Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one. Many families choose to do so because they can no longer properly care for their loved one. If you’re in need of legal help because a loved one was neglected or abused at a nursing home or other long-term care facility, the experienced attorneys at Benton and Benton can help.
While the research on elder abuse is limited, there is evidence that suggests it may be as widespread as child abuse. The National Library of Medicine reports an estimated 1.6 million people live in a nursing home in the U.S. and another 1 million live in some type of long-term care facility. Because many of the people living in such facilities are elderly, sick, or disabled, they are dependent on the staff to feed them, clothe them, bathe them, and administer their medicine and other healthcare needs. Because of this, the elderly in skilled nursing facilities are considered the most vulnerable members of our society.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
The Administration on Aging defines abuse as:
“The willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish or deprivation by a person, including a caregiver, of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness.”
When a nursing home resident in Monroe, Georgia is mistreated by nursing home staff intentionally and it causes them physical or emotional harm, it is considered nursing home abuse. There are certain types of nursing home abuse including:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial Abuse
Physical Abuse In Nursing Homes
Physical Abuse is any violent act against a nursing home resident or patient by staff, caregivers, nurses, visitors, or other residents at the facility. The abuse may cause temporary injuries but acts of physical violence against an elderly or disabled patient can lead to permanent injuries or even death. Some examples of physical abuse include the following:
- Unnecessary restraints
- Pulling hair
Emotional Abuse In Nursing Homes
Emotional or psychological abuse doesn’t leave visible marks on a nursing home resident, but the residual effects of emotional abuse can be devastating. In the short term, it can lead to confusion, shame, guilt, anxiety, fear, and frequent crying. Long-term emotional abuse can result in physical health problems such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or depression. Some studies suggest there is a link between emotional stress and heart problems. Types of emotional abuse may include the following:
- Rough handling
- Humiliating a resident
- Sarcasm or other forms of bullying
- Forcing the resident to commit degrading acts
- Abandonment or giving a resident the silent treatment
Sexual Abuse In Nursing Homes
Sexual abuse is any nonconsensual sexual contact with a nursing home resident by staff, caregivers, visitors, or other residents at the facility. This type of abuse may also take the form of sexual harassment. Because many nursing home or long-term care facility residents are elderly or disabled, they may not be lawfully able to give consent. Some types of sexual abuse may include the following:
- Sexual harassment
- Unwanted touching
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Sexual photography
- Forced nudity
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
While nursing home neglect falls within the scope of an abusive environment, it is distinct from nursing home abuse. The biggest difference between nursing home abuse and neglect is intent. Nursing home neglect occurs when nursing home staff, caretakers, managers, or supervisors fail to meet a resident’s needs and it leads to injuries or death.
Many Georgia nursing homes lack adequate staff, equipment, proper training, and other necessary requirements to provide sufficient medical treatment and care to all their residents. Issues like this arise when nursing homes and other long-term care facilities choose to put profits over patient safety.
What Causes Nursing Home Neglect?
While each circumstance is different, below is a list of issues that may lead to nursing home neglect.
- Overworked and underpaid nurses and other staff
- Negligent hiring
- Poor training or lack of training
- Poor management
Types Of Nursing Home Neglect?
Neglect can take many forms. Learn about common types of neglect below.
Lack of Basic Needs
Human beings have fundamental needs like food and water, heating and air conditioning, a clean environment, clothing, and shelter. When these fundamental needs are not met by a nursing home facility, it is considered neglect.
Inadequate Medical Care
Because many residents in long-term care facilities are elderly, sick, or disabled, most are on prescription medications. When a caregiver, nurse, or other nursing home staff member fails to administer the proper medication, gives the incorrect amount of medication, or doesn’t give adequate attention to someone who suffers from immobility or certain diseases – and it leads to injury or death – it is considered nursing home neglect.
Human beings deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect, no matter their age or disability. When nursing home staff ignores a resident or isolates them for an extended period, this is considered emotional neglect.
Poor Hygiene or Unclean Facilities
Nursing home residents deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment. When nursing home staff fail to do tasks such as clean, help residents bathe or brush their teeth, or change a resident’s clothes or incontinence briefs often, it can lead to falls, illnesses, viruses, bed sores, infections, and other negative consequences. This is considered nursing home neglect.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect
Some common signs of nursing home abuse or neglect may include the following:
- Frequent falls
- Unexplained bruising
- Broken bones
- Head or facial injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unsanitary conditions
- Frequent infections
- Rapid weight loss
- Significant personality changes or depression
- Chronic hospital visits
- Medication errors
- Lacerations or unexplained wounds
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Torn clothing
What's The Difference? Nursing Homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Assisted Living Facilities
A skilled nursing facility is simply another name for a nursing home. Skilled nursing facilities are for residents who are Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries, and the staff always includes registered nurses to provide ongoing medical treatment. These types of facilities are highly regulated by the federal government. An assisted living facility is for individuals who may need assistance with things like cooking and grooming but do not require 24/7 medical treatment.
Contact Us Today!
If you require legal help for a nursing home abuse or neglect case, Benton and Benton can help. Our experienced attorneys have secured millions of dollars in compensation for clients.
At Benton and Benton, we understand how devastating it can be when you put your trust in a nursing home facility and they fail to provide the care and treatment your loved one deserves. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators who are not afraid to take on even the most complex cases. But perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their well-being. We treat each person who walks through our doors with respect and compassion and are always available to answer questions and provide support. Get help with your nursing home abuse or neglect case by calling us at +1-866-974-0330 for a FREE consultation.