Nursing Home Abuse: Understanding its Various Forms
It is heartbreaking every time a story comes on the news or is reported in the paper about an elderly person being abused or neglected by his or her caregivers. These people, who are supposed to be enjoying their golden years, find themselves the victims of horrible physical, mental and verbal abuse. What is worse are the situations where the victim has a mental deficiency, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and cannot remember the abuse, and therefore cannot notify anyone about it. These older victims often silently suffer through this abuse feeling sad, miserable, and alone. It’s disconcerting to know that someone in a position of trust could act so terribly towards an innocent, defenseless, and frail old person. If abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident is uncovered, immediate action should be taken by the nursing home facility to remove the threat of harm and to correct the situation.
Types of Abuse
When Staffers Abuse and Neglect Residents. The most common type of nursing home abuse that is reported on by news agencies is physical or verbal abuse committed by a nursing home staff member against a resident. The next most common form of abuse is when staffers neglect nursing home residents. Oftentimes, it isn’t until a resident has developed a serious bedsore or complications due to malnutrition or dehydration that the fact that neglect is happening comes to light. When this type of abuse is discovered, every effort should be made to investigate the situation, and those responsible for the abuse should be suspended or terminated.
When Family Members or Next of Kin Manipulate Residents. Sometimes family members will take advantage of their loved one’s advanced age, mental state or state of dependency. This type of abuse takes the form of insincere care. For example, a family member may have control over the elderly person’s financial affairs and could be abusing that position of trust by siphoning money for his or her own personal gain. Sometimes family members try to coerce their senior loved ones into doing something that may not be in the senior’s best interest, for his or her own gain. This type of abuse should be investigated and in some situations, the nursing home can take steps to keep the abuser away from the resident who is in their care.
When Residents Abuse Other Residents. This type of abuse is quite prevalent in nursing homes, and yet the general public is unaware that it happens. There are many instances where one resident physically, mentally, verbally, and sometimes even sexually abuses another nursing home resident. Cases of resident-on-resident abuse are very difficult to deal with since the residents are living in the same facility and will inevitably see one another. When this type of abuse is discovered, the residents should be separated and appropriate action should be taken. The abuse may need to be transferred to a different facility, or even possibly prison if the abuse is criminal.
Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Observing what could be construed as indications of physical abuse on a loved one residing in a nursing home can be immensely disheartening and scary. If you suspect that someone you love who lives in an Illinois nursing home is being subjected to physical, mental or verbal abuse or is being neglected by nursing home staff, please do not hesitate and contact the The Rooth Law Firm either by phone at (847) 869-9100 or online. It is important to get to the bottom of abuse and neglect accusations and discover the truth of the matter.