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How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse


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Nursing Home Abuse Awareness

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As the largest segment of the population, one would assume our nation’s senior citizens to be relishing in a fair amount of respect and consideration. Unfortunately, the opposite has proven to be true in some of the institutions entrusted with their care and overall well-being. Recent studies reveal that 1 in 3 nursing homes are guilty of neglect or abuse. Often, elderly residents are unable to communicate incidences of abuse due to physical or mental impairment. Loved ones may lack the proper understanding to recognize the signs of abuse or neglect, and thus no action is taken to stop or prevent the maltreatment from occurring.

What is supposed to be a loved one’s golden years can often be obstructed by silent suffering.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

What types of Abuse Are Occurring?

Types of Abuse Complaints In U.S. Nursing Homes (2010 NORS Data)


  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Psychological Abuse
  • Financial Exploitation
  • Resident toResident Abuse

Nearly half of all nursing home residents recently surveyed stated they have been abused; almost all reported victimization by neglect or witnessed the neglect of another resident.

In another survey, 50% of nursing home personnel admitted that they had seen or been involved in the maltreatment of a patient.

This pervasive degradation of a senior citizen’s dignity, health, and overall well-being may occur in a variety of ways.

Types of nursing home abuse or neglect can include:

  • Emotional Abuse & NeglectThis can incorporate psychological abuse such as humiliation, ridicule, or threats. In some cases, this may manifest in acts of isolation or a blatant disregard of the patient involved in the abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse

    This form of abuse involves nonconsensual sexual acts, such as molestation of the patient.

  • Physical Abuse

    This can be the most obvious of elder abuse forms and can include any form of violence against the victim, including scratching, hitting, biting, or punching. It may also include unnecessary restraint.

  • Personal Hygiene & Basic Needs Neglect

    When a patient is denied the needed assistance to bathe or groom, it can be considered a form of elder abuse. Another related form of abuse is the failure to provide a safe, clean living space.

  • Medical Abuse & Neglect

    There are many ways that this form can manifest, including the failure to give proper medication or notice forming issues (ex: bed sores). Victims may become malnourished or dehydrated.

Did you know?

Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that had potential to cause harm or that had caused actual harm to a resident during the two years 1999-2001.

(2001 U.S. House of Representative Report)


Results of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse or neglect of our vulnerable elderly population can have significant and long-lasting effects. Victims can be disfigured or disabled due to abuse, as well as suffer serious illnesses or infections as a result of neglect. Post-traumatic stress, depression, and / or extreme anxiety are also common among abused or neglected residents.

Stopping Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

All states have both local and federal agencies available to investigate incidences of nursing home abuse. The National Center of Elder Abuse can provide valuable information on your available state agencies and regional Medicaid Term Care Ombudsmen. If you feel a loved one is in immediate danger, remove them as soon as possible from the facility. Call 911 or request assistance from local law enforcement if necessary.

For information about seeking compensation for any type of nursing home injury, contact the lawyers at NursingHomeAbuseAwareness.com to request a free attorney review today.