If you have an elderly family member in a nursing home in or around Cleveland, you probably spend time worrying about risks of injury as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. The statistics can be alarming, and it can be difficult to know whether a particular nursing home or assisted-living facility is safe.

Given that many nursing home abuse and neglect injuries occur in nursing homes without any histories of safety violations or lawsuits, it can be hard to know where to go to find information about a particular facility’s safety ratings.

Moreover, if you do suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, it can be confusing to distinguish among the terms that often get used in these situations — elder abuse, neglect, and negligence. Is there a difference among these terms? Let me tell you more.

Understanding Elder Abuse in General 

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the term elder abuse, or nursing home abuse, is a broad term that “includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.” While the term often gets used to refer to abuse or neglect that occurs in a nursing home, it is important to remember that nursing home abuse or elder abuse can happen almost anywhere—from a long-term care facility to an elderly adult’s own home.

So, the term elder abuse in general encompasses forms of abuse and neglect. What is the difference between types of abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities? Let me summarize the NCOA’s definitions of the different types of abuse for you here:

  • Physical abuse involves the infliction of physical pain or physical injury on a person, and it can include, for example, physical violence like hitting or the use of physical restraints;
  • Sexual abuse involves any kind of sexual activity that the older adult did not consent to or does not have the capacity to consent to, including touching, intercourse, and other sexual acts; and
  • Emotional abuse is a term that refers to threats, harassment, intimidating behavior, and verbal assaults.

How does neglect differ? Neglect, also known as passive neglect, involves a nursing home staff member’s failure to provide proper care to nursing home patients. Failing to provide property care can include, for instance, failing to provide necessary food or medication, failing to monitor a patient to prevent a fall, or failing to properly attend to a patient’s daily needs.

What About Nursing Home Negligence?

When a nursing home hires a staff member who perpetrates any kind of abuse or neglect, or when it fails to monitor patients in such a way as to prevent abuse committed against one patient by another, it may be liable for nursing home negligence.

Learn More About How I Can Help With a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

 If you do suspect that your parent or another elderly loved one has been the subject of abuse, you should get in touch with me as soon as possible. I can help with your claim, and I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 for more information.

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