Nursing home abuse often goes unnoticed or unreported. This form of abuse occurs when a caretaker neglects a patient, intentionally or unintentionally. Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing a task. Nursing homes typically have strict rules and train their caretakers well, but neglect can still occur.
While it’s hard to determine how many people in nursing homes are being abused, some studies indicate that 1 in 3 people in a nursing home have been victims to nursing home abuse. Studies also show that 53% of abuse cases get reported, and that as many as 85% of nursing homes have at least one case of abuse reported.
What Are The 5 Elements of Negligence?
The five elements of negligence are often used during lawsuits to determine whether negligence was an issue.
- Duty: the ability to prove you were owed care.
- Breach: the ability to prove there was a violation of standard care that resulted in injury.
- Cause in fact: the ability to prove a correlation between negligent action and the negative consequence suffered.
- Proximate cause: the ability to prove direct link between negligence and injury.
- Harm: the ability to prove injuries, loss, or other expenses were suffered because of negligence.
Understanding these five elements can help you defend your loved one in court. A nursing home abuse lawyer can further help you defend your loved one in court.
What Types of Nursing Home Abuse Are There?
When you think of nursing home abuse, do you think of bedsores and other physical injuries? That’s just one type of abuse that people living in nursing homes may suffer. Overall, there are five general types of nursing home abuse, though these can be broken down into many minor categories.
- Physical abuse: when a staff member knowingly causes physical harm to residents, such as pushing, kicking or otherwise hitting them.
- Emotional abuse: screaming at patients, taunting them, or isolating them from their friends or family. While this does not leave marks, it harms their mental state.
- Nursing home neglect: this type of abuse is when a patient is left unattended, possibly putting them in danger.
- Sexual abuse: any form of unwanted sexual activity performed on a patient in a nursing home.
- Financial abuse: this is when a resident of a nursing home has trouble managing their money and are exploited by employees of the nursing home.
How Can Family Help?
Family members should watch for signs of abuse. These signs of abuse, often physical, are easy to recognize. However, not all signs of physical abuse truly indicate physical abuse. Elderly people have fragile bodies, and you should consult a lawyer, such as Davis & Brusca, LLC, if you suspect abuse.
Some signs of abuse are:
- Bed sores
- Strange bruises
- Restraint marks
- Burn marks
- Changes in emotional state
- Recurrent infections
- Rapid weight loss
- Missing items
- Missing money
- Reluctant to speak around caretakers
If you recognize any of these signs, please reach out to a lawyer and see if they can find proof of a case.