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What Is The Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect?


There are many statistics on the incidence of nursing home neglect and abuse in Florida and throughout the US, but data also indicates that the problem exists on a global scale. A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 1 in 6 individuals living in assisted living facilities suffered some form of mistreatment in the last 12 months. Shockingly, two-thirds of staff in the community setting admitted that they engaged in wrongful acts. Nursing home injuries can lead to physical harm, but there are also long-term emotional and psychological consequences.

Mistreatment of nursing home residents is horrific, but you may not realize that there are different types of conduct that can lead to harm. Abuse is unacceptable, but neglect is also intolerable. BOTH are actionable under medical malpractice laws, so you should trust a Miami nursing home injury attorney for legal help. A comparison of nursing home abuse and neglect is also useful.

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse

The key distinction between these two forms of nursing home misconduct is the intent behind the wrongful act. With nursing home abuse, the situation involves intentional, deliberate conduct that leads to injuries for the resident. Examples include physical acts, such as slapping, hitting, punching, or pushing. Nursing home abuse could also come in the form of using physical restraints in inappropriate or unlawful situations.

Signs to watch for nursing home abuse include:

  • Bruises, broken bones, abrasions, and physical injuries
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections that indicate sexual abuse.
  • Ligature marks around the wrists and ankles
  • Isolation, mood changes, angry outbursts, and fearfulness exhibited by the resident

Injuries from Nursing Home Neglect

Staff at Florida assisted living facilities can also cause nursing home injuries through neglect, i.e., a lack of action to handle required caretaking tasks. Staff may engage in passive forms of neglect, which is common when the circumstances indicate understaffing. Neglect can also be intentional, though not in the same way as abuse. An employee may purposefully decide not to perform tasks, also leading to injuries.

It could be a situation of nursing home neglect if you observe:

  • Unlocked doors, open gates, and a lack of other external security measures
  • Dirty, unkempt common areas and dining facilities
  • The resident has missed medications or related issues
  • Filth, dust, and grime in private resident rooms
  • The resident experiences weight loss or dehydration
  • Soiled sheets, towels, and linens
  • A lack of hygiene for the resident, such as unwashed hair, body, and teeth
  • Missing or broken assistive devices, including glasses, walkers, and wheelchairs

You should also be concerned if the facility refuses to allow guests or access to the resident. The nursing home could be hiding the injuries from both neglect and abuse.

Get Legal Help from a Florida Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

At the end of the day, it is possible to recover compensation whenever neglect or abuse leads to nursing home injuries. To learn more about your rights, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL to review your circumstances and determine how to proceed.



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