It should go without saying that the elderly and vulnerable should be treated with compassion and respect, yet in some cases, they are not. Nursing home abuse is a serious concern for anyone placing a loved one in a nursing home. Around 3.2 million Americans live in nursing homes around the country, so many hundreds or thousands of people could be affected by abuse at any one time without the right precautions in place.
Nursing home neglect isn't just violence. It can include things like failing to feed or provide food to residents. It could mean failing to protect a resident from the elements. Failing to provide bathing services to residents or failing to help them to the bathroom when they need it are both potential causes for a negligence claim.
Residents have a right to timely medical care and to have supervision by the medical providers and staff members on site. The residents also have a right to have appropriate clothing, and assistance putting it on, so they feel comfortable at the facility.
Nursing home neglect can fall under criminal or civil laws, depending on if a person suffers an injury due to neglect or what kind of neglect was faced. For instance, hitting or defrauding a patient would be a criminal act, whereas accidentally forgetting a patient's important medical consultation would be a negligent act covered by civil law.
Families have a right to know that their loved ones are treated kindly and with respect. If negligence takes place, they can file a civil lawsuit and may call police for an investigation.
Source: FindLaw, "Is Nursing Home Neglect Legal?," accessed Feb. 16, 2017