A Guide to Nursing Home Abuse

When a resident in a nursing home experiences impairment, injury or suffers physical pain, this qualifies as physical abuse. Many people are experiencing intentional abuse of a nursing home resident, and it remains among the most common forms of abuse and hardly gets the attention it deserves. In as much as there are cases of other forms of abuse such as financial, physical abuse remains the most dangerous as it can result in injuries that are life-threatening.

Millions of people reside in nursing homes across the nation. Of this figure, stats show that one in three can confess to having undergone abuse. Over 95 percent claim that, in one instance or another, they have witnessed abuse happening to a fellow resident. Senior citizens who have undergone abuse are at a 300 percent higher risk of passing away.

Who are the Abusers in the Nursing Homes?

senior citizenThe main abusers are the visiting family members, home caregivers, and other residents. Physical abuse in nursing arises from mistreating or neglect of patients. Some forms of abuse are done intentionally due to frustration. Looking at the situation carefully, we discover that most nursing homes are understaffed and the available personnel are inadequately trained. This creates a conducive environment for unintended negligence. Unfortunately, the effects of unintentional abuse are just as severe as intentional abuse.

Visiting family members can unintentionally perpetuate abuse. This puts the caregivers in a tight spot as they remain unable to remedy the situation. Notwithstanding, they try their best to keep the patients’ interest first and go out of their way to make them comfortable. Sometimes, family members might commit elder abuse, especially if there was a frosty relationship several years back.

Other nursing home residents too are responsible for many abuse cases. This happens when supervisory staff members are absent and hardly gets reported. Stats show that resident abuse cases are experienced in almost every retirement home countrywide.

What Are Some Types of Physical Abuse?

Some forms of abuse are physical neglect, active abuse, and the misuse of restraints. Active abuse can be easily spotted, for instance, pushing, kicking, or slapping. It is usually intentional, and the aim is to inflict injury or pain.

Misusing restraints is another form of federal nursing regulations. It remains very common in nursing homes nationwide. The purpose of restraints is for medical assistance. When they turn into a tool for discipline or convenience, they put the patient at risk. Those trying to free themselves from such restraints might incur leg or wrist injuries on their bodies. In addition, the restraints can result in reduced mass, muscular disorders, and lower muscle tones.


Physical neglect qualifies as a form of abuse and is unintentional in several cases. This arises from the fact that a good number of homes are understaffed and lack adequate resources to facilitate their nursing requirements. Examples of physical neglect are: not providing adequate clothing, food, or a sanitary environment, where the patient can reside and maintain their dignity.


If you see any indication that your loved one might be undergoing physical abuse in their nursing home, immediately raise it up with the staff. Let them investigate and get to the bottom of the issue. If dissatisfied with their final resolution, transfer the patient to another nursing home, where you feel they will be treated better.…