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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is the Most Common Nursing Home Abuse Type? A Guide for Victims and Their Loved Ones

Nursing home staff members pledge to protect the elderly. However, this doesn't always happen. Unfortunately, abuse plagues numerous assisted living facilities.

Whether it's verbal abuse, exploitation, psychological abuse, or neglect, the elderly and their families might suffer consequences that can hinder their capacity to enjoy life.

If someone suspects their loved one is suffering from abuse, they can call Adult Protective Services to check on them as soon as possible. However, on a long-term basis, the best idea is to file a legal claim, and for that, people will need a lawyer.

In this article, victims will get vital information about the most common types of abuse in elder facilities, such as nursing home neglect, exploitation, and physical harm. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions such as, "What is considered abuse by a nurse?"

Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse and neglect can cause an elder person to develop different symptoms. They can range from anxiety and depression to engaging in self-harming behaviors.

Even though nursing homes should protect the elderly, sometimes, people with malicious intentions are in there and cause others pain. Overall, there are a few signs families should look out for, and they're the following:

  • The elder person is withdrawn, nervous, or crying for no apparent reason.

  • Finding cuts, bruises, abrasions, and other signs that might indicate physical nursing home abuse.

  • Noticing the person's appearance looks disheveled and dirty.

  • Missing items or money.

Since there are different types of nursing home abuse and neglect, families should not only be aware of the signs but also know what they might be dealing with. Here are the most common types.

Emotional Abuse

Sadly, emotional abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes. It consists of inflicting pain, anguish, or distress through nonverbal and verbal acts, for example, insulting, threatening, isolating, humiliating, and harassing. Some of the most frequent examples are:

  • Yelling at a nursing home resident when they can't remember something or make a mistake.

  • Making fun of nursing home residents who can't tend to themselves, are confused, or make mistakes.

  • Threatening nursing home residents with isolation from their family members and friends.

  • Falsely telling residents that their friends and family members don't want to see them or don't care about them.

  • Withholding food, access to basic hygiene, or hydration from nursing home residents.

People who experience this type of nursing home abuse will probably feel depressed, anxious, or become withdrawn.

Even though emotional abuse is not physical harm, it can result in severe and long-lasting consequences.


It's one of the elder abuse cases that can lead to the worst kind of psychological harm. If residents are unable to care for themselves, it can also lead to physical consequences because they might fall as a result of not receiving care, or be involved in other types of accidents.

Abandonment can happen if a resident is alone in their room for an extended time or if they're without a caretaker elsewhere.

It's a type of nursing home neglect, and it can lead the person to experience long-lasting psychological symptoms, such as paranoia, anxiety, depression, fear, and others.

Physical Abuse

It involves recklessly, intentionally, or negligently inflicting bodily harm. Therefore, physical abuse includes forms of contact, for example, shoving, hitting, and pushing.

However, physical abuse also involves residents enduring pressure sores and other kinds of injuries.

Furthermore, using physical or chemical restraints is also a type of physical nursing home abuse.

Sexual Abuse

It includes all forms of non-consensual sexual contact, and it's true whether perpetrators do it via threat, force, the nursing home resident's incapacity, or other means.

Inappropriate communications, unwanted sexual advances, and showing residents sexually explicit videos and images are all forms of sexual abuse.

As with many other issues, a nursing home might be liable if victims and their families prove that sexual abuse happened because employees failed to protect residents.

Exploitation and Financial Abuse

It can involve stealing someone's property or money, overcharging nursing home residents, using their online accounts or credit cards, coercing them to sign documents or checks, and relying on any other means to gain access to their assets.

In some cases, staff members perpetrate financial abuse on behalf of the nursing home. If victims prove it, they could get compensation, especially if the facility is part of a multi-place corporation since they probably have centers in other locations. They might do the same there, too.

On other occasions, employees perpetrate financial abuse for personal benefit. When that happens, victims are able to file a personal lawsuit against the employee, but they can also make a legal claim against the facility for not having protected them against the situation.

Neglect and Self-neglect

Under the laws in many states, nursing home neglect is a form of abuse. Common examples of the things the staff needs to provide include:

  • Adequate hydration and nutrition.

  • Medication and assistance with it.

  • Necessary assistance with hygiene and restroom use.

  • The correct help to reposition immobile residents to prevent bed sores.

According to many laws, another type of nursing home neglect is self-neglect. If residents engage in these behaviors, the facility may be held liable.

Self-neglect can happen as a consequence of other types of elder abuse. It happens when a resident is left alone to care for themselves, which may cause them to harm themselves in different ways. Consequently, it's damaging to their physical and mental health.

Taking Legal Action

Taking Legal Action

Nursing home abuse can lead the person to suffer long-lasting and life-altering consequences. Therefore, the best option is to take legal action against the perpetrator and the facility. Schuerger Shunnarah can also answer questions like, "What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse in Tennessee?"

According to the World Health Organization, psychological abuse, for example, might cause the person to develop trauma symptoms that will alter how they think and behave.

Nursing homes must protect their residents. Therefore, if victims can prove that someone else's abusive or negligent behavior caused harm, they may get compensation.

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims and their families go through the legal process of filing a claim and going to court if necessary.

At Schuerger Shunnarah, people can find the ideal nursing home abuse attorney to help them with their cases. They'll go to war for them, and make sure that the at-fault party pays for what they did.


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