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    The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Home Abuse

    Legal representation will help you identify nursing home abuse and stop it from happening.

    Talk to an attorney today if you suspect your loved one is being abused in any sort of assisted living facility. The right legal team will hold the offending parties accountable and win you compensation to pay for medical costs and other injuries. 

    Nursing home abuse and injuries related to nursing home neglect are unfortunate realities many families face. Knowing how to spot the signs of elder abuse and prevent nursing home abuse are essential to ensuring the safety of relatives and other loved ones. 

    Perhaps the most important thing you can do is pay attention to how your elderly relative or friend feels in the nursing home and take any complaints or accusations very seriously. Often, elderly people are afraid to describe the full extent of nursing home abuse due to fear of retribution or that no one will believe them. 

    Click here to speak with an attorney. We’re here to offer you the support you and your family need.

    It stands to reason that nursing home abuse will become more of an issue as Americans continue to age at a rapid pace. Millions of people in this country live in nursing homes, assisted living, and other elder care facilities. 

    Deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home is a hard decision, made even more difficult by the prospect of possible abuse. 

    Learn how to spot the signs of nursing home abuse and what legal actions you can take to protect the people you love. 

    With the proper legal protection, you can win compensation after any elder abuse in a nursing home and hold responsible parties liable for what happened. It’s the best way to prevent this kind of abuse and neglect from continuing to prey on residents.

    Who Is at Risk of Nursing Home Abuse?

    Almost every nursing home puts on a good face. When you tour their facilities, you see the best parts of what they offer. They typically have friendly websites with pamphlets full of smiling grandparents and aides who care. 

    However, the truth is that nursing home abuse is much more common than people think, and it’s often the most vulnerable among us who suffer mentally, physically, and financially in nursing homes. 

    • According to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, as many as a third of people in nursing homes are victims of abuse.
    • Two-thirds of staff members surveyed by the World Health Organization admit to neglecting or abusing their residents. 
    • Approximately 85% of assisted living facilities have reported some type of abuse or neglect. 

    The statistics are shocking, but even more surprising is that most abuse cases go unreported to the police. 


    Reasons Nursing Home Abuse Cases Aren’t Reported to Law Enforcement

    Nursing home residents and their families sometimes hesitate to report abuse cases because they’re hard to identify. As a result, families don’t know what actions to take, even when a loved one reports neglect or abuse. 

    Here are some of the main reasons why people don’t report nursing home abuse cases. 

    Fear of Retribution

    Unfortunately, sometimes residents feel abandoned in nursing homes. While those feelings are often unfounded, many nursing home residents would rather be at home or living with their relatives. 

    If they tell a relative and report the case, they worry that the problems will only persist or may worsen once the relative leaves. 

    Financial Hardship

    People find their way into nursing homes when the burden of care becomes too heavy. Though hard to imagine for some, filing complaints of abuse or neglect is difficult because people worry about getting thrown out of assisted living facilities. 

    It’s a harsh reality that not everyone can afford the best possible medical care. Sometimes people are reticent to report nursing home abuse when they don’t have the resources to move their relative if things go wrong. 

    Mental Illness

    Mental illness or the inability to properly communicate abuse gets in the way of reporting. Especially for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s easy to take the word of employees over patients, mainly if someone isn’t there all the time to monitor what’s happening. 

    These are some of the main reasons why people don’t report abuse. There are others, like patients who don’t have relatives to tell, the inability to communicate, or are unaware that they are being neglected or taken advantage of financially!

    The Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

    A good nursing home abuse attorney will tell you that abuse occurs in several ways. It’s not just the horrible images we see on TV of aides and other employees striking nursing home residents. Here are some of the types of nursing home abuse that happen and signs you can look for to spot potential abuse. 

    Neglect in Nursing Homes

    Neglect is perhaps the most common type of nursing home abuse we see. This happens when a nursing home resident, for whatever reason, is denied basic needs or an appropriate standard of care. 

    Imagine if your relative isn’t given the food they need, enough water to drink, or regular baths. It’s bad enough when you’re paying for the service, but the human factor makes witnessing neglect so hard to bear. 

    People in nursing homes have physical, mental, social, and medical needs. When you place your loved one in a facility’s care, you expect them to be met. But unfortunately, there are bad actors, poorly trained employees, unscrupulous managers, and other parties who fail in their duties. 

    Some signs of neglect in a nursing home include:

    • Sudden weight loss
    • Lack of sleep
    • Bedsores
    • Infections
    • Dehydration
    • Worsening medical conditions
    • Unreported medical conditions
    • Messy rooms
    • Unsafe living conditions

    These are all physical, non-verbal signs of possible neglect. But, of course, you should pay attention and take action if your relative or loved one complains of neglect. For example, they may mention that they weren’t given a meal or that they asked for a bath and were not given one. 

    Perhaps once is a mistake, but a pattern of neglect is a major red flag. Even a single incident should be brought up with management. 

    Emotional Abuse

    Emotional abuse frequently accompanies sexual, physical, or financial abuse. For example, when an abuser takes advantage of someone in a nursing home, they regularly threaten them into silence. They tell them things will worsen or that no one will believe them. 

    Threats, intimidation, and gaslighting are all types of emotional abuse that happen in nursing homes. 

    Emotional abuse can be equally damaging to a nursing home resident’s well-being. It causes them to live in fear, and the threat of physical abuse or neglect is usually enough to impact their mental and physical health. 

    Financial Abuse

    The elderly are already at heightened risk of financial scams and other crimes. Financial abuse happens inside nursing homes, especially when families aren’t closely involved in their loved one’s affairs. 

    Financial abuse can range from scamming residents to outright stealing money, jewelry, and other valuables from their rooms. Nursing home facilities don’t typically have cameras inside residents’ rooms for their privacy, but this also leaves residents open to crime when no one else is looking. 

    Signs to look for include:

    • Missing jewelry
    • Money that is unaccounted for
    • Credit or debit card bills with unexplained charges
    • Frequent gifts to nursing home employees

    Physical or Sexual Abuse

    Physical abuse in nursing homes is often the most difficult to manage because the experience is so harrowing. No one wants to imagine a nursing home employee striking, choking, or pushing their relative. 

    However, physical abuse is common, and sometimes employees lose their cool and strike out in frustration. This, of course, is no excuse. Any physical abuse should be discussed with an experience nursing home abuse lawyer and reported to the police. 

    Signs of physical abuse include:

    • Bruising
    • Lacerations
    • Verbal reports of abuse
    • Hair loss
    • Broken limbs
    • Unexplained falls
    • Blood
    • Fearful interactions with staff

    Any physical injury in a nursing home must be treated very seriously. Many incidents represent a significant breach of the facility’s duty of care, with profound legal implications. 

    When the Signs Aren’t Obvious

    Sometimes the signs of abuse aren’t obvious. Repeat abusers are often skilled at masking their abuse, even when it’s incredibly physical. 

    Nursing home residents understandably become discouraged and sad when they experience abuse. These patients are typically on the tail-end of their lives. No one wants to go through abuse, even more so when you don’t have much time left. 

    If your loved one refuses food, doesn’t want to speak to you or anyone else, or is otherwise reclusive, it could be a sign of abuse. Don’t chalk up changes in behavior to aging. If you feel like something is off, speak to an attorney about what you can do to determine if abuse is happening. 

    Hiring a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

    You should speak to an attorney or worry about nursing home abuse at the first sign. The earlier you report the abuse or talk things over with a lawyer, the better your chances are of stopping the abuse and collecting evidence to win your case. 

    Many law firms specializing in nursing home abuse offer free consultations where you can meet with a lawyer and discuss what’s going on. They can tell you whether what you’re witnessing is abuse. A good lawyer will also guide you in what you should do after you first suspect abuse may be happening. 

    Here are some of the main benefits of hiring a nursing abuse lawyer.


    A good lawyer knows what evidence will win you a case and the proper reporting procedures to follow to stop abuse in its tracks. 


    Your legal team can handle all correspondence with the facility, insurance providers, medical providers, the police, and the nursing home’s lawyers. 


    Your loved one deserves compensation after suffering neglect or physical abuse in a nursing home. The right lawyer will know what the case is worth and how to maximize compensation to pay for injuries and suffering. 

    Understanding Legal Requirements

    Lawyers know the law and when nursing homes fail in their duty of care. They know better than most when an employee or company crosses the line and should be held accountable for injuries, neglect, or financial losses.  Find a lawyer or law firm that truly understands what the personal, emotional and legal issues are in your case.

    Winning Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

    A nursing home, its staff, and other liable parties can and should be held accountable for any abuse in its facilities. 

    You need expert legal help to build a case and win an appropriate lawsuit settlement. Depending on the circumstance of the abuse, your case may not even make it to trial. However, the responsible parties will likely settle the case out of court if you collect enough evidence. 

    Here are some steps to winning a successful nursing home abuse case:

    1. Hire an attorney
    2. Report the abuse to the authorities
    3. Gather evidence of the abuse
    4. Prove that the nursing home had a duty of care (typically easy because the person is a registered patient there)
    5. Show the nursing home breached its duty of care to your loved one. 
    6. Demonstrate that your loved one or other patient suffered as a result of neglect or abuse in the nursing home
    7. Negotiate a settlement to compensate for injuries, medical costs, pain and suffering, and other related costs
    8. If no settlement is reached, prepare to take your case to trial

    Each case is different, but experience matters when dealing with nursing abuse victims. Having a legal team that has represented similar victims in the past is a major advantage in your case. 

    Florida has codified a Bill of Rights for Nursing Home patients: The Florida Statutes Chapter 429.28 Resident Bill of Rights specifically states that every resident of a facility has the right to “Live in a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect” and “Be treated with consideration and respect with due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.” Yet nursing home abuse and neglect often thrive despite these legal protections.

    Until you get a qualified trial lawyer to bring a case.

    Estimating the Value of Your Claim

    How much is your case worth, and what sort of compensation do you and your family deserve?

    What are the challenges in bringing a nursing home abuse case?

    A seasoned lawyer will work with you to help you understand how to proceed and win the most compensation for the abuse. Of course, money will never repay what’s happened, especially if the abuse was regular or harmful. However, pursuing damages signals liable parties and prevents them from harming others. 

    Winning a nursing home abuse case is essential for families who struggle financially to meet the needs of their elderly relatives. Find a lawyer who will fight for your family and win you the compensation you deserve. 

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