Physical abuse in nursing home facilities is defined as the use of force against a person that results in physical pain, injury or impairment. Besides physical assault such as pushing, shoving and hitting, it also includes the inappropriate use of restraints and drugs, as well as confinement.
The reasons for this type of abuse are varied and depend upon the condition of the resident, the circumstances of their placement and the nursing home facility itself. Perpetrators of this kind of violence may be staff that feel overworked, underpaid and stressed. Victims are usually vulnerable due to physical or mental conditions that preclude them from defending themselves or reporting the abuse to the authorities. Sexual abuse is also physical abuse and is defined as contact with resident without the resident’s consent. Emotional abuse is less obvious to the untrained eye and occurs when staff speaks to or treats the resident in ways that cause emotional pain and distress, such as:
- Humiliation and ridiculing the resident
- Terrorizing, threatening or menacing the resident
- Blaming and scapegoating the resident
- Ignoring and neglecting the resident
- Intimidating the resident through physical force and yelling
- Isolating the resident
- Sudden changes in the resident’s will and power of attorney
- Withdrawals from the resident’s accounts
In some cases, staff abuse residents by financially exploiting them for their own advantage. This might involve forging their signatures on documents, stealing cash, checks or household goods, misusing credit cards, fraudulently cashing personal checks and stealing a resident’s identity through misuse of their social security number.
Some nursing home residents become more dependent on the staff the longer they live in the nursing home facility. Their ability to think with clarity, see and hear clearly, and stand up to any kind of bullying may decrease with time. This leaves room for the perpetrators of these crimes to take advantage of a resident’s frailty and declining health. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused in their nursing home, call the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. We treat every client as if they are part of our family, and we will fight for you and remain by your side during the entire legal process. Call 800-529-2676 or email [email protected]. Don’t wait to get the justice and compensation you and your loved one deserve.
Source: National Academies of Sciences, Bonnie, R.J. & Wallace, R.B.(Eds.) 2002. Elder Abuse: abuse, neglect, and exploitation in an aging America