Nursing Home Abuse What You Must Know

Submitted by: Rex Bush, Doctor Of Jurisprudence, Attorney At Law

The elderly are in a vulnerable position, especially if they are living in a nursing home. They rely upon others to help them with daily activities and many require medical care that is vital to their survival. Care workers are screened before they work in a nursing home, but even the most precise screening cannot always detect someone who may be abusive towards residents. That is why keeping an eye out is the best way to stop nursing home abuse.

Types of Abuse

Nursing home abuse can take many forms. It can be abuse that is easily detected in the physical, it may be emotional or it can be financial. Some types of abuse may not be completely noticeable, but when you are properly informed about abuse you should be able to notice the signs of any type of abuse.

Physical abuse is the easiest type of abuse to recognize. It is apparent in physical signs like bruises or other injuries that are unexplained or abnormal for the resident. Physical abuse may also include the inappropriate use of drugs, which could present itself as odd behavior or more frequent and unusual complaints about pain.


Emotional abuse may be more difficult to recognize immediately. However, it is easily caught when workers are carefully monitored. Emotional abuse can include yelling at residents or talking to them in a disrespectful nature. It can also include ignoring the resident or keeping them from interacting with others.

Sexual abuse of elderly persons may also occur. It is any sexual contact with a person without their consent. It can also include showing pornographic materials to elders without their consent or making them watch sexual acts.

Neglectful behavior also constitutes abuse. Neglect involves not caring for the resident in the proper way. It can include things like not bathing the resident properly or not feeding them properly. In general, neglect is when the resident is not receiving the proper level of care and their needs are not being met.

A common form of nursing home abuse is financial exploitation. In many nursing homes residents personal property is stolen or their finances mishandled. Stealing anything from a resident is considered a form of abuse.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Any suspicion of abuse should be reported right away. If you are the relative of a resident and suspect abuse you should immediately contact the nursing home management and demand to speak to someone about your suspicions. If the nursing home management does not seem to want to handle the situation then you should get your relative out of the nursing home and report the home to the proper authorities.

Never let nursing home abuse go unhandled. At the first signs of any type of abuse steps must be taken. The elderly cannot always care for themselves or keep themselves safe. They may have physical or mental problems that prevent them from defending themselves. It is up to those of us in a caregiving position to ensure that they are properly cared for and not subjected to abuse.

About the Author: Rex Bush handles personal injury cases in Utah. For info on injury issues visit his website:

Personal Injury in Utah

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