Five types of elder abuse that occur in nursing homes

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Firm News |

About 10% of older adults in the United States have experienced some form of abuse. This number becomes even more troubling as studies reveal that higher rates of these incidents occur in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately five million older Americans, many of whom reside in nursing facilities, experience abuse each year. Each of these cases can come in different forms.

  • Physical abuse: The intentional infliction of pain, injury or impairment upon an elderly resident is one of the most common forms of abuse in nursing facilities. Physical abuse in nursing homes can lead to devastating long-term health problems or even death, regardless of whether the mistreatment only happened once.
  • Sexual abuse: Although found to be the least commonly reported form of abuse in nursing facilities, sexual battery remains a reality for some residents. Sexual abuse in nursing homes includes any nonconsensual sexual contact or interaction, ranging from unwanted touching to more severe sexual assault.
  • Emotional abuse: Emotional or psychological abuse may include verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation or isolation from friends and family. This form of mistreatment ranks among the most common in nursing homes. However, it is also the most difficult to detect, with its consequences often unnoticed by the resident’s family members.
  • Financial abuse: When it comes to financial fraud, older adults are typically the most vulnerable and most targeted part of the population. Financial abuse in nursing homes usually involves the unauthorized or improper use of a resident’s funds, property or assets.
  • Neglect: The signs of neglect and abandonment can manifest as a lack of basic hygiene, insufficient medical care or malnutrition.

Medical professionals in nursing homes have a duty to deliver the highest standard of care to residents, but abuse in these facilities remains an alarming concern. Being informed about the different types of elder abuse in nursing homes can be the first step toward creating a safer environment for aging community members.