Nursing Home Neglect vs. Abuse
Making the decision to enter an elderly loved one into a nursing care facility can be difficult. Families that choose the services of a nursing home do so with the belief that the facility and staff will provide their loved one with the highest standards of care and compassion.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is much too frequent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 adults aged 60 and over are abused or neglected every year.
To combat the rampant neglect and abuse of the elderly in nursing homes, Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. It requires nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare to comply with certain minimum standards of care, or risk losing their eligibility for federal funding.
Despite the enactment of this legislation, nursing home abuse and neglect still occur at an alarming rate.
But exactly what is nursing home abuse and neglect? To the average layperson, the terms “abuse” and “neglect” may seem interchangeable; the law, however, makes important distinctions between the two.
Nursing home abuse
Nursing home abuse is an intentional infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, deprivation of services or care, or punishment that results in physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. It is important to note that, unlike nursing home neglect, abuse involves an intentional act.
Some common examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Corporal punishment
Nursing home neglect
Nursing home neglect, on the other hand, is a failure (intentional or unintentional) to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain; or a failure to react to a potentially dangerous situation resulting in resident harm or anxiety.
Although nursing home neglect can take many forms, the most common types of nursing home neglect are:
- Failure to provide proper hygiene, food, or water
- Failure to provide the necessary treatment for, or prevention of, an injury or illness
Justice for nursing home abuse and neglect victims
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected by the nursing home entrusted with their care, you have legal options to pursue justice for the victim. By taking legal action against those who have violated their duty, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other damages. We urge you to call the Deuterman Law Group as soon as possible to understand your rights and those of your loved one. Taking immediate legal action is the best way to protect your loved one – and regain your peace of mind. Your action will also help prevent other patients from experiencing the same abuse or neglect in the future.
Previous: Nursing Home Neglect Overview Next: Nursing Home Resident Rights