Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse

There are over 1.7 million elderly and dependent adults living in nursing homes all over the United States. Sadly, abuse and neglect has become a big problem and many nursing homes leave their patients to needless suffering and death.

Abuse includes:


  • Sexual assault
  • Battery
  • Unreasonable physical constraint
  • Food and water deprivation
  • Assault
  • Mental abuse
  • Over medication
  • Under medication
  • Neglect

Insufficient and/or poorly trained staff that is often underpaid, take out personal frustrations on the ones that resist the least. At the same time, it is the greediness of the nursing home owners, who seem to focus more on profit than care that contributes to these inhumane business practices.

How can you prevent abuse and neglect?

In 2002, the National Center on Elder Abuse commissioned a review of prevention research concerning nursing homes throughout the United States and other long-term care institutions. The following strategies were mentioned:

  • Support education and training in caregiver skills, managing difficult resident care situations, problem solving, conflict resolution, stress reduction, information on dementia, witnessing and reporting abuse.
  • Assuring coordination between law enforcement, adult protection and nursing home advocacy groups
  • Improve work conditions through adequate staffing, increase communication between staff, humane salaries, promote upward mobility and recognition
  • Assure compliance with federal requirements as they relate to hiring abusive nurse aids
  • Assure hiring practices including screening for criminal backgrounds and history of violence, substance abuse, and reactions to abusive residents, work ethics and anger management

If you suspect or if you have witnessed abuse in a nursing home, you should seek medical attention immediately if the circumstances require it. Your next step should then be to contact the local police and other agencies in order to investigate the complaint. As criminal abuse of the elderly is not acceptable, you should also seek an attorney.

Attorneys specialized in nursing home abuse and neglect have experience in these type of cases and they know the legal rights of the nursing home resident. Not only can those rights be rectified and enforced, but at the same time, legal action can be taken against the nursing home and/or the abusive staff member particularly. While monetary damages for the abused can be claimed, a lawsuit with adequate consequences may also set an example for other care institutions, which may then save many others from nursing home abuse and neglect.

Have you or someone you know fallen victim to nursing home abuse? If so, contact one of our experienced nursing home attorneys in your area today!