Types of Nursing Home Abuse

More and more elderly adults are entering nursing homes and with that comes the dangers of abuse. You may not think this could ever happen to your loved one but it can and nursing home abuse is a real problem plaguing the country. When you hear the term abuse your mind often goes to physical abuse but our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney is here to explain the different types of nursing home abuse.


While you may not think that neglect is abuse, it is. It is actually one of the leading causes of abuse in nursing homes and is a major issue as it affects the care of elderly people. This can look like this:

  • Failing to administer medication
  • Not attending to the patient’s bathroom needs
  • Ignoring the patient when they are in distress

Our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney says you should look for the following signs that there is neglect:

  • Untreated health problems
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Unsafe living conditions
  • Unsanitary living conditions

Physical abuse

This is often the most common type of abuse and essentially consists of nursing home staff having physical control of the patient in an inappropriate manner. This can include:

  • Use of restraints
  • Inappropriate drug use
  • Confinement
  • Hitting
  • Shoving
  • Beating
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Pinching

This type of abuse essentially covers any use of force from the hospital staff to the patient. This force leads to physical injury, pain, or impairment. You can identify physical abuse by looking for:

  • Bruises
  • Black eyes
  • Open wounds
  • Sprains
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Signs of restraints
  • Untreated injuries

Emotional abuse

Abuse does not always need to be physical, emotional abuse can also have long-lasting consequences on a person. The way that a person is treated can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Patients may even begin to feel worthless which can lead to suicidal thoughts. Emotional abuse can look like this:

  • Terrorizing
  • Ignoring
  • Ridicule
  • Threats
  • Isolation
  • Humiliation

Some ways to identify emotional abuse include:

  • Agitation or being emotionally upset
  • Withdrawal and a non-communicative patient
  • Changes in mood

Sexual abuse

This is often some of the most horrific types of abuse that a loved one can ever suffer. Our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney takes extra care with this type of case. The most obvious form of sexual abuse is having the senior resident perform a sexual act or have a sexual act performed on them without consent. Another type of sexual abuse is forcing the patient to watch pornography of any kind.

Watching others perform sexual acts in person can also constitute sexual abuse. Lastly, if a patient is made to undress when it is not medically necessary this can also be seen as abusive behavior. It can be difficult to identify this type of abuse but you should look for signs such as:

  • Unexplained genital infection or venereal disease
  • Bloody undergarments
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Bruising in the genital area or the breasts

Financial abuse

There are two main forms of financial abuse for the elderly. The first is the unauthorized use of their property and the second is the use of their funds. While the use of funds can be easier to prove than the property they are both forms of abuse. They can look like:

  • Stealing property from the nursing home resident
  • Forging the resident’s signature
  • Using debit or credit cards or checks

Ensure to check your elderly loved ones’ financial accounts and will look for any changes or suspicious activity.

A Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney can help

Taking advantage of a patient is one of the most horrendous crimes imaginable. The parties that are responsible for the actions that led to your loved one being harmed should be held accountable. You will need to take immediate action and contact a Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney from Kwartler Manus LLC at (267) 457-5570 to schedule a consultation.

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