Difference between nursing home abuse and neglect?

Nursing home abuse and neglect affect hundreds of elderly patients every year. While both abuse and neglect are serious, there is a distinct difference between the two.

Nursing Home Neglect

There are two primary types of nursing home neglect: active neglect and passive neglect. The distinction lies in caregivers’ intent. Active neglect refers to the intentional failure of nursing home staff to tend to a patient’s needs while passive neglect is an unintentional failure. Lack of time and staffing constraints are what usually cause passive neglect.

Examples of nursing home neglect may include the following.

  • Failing to provide the patient with emotional support or one-on-one time
  • Ignoring calls for assistance
  • Failing to maintain the patient’s hygiene
  • Otherwise failing to meet a social, physical, or emotional need

Both passive and active neglect may be detected by observing the elderly person’s physical state, look for these red flags.

  • Bedsores
  • Poor hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Other signs of malnourishment

You may also see chronic ailments that your loved one did not have when you brought him or her to the nursing home. These may be side effects from medication. Always double-check the medication that your loved one is given, especially if you notice that the staff seems distracted or harried. They could be giving him or her the wrong medication. It could even be the doctor or pharmacist’s fault if they misread the prescription. Check this list of medications tht are commonly mistaken for another.

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is an active form of neglect causing a nursing home patient harm. There are four primary types of nursing home abuse.

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse and physical abuse are the most obvious abuse types, and usually leave visible signs like lacerations, bruising, and blood on undergarments. Emotional abuse and financial exploitation can be harder to detect.

Emotional abuse usually involved the following.

  • Berating the elderly individual
  • Threatening the elderly patient
  • Otherwise inflicting psychological pain

Financial exploitation refers to the manipulation of the elderly patient, on the part of the caregiver, for financial gain.

  • Convincing the elderly person to change his or her will
  • Suggesting he or she take out a large loan
  • Asking for the patient’s credit card information

If abuse is detected, action needs to be taken immediately. If the abuse is physical or sexual, the police should be called.

Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

If an elderly person in a nursing home has suffered from abuse or neglect, he or she may be entitled to damages. To help you understand the law and file a claim today, don’t hesitate to call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC. Our team is ready to get to work today. Reach us at 215-642-2335 now.