This overview will cover the basics. Be aware, though, that if your loved one is abused, you could potentially take legal action to seek compensation on their behalf.
How Common Are Nursing Home and Home Health Aide Abuse and Neglect?
Statistics indicate that abuse in nursing homes and at the hands of home health aides is not particularly uncommon. For instance, according to one study from the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, from 1999 to 2001, approximately one in three nursing homes in the U.S. received citations for neglect.
Neglect is also relatively common among home health aides. A study by the National Council on Aging indicates one in 10 Americans over 60 years of age has experienced some form of abuse at the hands of a caregiver.
What Do Nursing Home and Home Health Aide Abuse and Neglect Involve?
Nursing home and home health aide neglect and abuse can take a range of forms. Common examples include the following:
Direct physical abuse, such as hitting
Neglect, in which a caregiver fails to adequately provide for the needs of elderly person
Emotional abuse, such as yelling or belittling
Medical neglect, in which caregivers fail to account for the medical needs of a patient or resident
Financial abuse/exploitation, which may occur if a caregiver steals from an elderly person or coerces them into giving their money, possessions, or assets freely
Isolating a patient or resident from others
Be aware that a loved one who is abused or neglected may be reluctant to speak about their experiences due to fear. If they struggle with dementia, limited cognition, memory troubles, or other such difficulties, they also might not thoroughly understand they’re being abused, or they may even forget that abuse has occurred.
Thus, if you strongly suspect a loved one is the victim of abuse, don’t take their word for it if they insist you’re mistaken. Investigate the matter further and strongly consider removing your loved one from the potentially dangerous situation as soon as possible.