Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Legal Options for Seniors

January 23, 2018 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice

An old man at a nursing homeWe expect elderly loved ones in nursing homes to be properly looked after and cared for. Sadly, instances of nursing home abuse may occur at even expensive assisted living facilities in the greater Provo, UT area. The abuse can also take many different forms.

The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton would like to discuss some common types of nursing home abuse. We’ll also note some important warning signs to consider that can protect your loved one from further harm.

Physical Abuse at Nursing Homes

Physical abuse is what many people think of when they think of abuse at nursing homes. This can take many forms, from overt beatings or acts of violence against a senior citizen. This could also involve restraining a person for a long amount of time.

Neglect of an Elderly Person

In addition to physical abuse, there’s also the issue of neglect. This could mean refusing to change a bedpan, not assisting the elderly person with basic hygiene, or refusing to move the patient to help prevent bedsores. Refusing to change linens or help with laundry can also be classified under neglect.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Sometimes the people who work at nursing homes will inflict emotional and psychological abuse on elderly residents. These might be threats or insults. In especially cruel cases, they may mentally abuse an elderly person who is in a distressed state or diminished state due to an age-related condition.

Withholding Food, Water, or Medication

People in an assisted living facility rely on workers to help with nourishment and medication. Sometimes the abuse inflicted on the elderly individual involves depriving them of food and water. This might also include depriving the person of their daily medication.

Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

Senior citizens at nursing homes are sometimes sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and raped by people who are supposed to care for them. These acts of violence and battery are especially tragic given how vulnerable elderly individuals are.

Financial Abuse at Nursing Homes

In addition the above forms of abuse, elderly people at a nursing home might be taken advantage of financially. Workers at nursing homes may convince senior citizens to hand over credit card or bank account information, resulting in any number of crimes involving money or other financial holdings.

Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

There are some telltale signs that a person in a nursing home has been the victim of abuse. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Unexplained bruises or cuts
  • Serious injuries between visits
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Acting withdrawn or frightened
  • Depression
  • Changes in weight
  • Sudden changes in behavior

If you notice any of these warning signs and suspect abuse, be sure to remove your loved one from the nursing home. Contact authorities to have the nursing home investigated as soon as possible and reach out to attorneys to learn about your legal options.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you or someone you care about has experienced abuse in an assisted living facility, be sure to contact our team of elder abuse attorneys today. The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you in your time of legal need.