Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes are designed to provide high-quality care to residents whose families cannot care for their elderly or disabled loved ones on their own. However, those at nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be at risk of abuse and neglect.

At Sokolove Law, we’ve recovered over $273 Million for nursing home abuse victims and their families. Call (800) 995-1212 now to find out if our nursing home lawyers can help your family.

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What Is Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Nursing home abuse and neglect refers to the mistreatment of residents in long-term care facilities, which can cause a decline in their physical and mental health. In serious cases, nursing home abuse may also result in death.

Nursing home abuse and neglect have been nationally recognized problems since the 1970s, according to the U.S. National Research Council.

Families often have no choice but to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home, particularly if they require round-the-clock care. While most families trust their loved one will be well taken care of in these facilities, tragically, that’s not always the case.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

  • 1 in 10 adults who are 60 years old or older will experience elder abuse in a community setting, according to the World Health Organization.
  • 44% of senior citizens in long-term care settings suffer abuse in some way, but only an estimated 7% of the cases are reported, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • 2 in 3 nursing home staff members admitted to committing abuse in the last year, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Around 95% of nursing home residents have suffered neglect or witnessed it, according to an Atlanta Long-Term Care Ombudsman study.

By filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit against those responsible, you may be able to seek justice on your loved one's behalf and prevent others from suffering in the future.

Contact us now to see if our nursing home abuse attorneys can help. For over 45 years, we've fought for those harmed through no fault of their own.

Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

In nursing homes, staff members are trusted with the task of caring for vulnerable residents. However, not all employees provide residents with the care they deserve.

Residents can suffer the following types of abuse in nursing homes:

  • Physical abuse, like hitting, slapping, pushing, or otherwise using force to cause harm
  • Neglect that leads to malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and more
  • Sexual abuse or assault, which can be carried out by medical staff, other residents, visitors, and more
  • Emotional abuse, which can include yelling, threats, or insults
  • Financial abuse, when someone steals or uses a resident’s money
  • Social isolation caused by depriving residents of interactions or relationships, which can lead to depression and feelings of loneliness

No matter what form it takes, nursing home abuse can have serious consequences and is wholly unacceptable.

If you suspect abuse, it's important to take action as soon as possible to safeguard the well-being and dignity of a nursing home resident you love.

Nursing Home Abuse - Connect With an Attorney Video Thumbnail
Video Summary: At Sokolove Law, nursing home abuse attorneys can help you understand if abuse or neglect took place.

Speaker 1 (00:01):
Access to Justice, powered by Sokolove Law.

Jim Sokolove (00:05):
The circumstance surrounding placing a loved one in a nursing home are sudden and often very emotional for families. As a result, little advanced planning is done to prepare for this decision, leaving families scrambling for options. Congressional reports revealed that over 30% of the 17,000 nursing homes nationwide were cited for abuse violations over just one, two year period. The abuse may include neglect of basic needs, untreated malnutrition or dehydration. Other signs include unexplained bruises, bedsores, cuts and broken bones. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to assist you in determining whether or not your loved one is suffering nursing home abuse. He may be able to help you seek the financial compensation you and your family needs and deserve.

How Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help

At Sokolove Law, our nursing home abuse lawyers have decades of experience helping families stand up to facilities that caused their loved ones to suffer.

We may be able to help you file a legal claim and pursue compensation for medical bills, transfer to a safer facility, and other expenses.

Our experienced team can:

  • Collect documents, witness testimonies, and medical records to build your case
  • Negotiate a nursing home abuse settlement on your behalf
  • Hold the abusers accountable for the harm they caused

There are no hourly fees or out-of-pocket costs to work with our nursing home abuse attorneys, so you can get help regardless of your financial circumstances.

General lawyers may not have the resources or experience to handle your case properly. With Sokolove Law, your attorney will have the skills needed to navigate your case and secure justice on your behalf.

Learn More About Your Options

Our experienced nursing home lawyers can help you understand your legal options during a free case review. Let us try to find out what happened — and work to get you answers.

Get a Free Case Review

Our Past Results for Nursing Home Abuse Victims

As of July 2024, our elder abuse attorneys have secured more than $273 Million in nursing home settlements nationwide.

While the average nursing home abuse settlement is around $400,000, we've recovered much higher payouts for many clients.

A few of our past results for victims and their families include:

  • $2.2 Million for an elderly woman in Rhode Island who suffered a heart attack
  • $2 Million for a California woman with dementia who passed away after being denied care
  • $1.75 Million for an elderly Massachusetts man who died in a fire caused by neglect
  • $1.5 Million for a woman in Minnesota with stage 4 bedsores
  • $1.11 Million for a Florida woman who suffered a heart attack
  • $1.18 Million for an Indiana nursing home patient
  • $2 Million to a Massachusetts woman who died from an unchanged catheter that became infected

While there’s never a guarantee of compensation, our nursing home abuse lawyers will fight hard to get you everything you’re entitled to.

Call (800) 995-1212 now to find out if you may qualify for a nursing home abuse settlement. It costs nothing to speak with us.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one is in a long-term care facility, recognizing the warning signs of nursing home abuse is crucial in order to protect their well-being.

In cases of nursing home abuse, there’s often no clear or reasonable explanation for an elderly person’s injuries. These signs should be taken seriously and investigated to determine if abuse has occurred.

Physical injuries and signs of abuse can include: 

  • Broken bones or fractures, which can be the result of lifting a patient from their bed improperly or a fall caused by an unsafe environment
  • Bruising from being hit or handled roughly
  • Concussions or brain injuries caused by a blow to the head or from falling when unattended
  • Cuts or lacerations, which lead to serious infections if left untreated
  • Spinal cord injuries after being dropped, pushed, or left without necessary mobility aids

Recognizing these signs is crucial for protecting the well-being of nursing home residents. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should report your concerns and seek legal assistance to ensure your loved one's safety and rights are protected.

Abused seniors have a 300% higher risk of death compared to those who were not mistreated, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

It cannot be overstated: If you know the signs of nursing home abuse, you can be the one to end it.

Signs of Neglect in Care Facilities

Nursing home neglect is often caused by a caregiver’s lack of action or attention that results in injuries or a decline in quality of life.

Signs of neglect in care facilities include: 

  • Bedsores caused by not regularly repositioning a patient
  • Dehydration or malnourishment
  • Infections if equipment isn’t sterilized or changed frequently
  • Medication errors or a failure to provide medical care
  • Poor hygiene from infrequent bathing or lack of assistance with personal care
  • Soiled bedding that has not been changed

If you notice any of these signs when visiting your loved one, it’s important to voice your concerns and ensure they receive the support and care they rightfully deserve.

Emotional Changes

If your loved one acts differently while you’re visiting or speaking on the phone with them, these emotional changes may be a sign they’re being mistreated.

Emotional changes that may be signs of nursing home abuse or neglect include: 

  • Agitation, withdrawal, or fear
  • Complaints of poor treatment
  • Frequent crying
  • Sudden personality changes

These changes may be the result of severe distress or trauma, which could be caused by a physical attack, emotional manipulation, or even sexual assault.

Consider asking your loved one about what’s going on and investigating further to determine the cause of these emotional changes. You may uncover instances of nursing home abuse or neglect.

What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?

Not all nursing homes can provide the same level of care to their patients. Some facilities lack the resources and oversight needed to ensure all residents receive the treatment they deserve.

One of the main causes of nursing home abuse is understaffing. Around 94% of nursing homes are understaffed, according to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.

Unfortunately, nursing home staff are not immune to the challenges that arise from understaffing and poor management. Sometimes, intentional abuse occurs.

Nursing home abuse can result from:

  • A lack of management or supervision
  • Burnout among workers
  • Improper training for newly hired staff members
  • Staffing shortages

Management may intentionally reduce the number of workers on each shift to cut costs, or they may struggle to hire and retain new nursing home employees.

When nursing homes are chronically understaffed, employees are left to work long, hard hours, and they may feel overwhelmed and unable to take care of their many residents.

Contact our team now if you believe your loved one was abused or neglected. We may be able to help you secure compensation.

Nursing Home Abuse Liability

When nursing home abuse occurs, an attorney can help you figure out who may be legally responsible and hold them accountable for your loved one’s suffering.

While the abuse may have only been carried out by one staff member, nursing home administrators and corporations that operate long-term care facilities may also be to blame.

Systemic issues like budget cuts can lead to understaffing or poor hiring and training practices, which can all play a role in nursing home abuse.

Our attorneys can identify who may be at fault for a nursing home resident’s injuries. We are compassionate with those who turn to us — and relentless with those who’ve done them wrong.

Get the Help Your Family Deserves

We’ve secured over $273 Million victims of nursing home abuse and their loved ones. Let us fight for your family.

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Nursing Home Abuse Risk Factors

Many factors can make nursing home residents vulnerable and put them at an increased risk of abuse or neglect. Recognizing and understanding these risk factors may help family members and caregivers recognize the warning signs of mistreatment sooner.

1. Cognitive Impairment

Elderly citizens may be at higher risk of abuse if they have health problems that make it harder for them to speak up. For example, a resident with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may not be able to tell you if another resident or nursing home employee has hurt them.

Approximately 31% of adults with dementia living in a community setting will experience multiple forms of abuse, according to the National Library of Medicine.

2. Gender

In general, women are at an increased risk of nursing home abuse compared to men. Women are notably more likely to experience sexual abuse by staff members or fellow residents.

In fact, 93.2% of nursing home sexual abuse victims are women, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

3. Limited Mobility

Patients who are physically handicapped may need to rely on staff members for help using the restroom, bathing, moving, and completing other daily activities.

If staff members fail to provide adequate assistance, residents may be at risk of developing bedsores or having their needs neglected.

4. Social Isolation

Residents who lack family or community support networks may be more likely to experience abuse or neglect in a nursing home setting.

Without others monitoring their condition or advocating on their behalf, these residents may be at risk of their mistreatment going unnoticed or unaddressed.

5. Socioeconomic Status

Individuals with a lower socioeconomic status may not be able to afford a high-quality nursing home with the resources to provide them with the care they need.

Limited financial means can restrict their options, forcing them to choose a facility without the best reputation — and this could put them at risk of abuse or neglect.

By filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit, you may be able to secure compensation to move your loved one to a safer facility.

Call (800) 995-1212 now to get started. Let us fight for the justice you deserve.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

Reporting nursing home abuse is a crucial step toward holding a facility and the abusers who work there accountable. This can bring about positive changes in the nursing home and protect other residents from harm.

As many as 24% of nursing home abuse incidents go unreported, according to the Department of Justice.

If you suspect someone’s life is in immediate danger, always call 911. In all abuse cases, the health of the victim should be the biggest priority.

To report nursing home abuse, you can contact: 

  • Adult Protective Services (APS) or the Department of Public Health
  • Local, state, or national authorities
  • Ombudsmen, who listen to the concerns of nursing home residents and work toward solutions

Many states will allow you to file a report for nursing home abuse anonymously. This can help residents or families who fear retaliation or repercussions for speaking out about their concerns.

Once the abuse is reported, you may also wish to take legal action and seek justice for the abuse that took place.

Contact Sokolove Law to see if you may qualify for compensation from a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Sokolove Law: A Trusted Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for Over 45 Years

At Sokolove Law, our nursing home abuse lawyers have decades of experience fighting for justice on behalf of abused or neglected senior citizens and their loved ones.

As a national nursing home abuse law firm, we can help families in all 50 states take legal action for elder neglect or abuse.

Our team has recovered over $273 Million for nursing home residents and their loved ones nationwide.

There are no hourly fees or out-of-pocket costs to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit with Sokolove Law. We can work tirelessly on your behalf, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

Call (800) 995-1212 now or fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation case review.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect FAQs

What is considered abuse in a nursing home?

Generally speaking, any physical injury or harm experienced by a senior citizen in a long-term care facility may be considered nursing home abuse.

This may include hitting or slapping, neglect that leads to bedsores and infections, or sexual assault.

Contact Sokolove Law now if you or a loved one is suffering abuse in a nursing home. We may be able to help you hold the abusers accountable and prevent them from hurting others.

What is nursing home negligence or neglect?

Nursing home negligence or neglect is when staff members don’t provide adequate care to residents. 

Neglect in nursing homes can include not: 

  • Administering the correct medications
  • Attending to a resident’s personal hygiene needs
  • Moving immobile patients, causing them to develop bedsores
  • Properly supervising residents, leading to falls or other incidents
  • Providing food and water, resulting in malnutrition or dehydration

Inaction by staff members can result in a resident’s physical and emotional decline, and, in severe cases, may also lead to wrongful death.

How common is nursing home abuse?

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is all too common. Approximately 1 in 6 residents over the age of 60 have experienced abuse in the past year, according to the World Health Organization.

By filing a lawsuit against abusers and the facilities that enable them, we may be able to reduce the rate of abuse occurring in nursing homes nationwide.

What are the types of nursing home abuse?

Abuse in nursing homes can present itself in many ways, like acts of physical violence or a failure to meet a resident’s basic needs.

The types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual assault

Contact Sokolove Law now if you believe your loved one was abused in a nursing home. We may be able to help you hold the abusers accountable and prevent them from hurting others.

What is the most common type of nursing home abuse?

Emotional abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes. In some cases, emotional abuse can eventually lead to more severe forms of abuse, including physical violence.

Pay close attention to verbal threats, derogatory remarks, or attempts to humiliate and ridicule a resident. These may be warning signs that the abuse could soon escalate.

Why do abuse and neglect occur in nursing homes?

A lack of resources and professional supervision can contribute to the climbing rates of abuse and neglect in nursing homes.

Staff members may be more likely to abuse or neglect residents if they:

  • Are overworked or burned out
  • Do not receive the proper training
  • Lack supervision or management
  • Work in an understaffed facility

Regardless of why it happens, nobody deserves to be abused in a nursing home.

Call (800) 995-1212 now to see if you may be able to take legal action over the harm your loved one experienced.

How do you prove abuse or neglect happened?

You may be able to work with an experienced nursing home attorney who can investigate and collect evidence to prove abuse or neglect happened.

This evidence may include:

  • Medical records
  • Photos and videos
  • Staff logs
  • Witness testimony

A nursing home may try to cover up any instances of abuse that took place, so it’s important to document anything related to your loved one’s injury and seek legal help as soon as possible.

What are nursing home abuse injuries to look out for?

Nursing home abuse injuries to look out for include:

  • Bedsores
  • Broken bones, fractures, or sprains
  • Bruises or cuts
  • Head injuries

If the cause of your loved one’s injury is unclear, it may be a sign of nursing home abuse. It’s important to thoroughly investigate the cause of all injuries to determine if abuse may have occurred.

What is your responsibility following suspected abuse in a nursing home?

If you suspect abuse is occurring in a nursing home, it’s your responsibility to report it immediately in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.

Many nursing home residents are unable to properly advocate for themselves. By speaking up, you can be their voice and help them get the care they deserve.

How can I get help for my family member or loved one?

To help a family member or loved one, you can report the abuse to the authorities and move them to a safer facility.

You may also want to contact a nursing home abuse attorney who can fight for compensation on their behalf, which can be used to help pay for medical bills and other expenses.

Lawsuits for nursing home abuse do more than punish the person at fault — they can prevent the abuser from ever harming another victim.

Surprise Inspections Reveal Questionable Care at VA Nursing Homes
$273,956,516.23

In total nationwide, our firm has recovered over $273 Million for elders tragically abused and neglected in nursing homes.

News Related to Nursing Home Abuse

  1. AHCA NCAL. “Survey: 94 Percent of Nursing Homes Face Staffing Shortages.” Retrieved from: https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Survey-94-Percent-of-Nursing-Homes-Face-Staffing-Shortages.aspx. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  2. Gitnux. “Statistics About The Average Nursing Home Neglect Settlement.” Retrieved from: https://gitnux.org/average-nursing-home-neglect-settlement/. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  3. Health Affairs. “The Rise Of Nursing Home Litigation: Findings From A National Survey Of Attorneys.” Retrieved from: https://www.healthaffairs.org/journal/hlthaff. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  4. National Council on Aging. "Get the Facts on Elder Abuse." Retrieved from: https://www.ncoa.org/article/get-the-facts-on-elder-abuse. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  5. National Library of Medicine. “Elder Abuse in Residential Long-Term Care Settings: What Is Known and What Information Is Needed?” Retrieved from: ​​https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98786/. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  6. National Library of Medicine. "Physical abuse of older adults in nursing homes: a random sample survey of adults with an elderly family member in a nursing home." Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22206513/. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  7. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Preventing The Abuse Of Residents With Dementia Or Alzheimer’s Disease In The Long-Term Care Setting: A Systematic Review." Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6816079/. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  8. National Library of Medicine. “The prevalence of elder abuse and risk factors: a cross-sectional study of community older adults.” Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10544121/#:~:text=Studies%20have%20shown%20that%20several,with%20elder%20abuse%20%5B13%5D. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  9. Office of Justice Programs. “Elderly Victims of Sexual Abuse and Their Offenders.” Retrieved from: https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/216550.pdf. Accessed on May 29, 2024.
  10. World Health Organization. "Abuse of older people." Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/abuse-of-older-people. Accessed on May 29, 2024.