Nursing home abuse involves the psychological and/or physical mistreatment or harm of a resident caused by a negligent or intentional act of a caregiver employed at the nursing home facility. This mistreatment, or abuse, typically falls under six areas, which includes:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse
These six categories encompass a wide range of incidents and behavior, including verbal abuse, such as name calling, coming into someone else's room and rummaging through their personal belongings, having food taken off your plate without permission, hitting, shoving, and more. In other words, it is any undesirable behavior that has the potential to lead to psychological or physical distress in the person on the receiving end.
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue. In fact, reports show that an estimated 5 million older adults in the U.S. are victims of neglect, exploitation, or abuse and that those seniors who have been abused have about a 300 percent increased chance of death within three years following the abuse. Over 40% of elderly adults in the U.S. will require nursing home assistance at some point during their lifetime, and these numbers are expected to increase as the population continues to grow.
When neglect or abuse occurs in the nursing home setting, the facility can be held liable if there was negligent hiring that played a part in causing harm to a patient or resident. They can also be held responsible if the staff was under trained and as a result caused harm to a patient or resident. Some other instances where a nursing home facility can be held liable for damages include:
- Medication errors
- Under staffing
- Breach of statutory or regulatory obligations
The facility is also held responsible for the conduct of their staff, which includes most actions carried out as part of the worker's job duties.
Third parties may also be held responsible for the harm or neglect of nursing home residents and patients. For instance, sometimes nursing homes hire contractors or outsource certain tasks to third parties as part of a resident's or patient's care. If harm or abuse of a patient occurs while under their care, they can be held legally responsible for damages.
If you believe that you or a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse, you have several options to address the issue:
Contact Tom Valet
, a highly skilled nursing home attorney, for help. A number of legal proceedings, including a civil action lawsuit and criminal prosecution, can arise as a result of a nursing home's abuse, negligence, violations of criminal statues, false imprisonment, in addition to violations of regulations relating to their licensing, general operation, and maintenance. Tom will advise you on how to move forward, which may or may not include filing a report with Adult Protective Services or contacting the police.
The purpose of a civil action lawsuit is to remedy damages caused by wrongful parties. Our experienced Nursing Home Negligence Law Firm can provide legal expertise in your time of need to assist with your case.