing home experiencing abuse at the hands of a staff member. In that case, that witness may also be traumatized due to viewing the abuse.
The other types of abuse that have been noted in nursing homes include:
Being pushed, grabbed, or shoved
Being moved roughly
Being pushed down onto the bed or in a chair
Being yelled at by a healthcare worker
Being sworn at by a resident or healthcare worker
Being mentally abused
Being threatened with physical harm
Being threatened to have food or services withdrawn
Being exploited or privacy taken away
What Can Be Done to Identify Elder Care or Nursing Home Abuse?
As mentioned, it is often difficult for an elderly person to communicate abuse if that individual is unable to communicate well as a result of an illness. However, it may be possible to identify victims through self-reporting done by interviews of possible victims. Often, a victim of elder or nursing home abuse at a healthcare facility will be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse for fear of retaliation. Also, it is important to get the family involved in the investigation of any potential instances of abuse if there is any suspicion that your loved one is suffering or experiencing any abuse at the hands of the healthcare workers and providers.
Language Barriers in Elder Care Situations
It is also worth noting that if an elderly resident at a nursing home has a language barrier, such as with speaking English as a second language, or who has a serious cognitive impairment (dementia, hearing impairment/deaf), it will be difficult to gather information regarding the individual’s mistreatment – but not impossible. Therefore, it is necessary to try harder to find clues as to whether the individual has been abused, based on other signs such as fearful attitudes, being afraid when someone enters into the room, or other signs that something is not right at the facility in regards to the treatment of the residents.
A Word About Sexual Abuse with Nursing Home Residents
Any time that a resident in a nursing home complains of sexual abuse in a residential or nursing home facility, it is an emergency that needs to be investigated. If an elderly relative or loved one has strange marks on the person’s genitals, sores, or other unusual markings in the genital region, it is important to act fast to protect the person from further abuse. There is no offering an excuse of the elderly person “consented” to any sexual activity when the elderly person is a resident of a nursing home or assisted care facility. These situations constitute exploitation and need to be discussed with an attorney knowledgeable in this area to help preserve the dignity and recover the compensation necessary in these types of nursing home abuse cases.
Call Experienced Nursing Home Attorneys Who Know How to Manage Nursing Home Abuse Claims
If you have an elderly loved one who has suffered elder abuse living in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, you will want an experienced attorney on your side. You will get only one chance to get this right. You don’t get two chances to bring a claim for medical bills or damages after this type of loss. It is possible to forget something coming up for you later in your recovery. You can’t be expected to remember everything related to this type of injury claim.
This is why you need to give us a call at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm if you have experienced a situation related to nursing home abuse. Our nursing home abuse attorneys are here for you and know what to do to get you the money that you deserve in this type of situation. Just call us at (833) 254-2923. We are ready to help you get back the money you deserve when you are injured in a rideshare vehicle. Contact us today for a free consultation.