Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes: Know Your Rights

With the considerable improvements in the quality of nutrition and health care, people today live much longer than they did in the past. Elderly people often need special care, and if they are no longer able to live alone, they often move into nursing homes.

Nursing homes aim to provide high levels of care to vulnerable senior citizens, but sometimes they fail to do so. Staff at nursing homes are sometimes guilty of neglecting or even mistreating them.

Residents in nursing homes are protected by law against abuse and neglect. If you suspect that someone you know is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, you should contact one of the medical malpractice attorneys who specializes in these cases.

Nursing Home Abuse

Legal steps can be taken if a resident is harmed in any way while in a nursing home. The legal definition of abuse includes any form of intimidation, physical injury, or unreasonable confinement. Causing mental distress also counts as abuse.

The main types of nursing home abuse are sexual, financial, physical, and emotional.

Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect can be just as harmful as actual abuse. The staff at a nursing home have a duty to keep their facilities clean and provide residents with everything they need. They must provide nourishing food, administer medications correctly, and allow residents enough social interaction for their well-being.

If a nursing home fails to fulfill these duties, they are guilty of negligence. The main types of nursing home negligence are negligent hiring of personnel, understaffing, and lack of personnel training.

The Nursing Home Reform Act

The Nursing Home Reform Act, which was passed in 1987, was designed to ensure that nursing home residents receive high-quality care. Nursing homes must be certified by the state as meeting the standards of the Act if they want to receive state funding. Each state must conduct unannounced nursing home surveys and interviews of their residents at least once every 15 months.

If it is found that a nursing home is not complying with the Act, it has to rectify the problem, or it could be closed down. It could also be fined for contravening the Act.

Final Thoughts

Nursing homes should be responsible for ensuring quality care for their residents. However, these homes are run by human beings, and all humans make mistakes. That’s why everybody who visits a nursing home should keep their eyes open and call for legal action if they suspect abuse or neglect.


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