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Abuse: Legal Definition

Nursing home abuse is any knowing, willful, or reckless act, failure to act, or incitement through words or physical or sexual actions that causes or may cause another’s mental, emotional, or physical injuries or death.

Neglect, which also happens in assisted living facilities and similar places, occurs when a nursing home provides sub-standard care that results in injuries or death. Common types of neglect are malnourishment and failing to provide basics, such as food, water, and safe shelter.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse can occur anywhere, including inside the home or outside the facility, such as in a hospital, rehab or therapy area, on transportation, or at a scheduled outing, such as a trip to a restaurant or recreational activity.

Every situation is different, but here are a few things that loved ones should look out for, such as these common types of nursing home abuse:

  • Physical abuse: Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, broken bones, or burns, may point to physical abuse. Frequent, unscheduled trips to medical professionals or visits to the hospital should be questioned. Additionally, the improper use of physical or medicinal restraints is considered abuse.
  • Emotional/psychological abuse: When residents exhibit fearful behavior, appear anxious, or show severe and unexplained changes in their moods or personality, then they may be experiencing mental abuse. A fear of interacting with nursing home staff or caregivers, or residents, withdrawing from or refusing to see family and friends, and hesitating to speak openly during visits also may be red flags.
  • Sexual abuse: Residents who suddenly develop sexually transmitted infections or experience genital or anal pain, injury, or bleeding may have been sexually abused.
  • Financial abuse/exploitation: Unexplained discrepancies between a resident’s standard of living and his/her available assets and unexplained bank withdrawals and financial transactions may be signs that a resident has been a victim of financial abuse. Other types of monetary abuse may include stealing cash and other valuables or hoodwinking residents into lending or giving money or property to nursing home staff or fellow residents.

Get a Nursing Home Abuse Consultation

Many cases of nursing home abuse allow the injured person or their loved ones to bring a lawsuit against the offending facility.

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, then call 1-800-516-4783 for a free case evaluation. Get connected with an attorney who will fight to get you fair compensation for your injuries.  


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