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Nursing Home Abuse: How to Protect Your Loved Ones

Nursing Home Abuse - Protect Your Loved One

As part of a settlement solution, a structured settlement consultant will often consider the injured person’s needs for the immediate future and their potential needs for their aging future. While the structured settlement may set aside money for aging care such as nursing home fees, it’s also important to have an advocate for the injured party once they reach that part of their lifetime. For many families, nursing homes provide a safe and caring environment for elderly loved ones who require specialized care. However, recent reports of nursing home abuse have raised concerns about the safety of these facilities. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around 1 in 6 nursing home residents experience abuse yearly, including physical, emotional, neglect, and financial exploitation. Knowing what to look out for and understanding the potential dangers is key to the injured person’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Understanding Different Types of Neglect

Different types of abuse and neglect cases can occur in nursing homes. Neglect can either be intentional or unintentional, and it refers to cases where harmful conduct is possible, even if it was not intentional. These cases can be emotionally difficult for family members. Several types of neglect are commonly seen in nursing homes. These types of neglect include:

  1. Fall Neglect: This type of neglect can occur when nursing home residents fall and sustain injuries. This neglect can be intentional or unintentional, and it is the nursing home’s responsibility to ensure that the resident’s needs are being met to prevent falls from happening.
  2. Choking Neglect: This situation can arise when nursing home residents choke on food or medications due to medical conditions that make it harder for them to swallow. If not treated properly, choking can lead to serious infections or even death.
  3. Bed Sore Neglect: This is also known as pressure ulcer neglect. This type of neglect occurs when a person is left in the same position for too long, causing pressure on certain areas of the body and restricting blood flow, leading to the formation of painful sores that can become infected and cause serious medical conditions.
  4. Elopement Neglect: Nursing home residents with dementia or other conditions wander away from the nursing home when they are not properly supervised or prevented from leaving. Nursing homes have a duty to evaluate the residents periodically and prevent them from wandering away.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it’s crucial to take action immediately. Here are some steps you can take to protect your loved ones:

Look for signs of abuse

The signs of nursing home abuse can be difficult to detect, especially if your loved one has limited communication skills. Some common signs of abuse include unexplained injuries, poor hygiene, malnutrition, dehydration, depression, anxiety, and sudden changes in behavior.

Report the abuse

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, report it immediately to the nursing home administration and local authorities. In the United States, you can contact the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) or your state’s Adult Protective Services agency.

Document the abuse

Document any evidence of abuse that you observe, including photographs, medical records, and witness statements. This information may be used in legal proceedings or investigations.

Consider legal action

If your loved one has suffered harm due to nursing home abuse, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the facility. Contact a qualified attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases to discuss your legal options.

Choose a reputable nursing home

To prevent nursing home abuse, it’s important to choose a reputable facility with a good track record of providing quality care. Look for a nursing home that is licensed, accredited, and has positive reviews from residents and their families.

Ensure proper care

Once your loved one is in a nursing home, it’s important to regularly check in and ensure that they are receiving proper care. This includes monitoring their physical and emotional well-being, reviewing their care plan, and addressing any concerns or complaints with the nursing home administration.

Alarming Statistics on Nursing Home Abuse and the Future of Elder Care

The statistics on nursing home abuse are alarming. According to a report by the National Center on Elder Abuse, one in three nursing homes in the United States has been cited for abuse. Furthermore, a study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee found that nearly one-third of nursing homes were cited for abuse over a two-year period.

These numbers are concerning enough on their own, but they become even more significant when we consider the projected growth of the nursing home population. In 2017, 1.4 million Americans lived in nursing homes. However, in the next 20 years, this number is predicted to triple due to the aging baby boomer generation. This means that if we are already facing a healthcare crisis with just over a million people in nursing homes, the problems will only get worse as the population grows to 4.3 million.

We cannot let these statistics go unnoticed. It is crucial for us to be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and take action to prevent it. We must also demand that nursing homes provide proper care for their residents and hold bad actors accountable for their actions. The future of our aging population depends on it.


In conclusion, nursing home abuse is a serious issue that requires attention from all of us. It is our responsibility to protect our loved ones who are in nursing homes and ensure that they receive the care they deserve. We must be vigilant and look for signs of abuse, report it when we see it, and document any evidence that can be used in legal proceedings. Moreover, we need to select a reputable nursing home, ensure proper care, and demand accountability from the facilities. With the projected growth of the nursing home population in the coming years, it is more important than ever to address this issue and prevent a healthcare crisis. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a better future for our aging population.

This article was based on the comments of Beasley Allen law firm’s attorney Chris Boutwell. To listen to the full podcast, click here:  https://ringlerradio.buzzsprout.com/1467760/6241561

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