Nursing Home Abuse
Placing a loved one in a nursing home is already a hard decision. The likelihood of abuse makes it that much harder.
If you have elderly or disabled family members who can no longer care for themselves, you may have struggled to find suitable care options. You may have come to the difficult decision that you are unable to properly care for them yourself. You wouldn’t be the only one: as many as 3 million people in the United States live in nursing homes.
Sadly, though, abuse and neglect are rampant in these facilities. In one survey, nearly half of nursing home residents reported that they had been subject to abuse.
How does abuse happen in nursing homes?
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can take on a number of forms. Abuse may range from pinching or insulting and degrading patients all the way up to burns, bruises, pervasive emotional abuse, and even rape. Neglect may be unintentional, such as late medications, insufficient hydration, or bedsores from too much inactivity, or intentional and life-threatening, like starvation or complete deprivation of necessary medications.
More than half of nursing home staff report that they have mistreated their patients.
Why does this happen? While many nursing home staff are good people who work hard to take care of their patients, many more are not. Low wages, lack of supervision, and understaffing plague long-term care facilities, making it difficult to attract and retain good employees and providing countless opportunities for criminal activity. Just imagine: your loved ones will probably be alone with caretakers most of the time, with no one around to monitor or intervene on their behalf.
Staffers aren’t the only ones perpetrating abuse. Other residents may also—whether intentionally or due to their own disabilities—commit acts of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Without sufficient supervision, patients may be unable to escape these abusers.
These problems are difficult to detect and even more difficult to stamp out. Overburdened government agencies cannot inspect and regulate nursing homes enough to catch all the problems that occur. Even if inspectors were present, patients in nursing homes often suffer from memory problems, confusion and mental disabilities, and poor communication skills, resulting in drastic underreporting. Their very vulnerability is what attracts many abusers to work at these facilities, where they have unhampered access to residents who cannot escape or coherently talk about what’s happening to them.
PCVA CAN HELP
We have a history of taking on tough cases. We have obtained settlements and verdicts for people who were abused by caregivers and authority figures in nursing homes, group homes, foster care placements, and religious organizations. We know how difficult it is to have to move an elderly or disabled loved one to a long-term care facility. Nursing home abuse is absolutely unacceptable, and the responsible parties should be made to answer for it.
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, please use the form below to contact us. Our team of attorneys is experienced in taking on individuals, institutions, and government agencies and returning some measure of dignity and justice to victims. You are not alone.
What Can Go Wrong? Potential Abuses at Nursing Homes
- Neglect, leading to bedsores and infections
- Lack of supervision and accidental injuries, including falls and burns
- Medication errors or delayed or insufficient medical treatment
- Verbal and emotional abuse, which can result in withdrawal and depression
- Physical abuse such as unnecessary restraints, slapping, hitting, and pushing
- Sexual abuse, including rape
According to the National Council on Disability, in 2009, 469,123 people received disability services while living in institutions, nursing facilities, group homes, and independently. Nearly 600,000 more people received support and services while living with their families.
If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home, call us. We can help you evaluate the situation and understand your options. We are experienced litigators who do not back down from a challenge. With PCVA Law, you are not alone.