When you decide to place your elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home, you trust that the facility’s staff will care for them and treat them with respect. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
According to the National Research Council’s report on elder mistreatment, 2.5 million people in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are at a much higher risk for abuse and neglect than the elderly people who live at home. This abuse includes humiliation in nursing homes. In fact, 1 in 6 people age 60 and older have experienced some form of abuse in a nursing home setting within the past year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Types of Abuse
There are several types of abuse an elderly person may be subjected to while in a nursing home’s care. It is important to know the differences so that you can identify what might be happening to your loved one. According to the Center on Elder Abuse, forms of abuse may include but are not limited to:
- Physical Abuse – This is physical force that can result in injury, pain, or impairment. Hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping, pinching, or shaking are all forms of physical abuse. The unwarranted use of physical restraints or force-feeding can also fall into this category.
- Psychological Abuse – This is the infliction of anguish, emotional pain, or distress. This can be verbal assaults, insults, intimidation, humiliation, and harassment. For example, giving an elderly person the “silent treatment” or isolating them from family and friends is a form of psychological abuse.
- Neglect – If a nursing home staff member fails or refuses to provide a resident with food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication, personal safety, or comfort, then they are subjecting your loved one to neglect.
- Sexual Abuse – This is any form of nonconsensual sexual contact with an elderly person. This includes but is not limited to unwanted touching, rape sodomy, coerced nudity, or taking sexually explicit photos or videos.
Sadly, many incidents of abuse that occur in nursing homes go unreported because elderly residents are not aware they are victims of abuse. This is why it is critical to know the signs of abuse, especially if you believe your loved one is at risk.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Humiliation
If you think your loved one has suffered humiliation or some other form of abuse in a nursing home, it is important to recognize the signs so you can do something to stop it.
Signs of nursing home abuse may include but are not limited to:
- Depression or confusion
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight loss for no medical reason
- Becoming agitated or acts out
- Withdraws or shows signs of trauma such as rocking back and forth
- No longer participates in activities they once enjoyed
- Looks unkempt, hair is messy, or bad body odor from not bathing
If you notice any signs of abuse in your loved one while they are under the care of a nursing home, you must report it. Try to talk to your family member alone so that they can speak freely about what is going on at the facility.
Report the abuse to a case manager, adult protective services, or law enforcement, if necessary. You may have a valid lawsuit against the nursing home or staff member who abused your loved one.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for damages and losses on their behalf. You may consider filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your relative’s pain and suffering.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can gather evidence, any relevant eyewitness or expert testimony, and help identify the liable party in your case. Possible defendants in a nursing home abuse lawsuit could include:
- The individual or individuals who caused the injuries
- The supervisors who were aware of the abuse or who were involved in hiring or overseeing the offenders
- The companies that own and or operate the nursing home
It can be a complicated process to pinpoint who is liable in a lawsuit against a nursing home. A personal injury attorney can help expedite this process and ensure all the proper paperwork is filed in a timely manner so that the statute of limitations for filing your case does not run out. Be sure to check the statute of limitations deadline in your state or the state where the abuse or neglect occurred so that you know how much time you have to pursue legal action.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Today
Nothing can be more heartbreaking than finding out your elderly loved one was physically or emotionally injured by a person who was trusted to care for them.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we take nursing home abuse very seriously. We will fight to stop the humiliation they suffered in a nursing home for good. Call 800-959-1444 to speak with a member of our team today. The initial consultation is free and confidential.