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What Is the Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Published on Mar 25, 2021 at 10:47 am in Nursing Home Abuse.
What Is the Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Your loved one deserves to be treated with respect and maintain their dignity even though they are no longer able to care for themselves. When you and your family member make the decision to move them to a nursing home, you expect them to get the level of care that you would provide for them. If they don’t receive that level of care, it could mean more is happening than just general bad practices—they could be experiencing abuse or neglect.

When your loved one experiences this at their facility in Kentucky, a Frankfort nursing home abuse lawyer could help you get justice for what they’ve gone through. At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we have experience representing nursing home residents who have been mistreated. We look into what happened to your loved one so that we can hold the appropriate parties responsible and get your family member the compensation they deserve.

Abuse vs. Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect seem to be similar but are different in nature. In general, abuse is a more intentional act against the facility resident, while neglect can be either intentional or unintentional. Some of the signs of the two can be similar, but what the person experiences is mostly different.

When it comes to nursing home abuse, there are multiple different types of abuse that your loved one could suffer from. One of the most dangerous types is physical abuse. This is when a staff member or fellow resident uses force to injure the resident. Physical abuse also includes using physical restraints, chemical restraints, or using medication to harm the resident. All of these can cause pain and injury for an elderly person.

The other types of abuse that your loved one could suffer from in their long-term care facility are emotional, mental, financial, and sexual abuse. All of these different forms of abuse are from staff members, fellow residents, or third parties inflicting these intentional mistreatments on a resident that manifest in physical ways.

Neglect, on the other hand, can be intentional or unintentional. While neglect can be classified as a type of nursing home abuse, it is also its own category because the actions are not physically inflicted by the perpetrator, but instead are from the inaction. When it’s unintentional, neglect is caused by a staff member being overworked and the facility being understaffed. This leaves gaps in care and causes workers to not be able to get around to every resident and provide them with adequate care.

When the neglect is intentional, it’s because a staff member is choosing to ignore a resident and not give them the attention and care that they need. They could neglect to change their bedding, clothes, brush their teeth, give them medications, give them food, or any other essential aspects of care.

Let’s take a look at the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can be aware of when your loved one is being mistreated.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Not only can nursing home abuse or neglect lead to your loved one suffering from physical and emotional injuries, but they can also result in your loved one passing away. If your elderly family member is in a nursing home, it’s likely that they are vulnerable, and their health can easily become compromised.

That’s why it’s important to be able to easily spot the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you miss out on the signs, they could suffer from great injuries, and in the worst cases, they could die from the mistreatment. Here are some of the most telling signs that your loved one is being abused or mistreated in their long-term care facility:

  • Bruises
  • Bed sores
  • Broken bones, like hips from falls
  • Soiled clothing and poor hygiene
  • Soiled linens
  • Messy room
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Unexplained infections, sexual or otherwise
  • Frequently ill
  • Heavily medicated
  • Missing funds or missing valuable items
  • Anxious and depressed
  • Socially isolating

Although some of these signs could happen from accidents, if you notice any of this happening to your loved one, they could be experiencing abuse or neglect and need help. You should report this to the staff first, and if they don’t help, then you could use the help of a lawyer to ensure your loved one gets justice for the injuries and damages that they’ve suffered.

Our Lawyers Can Help You

At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we’re prepared to fight for your elderly family member to get justice for what they’ve endured at their long-term care facility. Our experienced Frankfort nursing home abuse lawyer knows how to build the strongest case possible so that your loved one’s rights are protected.

We’ll use all documentation and knowledge of the law to hold the staff accountable for their actions or inaction. Reach out to our office so we can get started as soon as possible.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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