Nursing home abuse is a horrifying reality happening in our communities and affecting our senior citizens. When we place our elder loved ones in a nursing home, we expect staff members to treat them with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. With over 15,000 nursing homes housing 1.7 million licensed beds across the United States as of 2016 and current residents totaling upwards of 1.3 million as of 2015, nursing homes and staff need to be held accountable for how they care for our older generations. Therefore, it's crucial to understand what nursing home abuse is, the different types of abuse, signs of abuse, and how to prevent it.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
The Administration on Aging, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, defines elder abuse as "any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult."
A long-term study showed that elder abuse victims are twice as likely to die prematurely than individuals who have not suffered from elder abuse. Nursing home abuse, which refers to elder abuse in a nursing home, can lead to serious physical injuries, emotional harm, and even death.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are different types of elder abuse in nursing homes, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation.