Establishing the liable party in this type of case depends on the circumstances involved. That said, the fault does typically fall to the nursing home or its staff members. Both parties may be to blame for not meeting the required standard of care for their residents. It may take the help of a legal team to investigate further and determine the full extent of the facility’s liability in a resident’s abuse case.
However, nursing home abuse refers to any mistreatment elderly residents experience on the premises, which does not automatically mean the acts come from their staff. It could come from someone outside of the facility, like a frequent visitor of the resident. However, that still does not entirely remove blame from the nursing home or caretakers. They should have, within reason, noticed the signs and reported it to the designated local authorities. There is even the chance that they knowingly allowed the elder to continue suffering.
How Risky Are Nursing Homes?
Although many families in the United States trust nursing homes to take care of their elder loved ones, senior residents can still fall victim to abuse and negligence.
Knowledge of the extent of elderly abuse is lagging compared to other fields like child abuse and domestic abuse. This is in large part due to a lack of research. Experts do, however, consider elder abuse to be a pressing issue affecting 1 in 10 Americans above the age of 60 according to the National Council on Aging. Unfortunately, only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse gets reported. Furthermore, abused seniors have a 300% higher risk of death compared to those who receive proper care. As such, a negligent nursing home could be life-threatening for a senior.
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What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?
Abuse often comes in the form of employees taking out their frustrations on the elders. Working at nursing homes can be a stressful job for anyone, regardless of their experience. It takes plenty of patience to assist other people regularly. It becomes especially taxing for understaffed facilities since this puts extra workload on everyone. However, the pressure that caretakers might feel while at work is never a valid excuse for harming or harassing their residents.
Nursing home abuse can also be the result of inadequate staff education or supervision. It might be that the caretakers may not have enough training in caring for the elders, which can add to both parties’ distress. They might also lack the knowledge in dealing with a resident that has particular needs. For example, the staff might have never handled an elder with highly specific dietary restrictions. To save themselves the effort or money, they decide to continue feeding their resident with restricted food, eventually resulting in a severe allergic reaction.
Yet another reason behind the abuse is that the caretaker is purposefully taking advantage of the resident’s helplessness. For instance, a sexually or financially abused bedridden elder with dementia will most likely have more difficulty asking for help than a mentally and physically healthy resident. Someone else would have to notice their situation before any assistance can arrive.
How Do Seniors Get Abused in Nursing Homes?
Nursing home abuse can be in physical, emotional, sexual, or financial forms. Physical abuse usually gets associated with actions such as slapping, punching, or handling the resident roughly. But it can also mean depriving the elder of proper nutrition or hygiene. Emotional abuse may entail shouting, insulting, making threats, or keeping the elder from seeing their loved ones.
Meanwhile, sexual abuse can mean acts such as touching private parts without the elder’s consent or forcing them to touch themselves inappropriately. Financial abuse might have the abuser controlling their resident’s money or stealing from them. It is quite common for abusers to combine these types of abuses.
Do Not Let Nursing Home Abuse Go Unpunished
Your elderly loved one deserves to live out their golden years with dignity and a sense of security, even in a nursing home. The office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC will help you determine who is liable in your nursing home abuse case and provide legal support and court representation if you need it. We can help you every step of the way to get justice for you and your elderly loved one.
Besides nursing home abuse, we are committed to fighting against civil rights violations and other kinds of injustices here in the United States. We specialize in civil cases such as medical malpractice, class actions, and workers’ compensation. Our service is contingency-based, so we will not charge you unless we win your case.
For free case evaluations, you may call our office at (800) 959-1444 anytime. A team member is available 24/7 for your concerns.