Solomon & Relihan Offers Advice on Detecting Nursing Home Abuse

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In order to stop nursing home abuse, it must first be detected by residents' family members. Abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, mental anguish, and emotional pain, and often be difficult to notice at first. However, by following a few simple tips, family members and friends of nursing home residents can detect and report abuse before it is too late.

Before nursing home abuse can be stopped, it must be recognized by the families who entrusted the care of a loved one to a nursing home. According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, elder abuse refers to knowing, intentional, or negligent acts by a caregiver that cause harm — or a serious risk of harm — to a vulnerable adult. Elder abuse doesn't discriminate. It affects people of all ethnicities, nationalities, and social statuses, both men and women.

Elder abuse is more than just a physical injury. In nursing homes, the abuse comes in many forms: physical harm, mental anguish, emotional pain, and even sexual exploitation.

  •      Physical abuse: Nursing home abuse can cause a wide range of injuries, including bruises, bed sores, broken bones and even death.
  •      Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse happens when nursing home staff inflict mental pain and distress on a vulnerable person. This can happen through actions or emotionally abusive words.
  •      Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse can — and does — happen in nursing homes. Behaviors defined as sexual abuse include a wide range of harms. From forced nudity to sexual assault, they include any non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  •      Nursing home neglect: Nursing home neglect is the failure to provide a vulnerable person with food, water, medication, medical services, or other services necessary to maintain minimum physical or mental health. The duty to provide these essentials lies with anyone who took responsibility for vulnerable adult's care.

The Law on Nursing Home Abuse

Vulnerable adults are protected by state and federal laws. The Arizona Adult Protective Services Act is designed to protect people who are substantially impaired or otherwise unable to protect themselves from abuse and neglect. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act also protects nursing home residents by establishing quality of care standards all nursing homes must meet.

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Martin Solomon
Solomon & Relihan
(602) 635-1532
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