Legal & Planning Services: Nursing Home Neglect.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

An estimated two million people in the U.S. are living in long-term care facilities, people who are among the most vulnerable and the most in need of protection and care.

According to federal nursing home regulations, every nursing home resident “has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical and mental abuse; corporal punishment; and involuntary seclusion.” When someone suspects their loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, they can turn to Hook Law Center for help.

What constitutes nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse includes the deprivation of care or services, an intentional infliction of injury, intimidation, unreasonable confinement, and/or punishment that includes physical harm, pain, or mental anguish.

Nursing home neglect includes the intentional or unintentional failure to provide someone with the care and services that keep them from pain or harm, and the failure to provide care or protection in a situation that may be dangerous or anxiety-provoking, or may cause harm to the resident.

Abuse may be as physically overt as hitting, kicking, or pinching, or as covert as verbal or emotional abuse. There are some common signs of abuse and neglect, including unexplained falls, dehydration, severe bed sores, illnesses which are not reported to a physician, wandering, unexplained bruising or abrasions, heavy sedation, unsanitary conditions, and sudden behavioral changes, including a reluctance to interact or be touched.

While some types of abuse or neglect are obvious, there are often situations when it not always clear that abuse or neglect is occurring. While you may feel uncomfortable saying anything without definitive proof, it is not your responsibility to determine if a nursing home resident is being neglected or abused. If you suspect neglect or abuse, speak with a qualified elder law attorney at Hook Law Center so that the level of care your loved one is receiving can be determined and rectified.

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