Nursing Home Abuse: Basic Information and Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Sep 01

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a million individuals are currently residing in nursing homes and other similar long-term care facilities in the United States. These institutions provide so many people with access to fulltime care and attention that might not be available in their own homes due to certain constraints. As a result, nursing homes are an important fixture in the health care community, providing many citizens with the proper care required of their special condition. Especially for elderly individuals, these establishments are safe and well-trusted spaces.

Unfortunately, the reality of nursing homes is far from this ideal scenario. While there are a good number of institutions that do well by their residents and provide them with the best possible care, there are also several that overstep the trust placed on them by the public. As noted at, abuse in nursing homes is a far too common occurrence across the nation. The Administration of Aging under the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 2 million elderly individuals fall victim to different kinds of mistreatment within nursing homes. Physical mistreatment in the form of beating, shoving, and assault are common but remain unreported by victims. Sexual assault is another problem dealt by some residents in nursing homes, as well as psychological abuse and exploitation.

These disturbing incidents of nursing home abuse can be prevented through raising much needed awareness around the issue. Families who place their trust in these institutions to care for their loved ones need to be aware of these devastating crimes that happen without their knowledge. Keeping an eye out for warning signs of abuse can be the first step to put a stop to such horrific acts. Unexplained injuries such as bruises and cuts are a cause for alarm, as well as sudden physical changes like sudden weight loss. Families should also be observant of the dynamic between their loved one and his or her caretaker. If they seem intimidated or quiet around some members of the staff, it could be a sign that something wrong is afoot.

For McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, nursing home staff are under the same obligations as other health care providers are. Breaching the implicit trust placed on them by residents and their families through any acts can be considered as a gross misconduct.

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