Nursing Home Elder Abuse – Physical and Sexual Assaults
Nursing home residents tend to be elderly or frail. Some struggle with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many have difficulty speaking or communicating. All these factors make them vulnerable and less able to defend themselves from assault.
Families who make that difficult choice to place loved ones in nursing homes are often motivated by safety. So the fact that their loved ones could be subject to physical assault—or worse, sexual assault—is a nightmare. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the elder abuse definition in a legal context to protect your family.
Duties of Nursing Homes to Prevent Elder Abuse & Assaults
Physical assault can come from many sources: the nursing home staff, other residents, or even visitors. Every nursing home is required by law to provide a safe home. Specifically, federal regulations and the State of Ohio nursing home bill of rights state that “The resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.”
Assault Risk Factors – Understanding the Failures that Lead to Assault
I help protect clients and their loved ones from physical and sexual assault in nursing homes and other care facilities through seeking preventative measures to stop future victimization, and holding facilities accountable for past assaults.
We have seen facilities that fail to adequately train their staff. Training is particularly important for caretakers of residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Without proper training, staff can get frustrated and impatient and lash out at residents when they need compassion the most.
An attack by staff is the more common elder abuse definition. But physical assaults can also occur between residents—one resident attacking another. This most often occurs when the nursing home has failed to adequately screen residents for a history of or propensity toward violence. Often there is a documented history of aggression towards staff or other residents.
Is the Nursing Home Liable for an Assault on a Resident?
In most cases, the answer is “yes.”
Nursing homes will almost certainly be liable for assaults committed by their staff. Additionally, they will usually be liable when they fail to install safeguards for residents against other residents who have known propensities for aggression.
When I learn about your case, I can advise you as to whether a nursing home may be liable for abuse or an assault committed against your loved one.
Cases and Experience – How We Help
I have spoken with families who just didn’t want to believe that those unexplained bruises and broken bones would be caused by assaults instead of accidents. But the unhappy truth is that sometimes, they are.
If you suspect your family member may have suffered injury or death as a result of poor care in a nursing home, or if there are just too many unanswered questions and you need answers, please reach out to us for help. I offer a free consultation, so that you can learn about the options available for you and your loved one.