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Nursing Home Abuse

Due to the often debilitating effects of old age and the relative isolation in which some elderly live, they can make easy targets for abuse and neglect. Some elders may be easily overpowered or intimidated by threats of violence. The social isolation of some elderly individuals may keep them from seeking the assistance of friends or family members. Abusive caretakers may threaten those victims who would otherwise seek help. Other victims are not aware of what is happening to them or are incapable of reporting elder abuse due to physical or mental impairments.

An older woman looking out of a window

Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?

Common explanations given for nursing home abuse include the growing number of people living in nursing homes and the difficulty of staffing them with well-trained individuals. The U.S. populace is getting older, and the long-term residential care industry is feeling the impact. Many nursing homes are short-staffed, with under-trained employees, and a high turnover rate. Attracting and retaining quality employees can be difficult for a variety of reasons, among them low wages and a lack of qualified applicants.

When nursing homes are understaffed, workers can become stressed. They might have to work longer hours, which may lead to burnout. Eventually, these stressed employees may take their frustrations out on patients. Employees may also become careless about routine, yet essential, tasks - like providing food and water on time, administering medication properly, and caring for their patients' hygiene.

Sometimes, nursing home staff members are not trained to deal with difficult patient situations effectively, and instead handle them in an abusive manner. This lack of training can be partially attributed to high employee turnover. Some new employees are not properly trained before being thrust into their roles, causing them to make mistakes; and the supervisory staff that is supposed to enforce safety procedures may not be effective.

Consult a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Nursing home abuse and neglect can be traumatic to both the victim and members of the family who trusted the nursing home staff to care for their loved one. Speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible about your case.

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