Did you know that a large percentage of nursing home personnel has actually admitted to inflicting acts of physical violence and neglect, among other forms of abuse on patients? According to the National Center On Elder Abuse (NCEA), a recent study showed that one out of three nursing homes in the United States have been cited for abuse.
Types of Abuse and Effects on the Victim
Since nursing home abuse can take on several forms, each category of abuse will have its own negative effects on your loved one. To begin with, physical abuse is generally an intentional act that could be the result of an upset staff member who decides to hit the resident because of their behavior.
Physical abuse can consist of giving a patient a sedative or particular drug that might not be suitable for their wellbeing. This type of abuse could just be done just so your loved one won’t “bother” the staff. It’s imperative for you to look out for signs of physical of abuse when you’re with your loved one.
Abuse can also be of the emotional type. A frustrated nursing home staff member can take their anger out on a loved one verbally. This often leaves them feeling like they’re a burden and unwanted. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you’re aware of any signs of such abuse to take the necessary actions.
Sexual abuse is also another common form of ill-treatment at nursing homes, and this sad reality leaves victims devastated on both a physical and emotional level. Sexual abuse takes place because residents are too weak or even incapacitated to fend for themselves.
In addition, financial abuse makes up another category of harm perpetrated on a nursing home resident. Nursing home staff on night shift, for example, can sneak into a resident’s room and steal money from their purse, wallet, or drawer while they’re sleeping. One thing you can do to prevent or catch this type of abuse is to routinely check credit card statements on a regular basis.
What You and Your Loved One Can Do
Abuse ultimately puts the life of an elder at risk, since they’re so vulnerable. In the most severe cases, nursing home negligence or abuse can result in death. Before it reaches that point, you take action.
Currently, some states allow families of nursing home residents to place video cameras in their rooms to be able to monitor the quality of care they’re receiving. Some residents, however, might feel uncomfortable with that in terms of seeing it as an invasion of privacy.
The best way to hold a nursing home liable for abuse is a civil lawsuit. Since nursing homes are for-profit businesses, legal action will hit them where they’re most vulnerable—their pockets. To learn more about the rights of your loved one and what actions you should take, seek the advice of a skilled attorney.
The law firm of Eric J. Hertz specializes in nursing home abuse cases. We have the expertise and experience to help you get your loved one the treatment they deserve. For more information about our services and how we can assist you, call us today, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.