What Legal Recourse Do You Have If a Relative Is Mistreated in a Nursing Home

Nursing homes are established for one purpose; to care for our elderly loved ones when they become too fragile to support or care for themselves.

What Legal Recourse Do You Have If a Relative Is Mistreated in a Nursing Home
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Each institution must employ the appropriate care to ensure the elderly are cared for in the best way possible. However, these facilities often fail to provide the expected care, which sometimes results in nursing home abuse.

Did you know that 1 in every 6 people aged 60 and above experience some form of elderly abuse in a nursing home in the US?

With that in mind, what legal action should you take if you suspect an elderly loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home? 

We'll look into that in this article and also explore the various ways your loved one can get mistreated in a nursing home.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

The US Department of Health defines nursing home abuse as "any deliberate or negligent act by a caregiver that causes harm to a vulnerable adult."

In layman's terms, nursing home abuse is any type of harm—physical or emotional—that comes to an elderly person in a long-term care facility. It could include physical injuries, sexual assault, or financial exploitation.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

While there are several ways the elderly can be mistreated in a nursing home, some are prevalent. 

The most common types of nursing home abuse include:

Physical Violence

Some of the most common nursing home abuse involves physical violence.

While not life-threatening, physical violence in a nursing home can cause discomfort to seniors. Physical violence in a nursing home facility may include pinching, hitting, pushing, or even the use of force to restrain the seniors.

If you suspect that your loved one has experienced physical or any other form of abuse, a nursing home attorney at nursinghomelawyerpa.com can help. An experienced attorney will review your case, file a complaint, and pursue the compensation your family deserves.


Neglect is perhaps the most common form of abuse in a nursing home. It comes in many forms, including failure to provide water, baths, medicine, food, and the appropriate standard of care. Neglect puts the residents at risk of developing health problems.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse refers to any non-consensual sexual contact. Unfortunately, this form of abuse is prevalent in many elderly care facilities. Common signs of sexual abuse may include bruises around the genital areas and unexplained STDs.

Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation occurs when seniors are cajoled or manipulated into giving residents financial gifts. Financial abuse may also include overcharging for medicines, stealing the seniors' credit card details for identity theft purposes, and charging for medication or tests that were not carried out.

What to Do If a Loved One Is Mistreated in a Nursing Home

If your loved one confides in you that they're being mistreated in some way or you spot signs of abuse on them, you should determine whether they need attention or medical care.

The first thing you should do is report the abuse to the nursing home administration.

Many nursing home administrators don't tolerate abuse as they know it can significantly impact their bottom line and even lead to the suspension of their license. For this reason, many institutions will take swift action against employees who abuse seniors.

However, not all administrators will cooperate with family members who raise issues of neglect or abuse, as this can taint the facility's reputation. They may dispute liability for injuries and deny any abuse in their facility.

In this situation, the best course of action to take is to hire a nursing home lawyer. Hiring an attorney to file a nursing home abuse claim is usually a wise decision for families wanting to seek justice for their loved ones and other seniors in that facility.

Skilled attorneys specializing in personal injury law can assist you using the courts as the intervention to the problem.

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