Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

Jun 04

Forty years ago, the administration or owners was not held liable for nursing home abuse by the courts because they had no obligation to protect the residents against harm which they could not reasonably foresee. Today, however, the failure to act appropriately following a complaint of nursing home abuse by a staff member, other resident or a visitor, or failure to act in spite of evidence of nursing home abuse can render the nursing home liable for a personal injury claim.

Sexual and other forms of abuse are reprehensible; they are doubly so when it happens to nursing home residents. The most common victims for this kind of abuse are the most vulnerable of people: the old and frail, the physically helpless, and the cognitively impaired. These victims are literally unable to tell anyone about the abuse, or are afraid of the repercussions of doing so. Abusers are quick to take advantage and often repeat the offense over and over again, even carrying on the abuse to other victims.

According to the website of Crowe and Mulvey, the physical and psychological effects of nursing home abuse, especially sexual abuse, are profound. Physical evidence takes the form of injuries to the genitals and rectum resulting in bleeding, scarring and infections. It may also manifest as bruises and cuts all over the victim’s body. An abused resident may also have tears in their undergarments and other clothing. Many victims manifest these effects in agitated behavior, sleep disturbance, avoidance of certain members of the staff or residents, emotional distress, restlessness, and feelings of humiliation and embarrassment.

The liability of nursing homes that fail to carry out the current duty of care for their patients will depend on the availability of evidence and the skill of the nursing home abuse lawyer in preparing the case. If you or someone you know suspect or know about ongoing nursing home abuse, consult with a competent lawyer at once so that the abuse can be stopped sooner rather than later.