What Is the Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

by NPHM | November 2nd, 2020

Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable people in American society. Unfortunately, they’re also among the most poorly treated. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that there were nearly 200,000 reported complaints of elder abuse in long-term care facilities in 2014, and more than 14,000 of those complaints involved abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Both abuse and neglect can cause nursing home residents to suffer serious injuries, illnesses, and even potentially fatal complications. And while their outcomes may be similar, there are important differences between the two that must be established if victims’ families want to file compensation claims. Those differences include:

Nursing Home Abuse Includes…

  • Physical abuse—Unexplained bruises, cuts, wounds, burns, and other signs of physical harm
  • Sexual abuse—Injuries to genital areas or infection with a sexually transmitted disease
  • Emotional abuse—Yelling, screaming, humiliation, insults, and intimidation
  • Financial abuse—Stealing personal possessions or coercing to get access to an estate, will, and other assets
  • Health abuse—Receiving unnecessary medications or intentional overdoses

Nursing Home Neglect Includes…

  • Social exclusion—Preventing resident from seeing other residents or participating in social activities
  • Forced isolation—Forcing resident to stay in their room for long periods, ranging from days to weeks or even months
  • Lack of food or medical care—Not feeding the resident, checking on their health and well-being, and failing to follow up on complaints and symptoms
  • Abandonment—Leaving a resident alone for a long period, whether it’s in a common area, their room, or even in a public place
  • Poor hygiene—Failing to provide residents with hygiene products or not bathing them regularly if they’re unable to do so themselves

How Can You Tell if Your Loved One Is Being Mistreated?

It’s important to visit your loved one frequently in their nursing home. Take the proper precautions when you visit, but do so regularly to both make your loved one feel loved and part of your family, and also to check on their health and overall well-being.

While visiting your loved one, check them for signs of abuse or neglect. That means looking for bruises, poor hygiene, and malnourishment. In addition, be on the lookout for signs of emotional abuse or neglect, including depression, anxiety, nervousness, or fear of certain staff members.

If you suspect abuse or neglect, talk about the issue with your loved one. Ask questions, but don’t be accusatory. Bringing up concerns with nursing home healthcare providers and administrators can help you get to the bottom of what’s happening.

Both Abuse and Neglect Qualify for Compensation Claims

Nursing homes play extremely important roles in the lives of residents and their loved ones. But too many of them are run by greedy owners and administrators who care more about profits than providing the care and support that residents so desperately need.

When residents are actively or inadvertently abused or neglected, they and their families deserve compensation. At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Ohio nursing home abuse attorneys know how devastated families are when they find out their loved ones were mistreated in their nursing homes.

After all, nursing homes are often extremely expensive, and making the decision to move a loved one into a facility is very difficult. When that initial trust is broken, residents and their families often feel betrayed and taken advantage of, and they may be facing expensive medical costs and relocation expenses.

Contact Us Today for the Legal Representation You Need

We help people throughout Ohio who have been harmed by other people’s negligence. The primary responsibility of nursing homes is to provide a safe, welcoming, and healing place for residents, and when they fail to do that, they are fully negligent in their duties. That’s why we want to hold them accountable for their failures.

Don’t wait to get the help you and your loved one deserve if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll collect evidence that proves your loved one was mistreated and that their nursing home failed to uphold its duty. Then, we’ll build a claim to get you the money you’re owed.