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Nursing Home Abuse: The Why and How

Nursing Home Abuse: The W…

There is a steady increase in the number of elderly individuals in the general population. This increase directly affects the need for a greater number of people entering nursing home and assisted living facilities either voluntarily or due to family. With the rise in use of such nursing home and assisted living facilities comes cases of nursing home abuse. This article will discuss factors that contribute to nursing home abuse.

One article notes that the numbers may become staggering in the United States as many older persons enter advanced years. As a result, the nursing home and assisted living facilities industry that provides assistance to the aged has grown exponentially. This in turn provides more jobs for nurses and staff. Ultimately, more money has been allocated to these facilities to ensure loved ones of advanced ages are taken care of and given a peaceful place to live.

Due to the expansion and increased demand for nursing home and assisted living facilities there has been an increase in the acquiring of staff that may be inexperienced or lack training. Background checks may be lax or non-existent and abuse may be the direct result of stressful situations and clashing personalities of employees and residents. One article notes that, “when spending is applied to certain areas but lacking in others, abuse may be the outcome”. This may be true in the sense that resources are focused on other areas of nursing home and assisted living facilities rather than in properly training staff. Resulting in overworked and inappropriate employees may cause incidents of abuse with elderly residents.

There are a number of different types of abuse that may occur in a nursing home. These happen when someone working in the facility is knowingly, intentionally or negligently causing harm, injury or a risk of either to anyone that is weak, impaired, disabled or vulnerable to attack. However, one of the most common types of abuse observed is the physical form. Physical abuse in nursing homes is normally considered to be punching, slapping, pushing or depriving a resident of basic human needs; it may also include where a resident is inflicted with pain or injuries. Another form of physical abuse is the threat of bodily harm or intimidation that may occur.

Emotional or verbal abuse also happens in nursing homes. This is when the resident is placed in distress, mental forms of pain, duress and/or other similar states. The result is that the resident may become agitated, nervous, anxious, will become isolated as a result of the abuse. Nonconsensual acts of a sexual manner may happen with an elderly person and a member of staff. Such abuse can cause long-term damage even if the victim has dementia.

Another common form of abuse is neglect and is most often found in nursing homes. This happens when a resident is refused basic needs such as food, liquids, protection from the elements and medical assistance. Any failure to provide what should be given in these facilities may be determined to be a form of abuse.

In most cases a loved one recognizes abuse and when this happens it is best to contact nursing home lawyers in Anchorage for legal advice and representation.

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