Nursing Home Abuse:
While nursing home abuse and neglect are commonly discussed together, they are not the same thing, nor are they treated the same way in a court of law. The basic difference is intention. Nursing home abuse is characterized by the intent to harm and can take almost any form imaginable, including but not limited to:
- Physical elder abuse, including hitting, drugging, restraining, burning, etc.
- Sexual elder abuse, including rape, sexual battery, forced nudity, and inappropriate photography
- Verbal abuse
Neglect in nursing homes is more common. It is characterized by the failure to properly care for an elderly person and provide for his or her basic needs. This failure can take many forms, such as:
- Failure to protect from abuse
- Failure to provide proper supervision (often resulting in injury)
- Failure to provide medical treatment for ailments (bedsores, for example)
- Failure to provide clothing that is clean and adequate
- Failure to provide for physical or mental needs
- Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration
- Failure to provide protection from danger
If any of these types of neglect is determined to be intentional, it may be characterized as nursing home abuse.