Elder Abuse May Be Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Mistakes, Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing home negligence and abuse is a very serious problem in health care today, and it’s growing.  Unfortunately, nursing home negligence is widely underreported, making it difficult to estimate the exact rate at which it occurs.  However, given the rise in the number of elderly persons living in long-term care facilities, the rate of nursing home negligence is also likely to increase.

Nursing home negligence is the failure or refusal to provide an elderly patient with care at a standard level.  The nursing home must meet the elderly resident’s basic needs, thereby ensuring their safety while also avoiding unnecessary pain and/or harm.  Nursing home negligence, whether it is intentional or not, can include the:

  • Failure to prevent bedsores
  • Failure to call for help
  • Failure to ensure the elderly residents basic needs, like bathing, eating, and walking are met

Nursing home abuse is a step above simple negligence and can take many forms.  However, you should be looking out for types and signs of abuse, including:

  • Physical Abuse – Elderly loved ones may show unexplained injuries including open wounds bruises, dislocations, sprains, fractures, and internal bleeding.  In many cases, the harm when the resident has been slapped, kicked, hit, or other form of physical violence.  Other forms of physical abuse and neglect include drug under and overdoses and malnutrition.
  • Emotional, Verbal and Mental Abuse – This occurs when the resident experiences severe psychological anguish, non-responsiveness, irritation, and withdrawal resulting from repeated insults, threats, humiliation, intimidation, and harassment.
  • Sexual Abuse – This form of abuse includes non-consensual, inappropriate touching or handling, forced nudity, sexual battery, rape, or other form of sexual abuse.  Signs of this type of abuse can include bruising around the genital area or breasts, unexplained genital infections, and undergarments that are torn and soiled.
  • Exploitation – This is also known as financial abuse.  It occurs when the personal finances, assets, or property of the resident have been improperly or illegally tampered with.  Signs of exploitation include unpaid bills, missing personal checks, missing effects, and abrupt changes in financial documents, such as a Will.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.