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Examining The Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 11, 2014 in Nursing Home Abuse

Many of those who enter long-term care have health or mobility issues that make independent living difficult. As a result, residents of these facilities rely on staff members to provide care.

Even though this is a pretty basic, straightforward expectation for the quality of care in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, staff members will sometimes knowingly harm residents. Unfortunately, there may be little vulnerable people can do to stop this kind of treatment as it's happening.

Nursing home abuse is illegal. Not only can this sort of treatment result in criminal penalties, but the victims of abuse also have the ability to reclaim their losses -- physical and emotional.

The federal Office on Women's Health has provided insight into the different types of nursing home abuse. The three primary types of elder abuse are:

  • Physical: This can include striking, shoving, kicking or pinching long-term care residents. Loved ones of residents may be able to identify physical harm by marks and bruises left on the body of patients.
  • Sexual: Any sexual or physical contact that doesn't involve consent is considered abuse. This can also be recognized by bruises and other marks, in addition to a variety of other outward signs.
  • Emotional: Abuse doesn't necessarily have to involve a physical component. As such, yelling, harassment and threats can all be considered emotional abuse, which often leads to observable changes in behavior.

All of these describe willful acts that physically or emotionally harm long-term care residents. As such, residents and their loved ones should understand that abuse extends beyond hitting or physically striking.

Above all, abusive behavior has no place in a place where finding comfort is the primary goal.