Legal Guide

A Look At The Different Types of Abuse In Nursing Homes

Abuse comes in many forms, with each type varying in degrees of severity. However, when it comes to nursing home abuse, there are five main types of abuse involved, and they include:

-           Sexual abuse

-           Violence or physical abuse

-           Monetary manipulation and exploitation and financial abuse

-           Failure to provide basic needs and general neglect

-           Verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse

No matter what kind of abuse that has been suffered, contact nursing home abuse lawyers to make sure you get redress.

General Neglect

Neglect is the unintentional or intentional act of failing to provide proper care to the residents of a nursing home. However, it’s worth noting that negligence is different from abuse since the latter is a deliberate act performed against another person with the intent (malicious) to cause harm.

Nevertheless, neglect in nursing homes is generally the result of carelessness, indifference, and oversight and can be committed in several ways:

-           Failing to provide residents the necessities of life such as enough water and food

-           Improperly administering or chronically forgetting medications

-           Not ensuring that resident rooms are properly cleaned

-           Ignoring or dismissing complaints lodged by residents whether they are against other residents or staff

-           Leaving nursing home residents unattended for long periods

-           Not reporting illness or injuries to family members, medical staff, or physicians promptly

-           Allowing residents to sit in their bowel movements for extended periods

-           Failure to ensure the security and safety of residents

-           Failing to provide residents regular baths even when requested

Neglecting nursing home residents may have disturbing results. In 2014, a 91-year-old lady died after suffering a bowel impaction that went untreated for a while. This happened after a blockage, which the nursing home staff didn’t detect, ruptured her intestines, causing her to vomit up her own fecal matter and blood.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can be described as the intentional act of causing trauma or bodily injury to a resident. While this form of abuse can be committed against any nursing home resident, those with cognitive disorders tend to be more susceptible.

Physical abuse in nursing homes can be committed in one of the following ways:

-           Pushing, shoving, or grabbing

-           Biting, punching, or kicking

-           Using objects to cause injury

-           Slapping, striking or hitting

-           Confining or restraining with ties or other types of restraints

Physical abuse can cause long-term, severe, or, in some cases, life-threatening injuries to abused residents. Without proper medical care and attention, physical abuse in nursing homes could even lead to death.

Psychological, Verbal, and Emotional Abuse

Psychological, emotional, or verbal abuse involves using actions and words to cause fear, mental trauma, and distress to a resident.

Emotional abuse is meted in various ways, with the most common being:

-           Isolating residents from their family or other residents

-           Name-calling

-           Threatening residents that will be placed elsewhere if they don’t do what they are told

-           Insulting the resident on their intelligence or appearance

-           Exerting control over nursing home residents by either limiting their movement, use of a telephone or anything else they might want to use

This type of abuse can have long-term and devastating psychological effects that could damage the abused resident’s confidence and their ability to enjoy life.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in nursing homes is where residents are intentionally violated in an unwanted sexual capacity. Victims of this type of abuse are typically groped, felt up, or touched without consent, or are forced to perform oral intercourse or full intercourse. In most cases, sexual abuse results in physical injuries such as scratches, lesions around the victim’s genitals, or bruises. It may also lead to the abused resident contracting a communicable disease.

Apart from physically injuring the victim, it may also cause psychological and emotional damages. While sexual abuse can be committed against a cognizant resident, most abuse cases are committed against residents who are incapacitated and can’t knowingly give consent.

According to a report filed by a CBS-affiliated TV station in St. Louis, Mo. known as KMOV, sexual abuse often goes unreported. While most abuse is believed to be caused mostly by staff members, it can also be perpetrated by fellow nursing home residents. According to the report, about 100 St. Louis sex offenders live in different nursing homes in the city.

Families members and other residents often don’t know this since nursing homes in Missouri aren’t required to notify anyone that sex offenders are living in their facility.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is the intentional manipulation and exploitation of residents in a nursing home to have control over their finances. People who commit financial abuse acquire unauthorized and illegal use of the victim’s finances by befriending them and slowly gaining their trust.

Some of the ways financial abuse is carried out include:

-           Forging documents

-           Stealing their money or other prized possessions

-           Stealing the person’s financial documents like banking statements

-           Misuse of power of attorney

-           Denying residents access to their funds

-           Deceiving residents into giving up control over their money

Financial abuse can cause despair and stress for residents, as most of them typically lose the savings and income needed to foot the cost of long-term care and other essential things.

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