How to Handle Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Nursing Home

Identifying nursing home abuse and neglect is a complex process. It involves a number of elements, including financial, emotional, and physical damages. It also requires legal expertise from the expert attorneys at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel.


Often, physical abuse and neglect in nursing homes are problems that go unnoticed. Abuse and neglect can cause physical injuries, cognitive decline, and even premature mortality. It’s important to pay attention to the physical and emotional health of your elderly loved one. It’s also important to protect them from abuse by knowing what signs to look for.

Abuse in nursing homes is illegal. According to federal law, nursing home residents are not to be physically or emotionally abused. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, report the incident to local law enforcement and Adult Protective Services. You can also contact the ombudsman program, a long-term care advocacy group in Washington State.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes are caused by staff members who lack training and knowledge about proper care. Some caregivers are known to extort money from residents. In fact, caretakers have been known to take government checks from residents. In some cases, caretakers leave residents in bed for days with broken bones before a family member or a physician is notified.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can be physical, psychological, or financial. Physical abuse involves pushing, shoving, pinching, or assaulting an elderly patient. Physical neglect can also include failing to provide proper sanitary conditions, food, and liquids.

In the past, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration) issued guidelines to states on how to report abuse in nursing homes. These guidelines are based on the NORS (National Ombudsman Reporting System) system, which was used by the Administration on Aging.


Whether it’s the forging of documents, stealing a resident’s checks or taking a valuable from their room, financial abuse in nursing homes is something that should be monitored. Financial abuse in nursing homes can cause severe long-term consequences to a resident’s finances.

Financial abuse occurs when a resident is deprived of their savings, income, or other necessities. In some cases, financial abuse occurs when a resident is forced to open an account without proper authorization or a legitimate reason.

Financial abuse in nursing homes can be committed by employees. However, it is also possible for residents to be stealing from other residents. Financial abuse can happen without any warning signs.

If you believe that your elderly loved one may be a victim of financial abuse, you should contact a lawyer at EPIC Law who has experience in this field. Our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit holding the nursing home responsible for any abuse, financial, or otherwise.

One of the most common forms of financial abuse is stealing from a resident. The most common perpetrators are friends or family members of other residents. The perpetrators may be aware of the elderly person’s finances and take advantage of this knowledge to get an advantage over them.

One of the most important things that family members can do to protect a loved one from financial abuse is to monitor their bank accounts. They should also make sure that the individuals who hold power of attorney are trustworthy.

Another sign that an elderly person may be a victim of financial abuse is when they receive collection letters. If an elderly person is receiving a lot of collection letters, they may have lost a substantial amount of money.

Nursing homes should have teams to monitor the finances of their residents. These teams should meet regularly to discuss the financial situation of each patient. They should also receive training on financial abuse.


Detecting emotional nursing home abuse and neglect can be challenging. The reasons are many. Many residents suffer in silence. They avoid eye contact and may seem emotionally unsteady. Fortunately, there are a few key signs to watch for.

Some common signs include an older person’s withdrawal from favorite activities. They may also avoid talking to family and friends. This could be a sign of anxiety or a cognitive impairment.

If you suspect an elder’s physical or emotional abuse, seek help immediately. You may also consider taking legal action against the home. You can file a lawsuit for monetary damages, such as medical expenses, relocation costs, and punitive damages.

If you are a family member, a good way to find out if there is emotional nursing home abuse is to ask your elder about their behavior. If you suspect they are suffering from abuse, then you should find a new home for them.

Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is more difficult to detect. The abuser is often invisible and the victim is unable to report the abuse. There are no visible bruises or other physical signs. The victim may be scared to speak about the abuse and may fear retaliation.

Many seniors are unable to report abuse. For this reason, it is vital to monitor their behavior. If you notice that they have a change in behavior, they may have suffered from emotional abuse.

Nursing home staff may try to hide their abusive behaviors. They may try to justify the emotional abuse by stating that they need to keep the patient calm.

Mental Abusing in Nursing Homes

Approximately 1.5 million older adults live in nursing homes in the U.S., and the US Department of Health and Human Services predicts that the population will continue to increase in the coming years.

Many nursing home residents suffer from mental disorders or neurological conditions, and they are especially vulnerable to abuse. In fact, nearly one in ten elders over 60 has experienced physical abuse or neglect in the past year.

Psychological abuse can occur for many reasons. It can be a result of poor service quality, a lack of medical training, or a caregiver with a mental problem. It can also occur when one person has power over another. Those who abuse an older person are often motivated by fear.

Those elders who suffer from mental abuse may become so afraid of retaliation that they avoid expressing their feelings. They may also become depressed, and they may not recognize the patterns of abuse.

Those who experience mental abuse may find that they are not receiving the care they need. The abusers may also be trying to isolate the victim, so can increase their fears. This can lead to physical ailments such as anxiety and depression.

In the worst cases, physical abuse may be combined with psychological abuse. For example, a caretaker may force an older adult to participate in sexual acts. In addition, the caretaker may use emotional and physical threats to intimidate the victim.

Regardless, of the reason for the abuse, an elderly victim may need to seek treatment. Elderly residents may need mental health care and treatment for new medical conditions that may have developed as a result of the abuse. They may also need to take medications to help them relax and sleep better.

Punitive damages

Currently, punitive damages for nursing home abuse and neglect are awarded to plaintiffs when there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant engaged in misconduct or gross negligence. These damages serve as a deterrent to others and are effective in addressing dangerous practices.

Punitive damages may be awarded in a nursing home abuse or neglect case if the defendant acted with willful negligence or malice. For example, if a resident is neglected, abused or injured, the plaintiff could pursue economic and non-economic damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

In addition, if the nursing home acted with fraud, the plaintiff could also seek punitive damages. However, the process is complex and slow. It’s important to hire an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the law and who will be able to identify all options for justice.

A good personal injury lawyer from Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel in Tacoma can help you determine whether or not you have a case. They can also assist you with filing a lawsuit and recovering damages. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a nursing home, contact an attorney at EPIC Law to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Punitive damages are the largest source of recovery for plaintiffs in a nursing home abuse or neglect case. However, they require strong evidence that the defendant’s misconduct was gross or intentional.

Other types of damages include economic and non-economic damages. These damages can be small shares of the total settlement.

In addition, a private lawsuit can offer compensation for the victim and encourage institutional change. This is especially true if the nursing home was guilty of intentional conduct.

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from any form of abuse at a nursing home call one of our expert attorneys at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel.