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Is neglect and abuse the same?

While they're associated with one another, abuse and neglect are not actually the same thing. Abuse refers to the mistreatment of a person physically and psychologically. Neglect means to fail to care for someone.

With cases of elder neglect, what you'll notice is that an elder simply did not get help or assistance when they needed it. For example, some common neglectful situations may include:

  • Forgetting to give an elder their medications
  • Failing to take the elder to dinner or forgetting to bring them lunch
  • Failing to respond to a call from a patient in a nursing home
  • Not spending time with an elder or isolating them

Neglect is usually unintended, but it can be intentional in some cases. For instance, a nurse who is overwhelmed may neglect a patient because of failing to have time for them. On the other hand, another nurse who doesn't like a patient may ignore them on purpose. One case is intentional, and the other is not, but the outcome is the same: A patient goes without care.

What should you do if your loved one is neglected in a nursing home?

If you have a loved one who is hurt or neglected in a nursing home, you should take steps to get them to safety. They may need to go to the hospital or be seen by a medical professional. Call your attorney and discuss the options that they are aware of and to talk about how you want to handle a case against the nursing home that violated the standards of care you expected.

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