What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Older adults often spend their retirement in nursing homes, where they expect rest and relaxation. Nursing homes should be a place of safety for the elderly. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of cases of nursing homes abusing their elderly residents.

Elder abuse can involve acts of physical violence, maliciously restraining the elderly, and stealing from nursing home residents. This article provides information on what elder abuse is and how you can obtain legal help.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by Nursing Home Abuse?

Anyone who has been injured or affected by nursing home abuse knows that it can be a traumatic experience. Whether the injury was caused by negligent medical treatment, improper use of a medical device, or failure to diagnose, you have the right to take legal action against any person, company, or entity that is responsible — including private citizens, stores, manufacturers, insurance companies, large corporations, even government agencies.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Federal law requires that nursing homes must protect and promote the rights of its residents. A violation of these rights could constitute nursing home abuse. Some common abuses include:

  • Lack of Respect – The elderly should be treated with dignity and respect. They should be allowed to compose their own schedule such as what activities they do, eat, and decide what time to sleep.
  • Abuse – The elderly should be free from any physical, verbal, sexual abuse from nursing home staff. This abuse could also be applied to the elderly’s property and finances.
  • Restraints – The elderly should not be restrained physically or medically (drugs) due to convenience and punishment.
  • Fear – The elderly should be allowed to complain to nursing home staff without the fear of being disciplined.

Legal Claims Involving Nursing Home Abuse

The elderly and their loved ones can file lawsuits against nursing homes for elder abuse. Each state has different age requirements for elder abuse but generally the required age minimum is usually 60 to 65.

A common legal claim associated with nursing home abuse is negligence. To be a successful claim, the plaintiff must show that the conduct of the nursing home was beyond the reasonable standard of care. For example, a plaintiff can show that the nursing homes conduct of continually restraining him for no reason and verbally abusing him was beyond the reasonable standard of care from a nursing home.

Another claim could be based on federal or state statute. For example, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid support provide a safe environment for their residents.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love have suffered abuse in the nursing home setting, you should speak with a Kelly Law attorney who will sit down and evaluate your case with you, to ensure that your legal rights are fully assessed and protected. We can explain what you can expect at every step of your personal injury case, and will take action on your behalf — researching the law, interviewing witnesses, collecting records, conferring with expert consultants, planning legal strategy, and negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel — all with an eye toward strengthening your position and ensuring your fair recovery.