How Common is Nursing Home Abuse in Alabama? | Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

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How Common is Nursing Home Abuse in Alabama?

Jan 17, 2023 | Nursing Home

Nursing home abuse is a significant cause for concern across Alabama. Sadly, nursing home abuse may be far more prevalent than many realize.

Unfortunately, there are not enough studies and investigations into nursing home abuse because the subject is often considered taboo. However, the National Center on Elder Abuse indicates that Alabama Adult Protective Services investigates thousands of reports of abuse annually.

A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office study also reviewed nursing home abuse and neglect cases. The results were astonishing.

Up to 95% of patients surveyed claimed they had been neglected or abused, and facility-reported events often lacked essential information, including patient information, suspicions of abuse, suspected abusers, and other relevant details.

If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse, it is important to learn your options and how to hold the abuser and other liable parties accountable.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home and elder abuse involve physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse within nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Nursing home abuse can also involve neglect when these facilities fail to provide appropriate patient care.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse Reported

Multiple types of nursing home abuse residents have reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Some of the more common types and signs of nursing home abuse include:

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when a nursing home resident’s personal belongings, money, or other items of value are taken without their permission. This can include forging checks, using the patient’s credit or bank account funds, stealing personal items, or using their retirement money.

Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home staff and facilities must provide patients with the appropriate level of care. Those who fail to uphold this standard of care can cause patients to suffer bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, and other medical conditions.

A nursing home facility can be accused of neglect when it fails to provide the patient with basic needs, including hygiene, water, shelter, food, and basic medical care.

Physical and Sexual Abuse

Physical abuse, including hitting, scratching, biting, kicking, or other acts of violence, is one of the more common types of abuse reported in nursing homes.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse at Keck School of Medicine of USC, residents with dementia and women were more likely to be victimized by sexual abuse than physical abuse. This might include forced nudity, oral or anal sex, unwanted sexual touching, and rape.

Emotional Abuse

Psychological abuse in nursing homes occurs when staff or other parties threaten, intimidate, harass, name-call, or otherwise cause the patient to endure devastating emotional trauma and distress. Emotional abuse can be even more traumatic than physical abuse depending on the circumstances of the victim’s case.

Many patients suffering from emotional abuse suffer unexplained weight loss or gain, engage in self-harming behaviors, become afraid of their caregivers, withdraw socially, and develop anxiety or depression.

Reasons for Abuse in Alabama Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse in Alabama happens for various reasons and in numerous scenarios. However, generally, it stems from nursing home facilities and staff failing to act or make decisions that other healthcare providers would not have made.

Some of the most common reasons for nursing home abuse include:

  • The nursing home facility is understaffed
  • Healthcare provider negligence or misconduct
  • Failure to protect nursing home residents from other residents
  • Inexperienced staff and lack of staff training
  • Underpaid staff members
  • Failure to supervise
  • Failure to take accountability
  • Mismanagement
  • Negligence
  • Failure to obtain an inspection

No matter the reason, your loved one’s nursing home abuse is unacceptable and should always be reported to the appropriate authorities. The liable parties should also be held accountable for the harm and damages you or an elderly loved one endured.

Contact an Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help

When nursing home abuse happens, protecting your family member and gaining insight into your legal options is essential. Learn more about how to bring their abuser and other at-fault parties to justice when you reach out to our dedicated Alabama nursing home abuse attorneys at Belt, Bruner & Barnett PC.

Our firm offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to families dealing with nursing home abuse across the state of Alabama. To set up your free consult, complete our online contact form or call (205) 933-1500 today.