Each year, approximately 4 million elderly people are victimized by abuse, and many of these cases happen within the walls of their nursing home.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine who is legally responsible in cases of elder abuse. Continue reading to learn more about when a nursing home can be held liable and how to help your loved one heal.

Nursing Home Obligations

Nursing homes must provide their patients with basic necessities such as housing, medical care, a healthy diet, and hygienic aid. If these needs are not met, the care center can be held liable. Here are some examples of acts that might be viewed as abuse:

  • Neglecting to offer food and water
  • Lack of sound hiring and employee training practices
  • Acts of deliberate abuse or neglect
  • Unreasonable use of restraints
  • Failure to properly administer medications or meet other medical needs

When Can a Nursing Home Be Held Liable?

If you believe that your loved one has been abused in their care facility, the following points must be proven to demonstrate liability 

  • Duty of care – Most nursing homes provide a contract outlining the care that will be provided within the facility.
  • Breach of duty – This occurs when the nursing home fails to follow the agreed-upon care.
  • Connection – You will need to determine that a breach of duty was the reason for the patient’s injuries.
  • Damages – The patient must specify the mental, physical, and/or fiscal damages that resulted from negligence.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

A variety of signs might accompany abuse. The Nursing Home Abuse Center outlines some of the most common indications to be aware of.

  • Signs of Physical Abuse

    • Unexplained injuries such as bruises, broken bones, or dislocations
    • Not taking medications correctly
    • Broken glasses
    • Caregivers refusing to allow visitors to be alone with the patient
  • Signs of Emotional Abuse

    • Witnessing controlling, demeaning, or hostile actions from caregivers
    • Showing symptoms mimicking dementia, such as rocking back and forth and sucking their thumbs
  • Sexual Abuse

    • Unexplained STIs
    • Bruising or scars around the genitals or chest
    • Vaginal or anal bleeding
    • Torn or bloody undergarments
  • Neglect

    • Unsafe living environment
    • Bedsores
    • Absence of hygiene
    • Lack of nutrition or unexplained weight loss

Healing from Abuse

Any type of nursing home abuse can be very difficult to overcome. Recovering from such trauma can be challenging to navigate as you aim to help your loved one heal. Every situation is different and will require a unique recovery plan. The most important thing to remember is that healing takes time; the recovery process is a journey, not a sprint. Unconditional support from loved ones is crucial throughout this trying process.

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

As you strive to help your loved one heal from nursing home abuse, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton will fight for the care they deserve. We understand how critical it is to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for any degree of abuse or neglect their staff has inflicted upon their residents.

Our offices are located in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Schedule your free case evaluation today