For many families, nursing home abuse is a topic that only arises in conversation after they discover that their loved one has fallen victim to its insidious occurrence. The process of sending an elderly relative to one of these facilities is typically a tough decision but one made with the specific purpose of ensuring that their relative is healthy and safe. Unfortunately, when nursing home neglect occurs, the opposite is true-the facility itself causes the health consequences.
Lawyers and Settlements recently provided some context to the scope of the nursing home abuse problem. Specifically, the Illinois Department of Aging reports that most victims of elder abuse are subjected to more than one type including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; confinement, financial exploitation, neglect, and willful deprivation. The most common form of abuse allegations involves financial exploitation, constituting 58% of all elder abuse claims. This is likely true because it is the one form of elder abuse that most directly benefits the abuser.
Each of those neglectful actions constitutes violations of the basic care guaranteed to residents under the law. The victim and their family may have a legal case against the facility when any of these occur, often irrespective of the intent of the abusers.
In nursing homes, the perpetrators of the abuse are varied, from nurses and administrators to aides and other residents. No matter who is the direct cause of the conduct, however, it is often difficult for a resident to find justice. In many cases embarrassment and shame prevent seniors from coming forward with information about the problem. For others, they may not be able to physically or mentally do anything to stop the misconduct or report it.