Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse Elderly woman looking through window worried about nursing home care

Living With Abuse in a South Carolina Nursing Home

Living with abuse is not something we want for ourselves or members of our family living in a nursing home. In fact, the elderly often enter a nursing home to stay safe in an increasingly dangerous world. The problem is this is the direct opposite of what many older people experience and State laws are broken. There are many forms of abuse, but let’s look at the most common types they encounter.

Emotional Abuse in a Nursing Home

Emotional abuse serves as the most common type seen in a facility. It frequently takes the form of psychological or verbal abuse and can do irreparable damage to the elderly resident. In fact, slightly over 32 percent of staff said they abused a resident emotionally. 

The impact this has on the older residents can be significant, causing anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Family members often notice a change in behavior in their loved ones, but emotional abuse can be embarrassing and the resident will try to hide it as they withdraw.

Some forms of emotional abuse are:

  • Keeping the resident from seeing family members or friends
  • Constantly talking down to them and insulting the way they dress or talk
  • Threatening the resident in various ways
  • Keeping the resident from activities they enjoy

Physical Abuse

Nursing home residents are often exposed to physical abuse, suffering injuries. The WHO reports that approximately 9 percent of staff say they physically abused a resident. Many residents are physically abused, but the largest percentage are those who have different forms of dementia.

Evidence of physical abuse are bruises, fractures, bleeding, and other injuries. Unfortunately, not all residents are treated appropriately, and some die due to their injuries. A few examples of physical abuse are:

  • Some residents are tied to their beds without justification
  • Some are kicked or punched repeatedly
  • Shoving and pushing are other forms of physical abuse

Medical Neglect and Abuse

This prominent form of abuse is not as common but still present. Neglect occurs in part when the institution takes on too many residents and does not have time to care for them properly. However, medical abuse can also happen intentionally. 

Personal hygiene is an important part of nursing home care, and some residents are dependent on staff to handle it. Without bathing or having clean clothes to wear, a resident may become depressed. 

Medication Distribution and Procurement Failures

Once again, residents are dependent on staff to obtain their medications. If a proper distribution is not regulated, the nursing home resident may become ill or die. In some facilities, the residents are not taken to the doctor or have follow-up care. 

Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home

This is a vile form of abuse and one that happens all too often. It can range from unwanted touch to sexual encounters. Outward signs of this type of abuse are body injury, cuts or scratches, or emotional issues. The resident may go on to develop a sexually transmitted disease. 

Malnutrition or Dehydration

Residents need a proper diet and sufficient liquids to stay healthy. In some cases, their food and liquid intake are far below the standards. When this happens, it can result in deficient immune capacity and other diseases. For instance, a patient with kidney disease can experience more symptoms due to a lack of fluids. 

Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers Firm in the Myrtle Beach Area

Look to the Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers for help when a family member suffers nursing home abuse. We can be reached at (843) 232-0944, or you can contact us online. This is a serious situation, and we will do everything we can to protect your loved one’s rights.


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