Unfortunately, many elderly and disabled patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are unable to tell someone if they are being neglected or abused. Other patients may be too fearful of retribution to speak up about abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, many families do not realize their loved ones are suffering abuse until there is a serious injury or even death.
Abuse in nursing homes and other facilities can take many forms. Commonly, these cases involve one or more of the following:
Physical abuse is one of the most common types of abuse in nursing homes. It may include slapping, hitting, aggressive pulling, or any other form of physical contact that is unwanted or causes injury. Injuries may include broken bones, fractures, lacerations, traumatic brain injury, back injuries, and other severe injuries.
Mental and Emotional Abuse
Mental and emotional abuse is also widespread in nursing homes. It may consist of verbal abuse with staff shouting or cursing at patients, uttering threats, or making fun of patients. Non-verbal abuse, such as ignoring patients, can also cause pain and distress.
It may be difficult to accept, but patients in nursing homes can also be the victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is any unwanted touching or sexual contact with a patient
Financial abuse is another common form of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, stolen money and property is not the only form of financial abuse. Some individuals trick or force patients to sign legal and financial documents giving another person access to or ownership of assets.
Neglect is any failure or refusal to care for a patient or provide food, water, or other basic necessities.
Because elder abuse and nursing home abuse can be subtle, it is important to diligently look for signs of abuse or neglect when visiting loved ones in a long-term care facility. If a patient is in immediate danger, report the abuse to local law enforcement officers. You can also report nursing home abuse in Florida to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Adult Protective Services division of the Florida Department of Children and Families.