Do You Have A Loved Who Could Be A Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?

It’s a truly horrible thought that nursing home abuse actually take place.  Most of all, as horrible as the thought is, nursing home abuse is very common.  As a result, we need to be aware of the six different areas of abuse.

Types of abuse:

1. Physical

  • Hitting, slapping, pushing, physical punishment, or rough treatment.
  • Purposefully allowing a resident to fall.
  • Conducting or allowing inappropriate sexual touching or rape.
  • Physical or chemical restraints limiting the resident’s movement for the convenience of staff or others.
  • Unattended health complications such as bed sores or pain control for injuries.
  • Physical injuries such as scratches, bruises, welts, and skin conditions that would indicate unjustified restraints.
  • Significant weight loss and/or lack of response to weight loss.
  • Allowing fleas, lice, dried fecal matter, continuing urine odors, roaches, ants, or mice to become established on the resident or in their room.

2. Verbal

  • Yelling, cursing, or threatening.
  • Making suggestive sexual remarks.
  • Cruel, negative teasing.
  • Not responding to attempts by the resident to communicate.
  • Speaking to the patient in a short, negative manner.
  • Belittling or talking down to the resident.

3. Chemical

  • Withholding, borrowing, or refusal to administer drugs prescribed for the resident.
  • Diversion of drugs from the resident’s supply for staff or family member’s use.
  • Use of drugs to limit the movements and behaviors of the resident.

4. Negligence

  • Failing to provide needed assistance in activities of daily living, provide food, or liquids.
  • Failing to carry out the resident’s plan of care in a way that could possibly produce direct or indirect harm.
  • Failing to do what the average person with the employee’s training and job duties would or should do to care for the resident under the same circumstances.
  • Failing to protect resident from abuse by staff, residents, family members, or others.
  • Failing to respond to the resident’s poor personal hygiene or other quality of life issues.

5. Psychological

  • Public belittling or humiliation.
  • Gossiping about or spreading confidences related by the resident.
  • Isolating the resident against their will or purposefully limiting their contact with others.
  • Suggesting or directly threatening the resident with harm, discharge from the facility, deprivation, or embarrassment.

6. Misappropriation 

  • Theft of a patient’s money or property or asking a patient to loan money.
  • Requiring or implying the need for gifts or money for regular care tasks or special errands for the resident.
  • Using a resident’s property as your own such as their telephone or television.
  • Encouraging or allowing others to use the resident’s property without their consent such as borrowing clothing for use by another resident.
  • Appropriating or exploiting the resident’s property or funds by abusing legal processes.

If you have a loved who has been abused in a nursing home, please contact the Soud Law Firm so we can fight for you.

Priority Checklist

Nursing Home Residents have a Bill of Rights guarantee to them to ensure their dignity. When in residence at a home, each of the elder adults and special care individuals are entitled to:

  • Reasonable access to health and legal services
  • To be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons
  • To be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, seclusion and physical and chemical restraints
  • To be treated courteously, fairly and with fullest measure of dignity
  • Privacy
  • To receive adequate and appropriate healthcare.

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Pro Tip – “Look for indicators of abuse”

Indicators of abuse or neglect are bed sores, fractures, unexplained injuries, falls, malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, weight loss or gain, improper medication, poor staffing and unexpected death. Contact The SOUD Law Firm if you would like to discuss this further with one of our lawyers.

If you are not ready to speak with a lawyer, you may want to notify your local sheriff’s office if circumstances warrant, otherwise call the State of Florida’s Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.