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Abuse and neglect can’t be ignored: Protect an elder’s rights

In nursing homes, there are two negative things that can happen: abuse and neglect. Abuse is typically seen as an intentional act, whereas neglect occurs because an elder is not being treated or taken care of due to oversights or mistakes. However, the terms can actually be interchanged and may refer to the same kinds of situations.

What are some common kinds of nursing home abuse and neglect?

Some common kinds of abuse or neglect include:

  • Being verbally disrespectful or violent toward the elder
  • Stealing money from an elder
  • Not responding to calls for assistance
  • Not providing drinking water or food
  • Neglecting to help an elder bathe or go to the bathroom
  • Failing to give medications on time
  • Giving the wrong medications

These are just a few of many possible kinds of abuse or neglect.

What are some signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home?

Some common signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home include:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Bedsores
  3. Changes in behavior
  4. Sudden anxiety or depression
  5. A sudden loss of weight (unexplained)
  6. An obvious fear of certain staff members
  7. Poor hygiene

If your loved one is showing any of these signs or symptoms, then it is important to make sure you speak with the staff and find out what’s happening. If they need medical care, you have the right to demand an ambulance or transportation to the nearest hospital. Your loved one should be treated appropriately in a nursing home. Failing to provide them with care leaves you in a position where you can file a lawsuit against the nursing home.


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