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Nursing Home Abuse vs. Neglect: What Is the Difference?

When most people think of nursing home abuse, they picture a scenario in which a caregiver physically harms an elderly patient.

While this type of abuse certainly does occur, it is not the only form of mistreatment that can take place in a nursing home setting. Nursing home neglect, while it may be a less apparent or more passive action, can be more common and have just as serious effects on nursing home residents.

What is the difference between abuse and neglect, and how can you tell if your loved one is being mistreated? If you suspect your loved one has suffered mistreatment while in a nursing home, the Jefferson City, Missouri, Personal Injury Attorneys with Call & Gentry Law Group can advise you of your legal rights and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is any intentional or unintentional harm that a caregiver inflicts on an elderly patient. Unlike elder abuse by a family member, nursing home abuse can be perpetrated by anyone, including an unlicensed assistant who has regular contact with the victim. It generally occurs in institutional settings and requires only minimal contact and knowledge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nursing home abuse can include several types of maltreatment, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Isolation or abandonment

Personal injury lawyers can evaluate your situation and help you decide the best way to pursue a case against anyone responsible for the abuse of your loved one while in a nursing home. Attorneys can use their training and experienced understanding of nursing home abuse to communicate the various forms of mistreatments that happen at nursing homes and what steps you can take to ensure your loved one is protected.

What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

While nursing home abuse refers to any maltreatment in a nursing home setting, neglect describes the failure to provide primary care for a resident. Caregivers can neglect their patients by failing to feed them properly, providing inadequate medical attention, allowing them to fall, or withholding medication. As such, there does not need to be physical evidence of neglect; it can take place behind closed doors.

What Should You Do After Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, gather as much evidence as possible. Evidence can include photographs of injuries, eyewitness accounts of abuse or neglect, or videos of unclean or poorly maintained rooms that your loved one is expected to occupy. Once you are ready, contact local authorities to report the incident. If you have any evidence of maltreatment — such as photographs or witness accounts — bring this with you when reporting the crime.

What Can a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Do for Your Case?

Implications of neglect are often life-threatening and difficult to prove. The qualified Jefferson City, Missouri, Personal Injury Attorneys with Call & Gentry Law Group can examine all of the evidence and work with you and your loved one to secure justice, answer questions, address concerns, and more. A knowledgeable nursing home neglect attorney can also improve the overall outcome of your case.

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