The Different Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

When you place your elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home, it is with the belief that the staff will provide them the medical attention and care that you couldn’t at your home. However, nursing home abuse is a growing concern that can put the health and safety of your aging loved ones in danger if not addressed promptly.

According to estimates made by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about two million individuals who are 65 years of age or older in the United States who are residents of one of the 16,000 nursing homes. Unfortunately, with the increasing number of patients, the probability of the elderly receiving proper attention and medical care decreases significantly, making it a major cause of concern.

The Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse, also known as elder abuse, refers to the injuries or ill-treatment suffered by an aging or elderly person at a nursing home. The following are some common types of elder abuse that aging people suffer from in nursing homes:

Emotional Abuse

In this type of abuse, people treat or speak to aging individuals in ways that result in emotional distress or pain. It is also known as mental and psychological abuse, and includes:

  • Ignoring the elderly person
  • Habitual scapegoating or blaming
  • Ridicule and humiliation
  • Intimidation through threats or yelling
  • Terrorizing the elderly person
  • Isolating the elderly person from friends or family, or from taking part in activities

Physical Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse defines physical abuse as, any physical force used on an elderly person that might result in pain, injury, or impairment. Some examples of physical abuse include pushing, violently shaking, forced feeding, whipping, kicking, slapping, punching, hitting, and burning. Moreover, confinement, restraints, and the inappropriate use of drugs also falls under this category.

Financial Abuse

The elderly are highly susceptible to financial exploitation and fraud. When the residents of a nursing home have health issues, like poor eyesight or failing mental capacity, they often have to rely on others to perform basic tasks such as writing checks, managing bank accounts, and reading mails. This reliance makes them an easy target for financial abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse refers to the unwanted or forced sexual activity, in which the perpetrator engages the elderly person through deception, brute force, threats, or taking advantage of their mental or physical incapacity. Sexual abuse can involve exposure to genitalia, unwelcome kissing, unwanted touch, molestation, fondling, penetrative intercourse, and other acts.

Healthcare Abuse and Fraud

This type of abuse is carried out by nursing home personnel, nurses, doctors, and other professional care providers. The following are some examples of healthcare abuse and fraud relating to elderly people:

  • Overcharging for medical care services
  • Charging for medical care or services, but not providing them
  • Undermedicating or overmedicating
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Recommending unnecessary drugs or treatments for medical conditions

Personal Injury Attorney

If your elderly loved one has suffered from any kind of nursing home abuse, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the facility. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm and evaluate your options.

Are Nursing Homes Really a Safe Place for your Loved One?

For most families, there comes a time when they have to make the heartrending decision of admitting their elderly loved one in a nursing home. But nowadays, there have been an increasing number of cases in which nursing homes have been accused of and sued for negligence in giving proper care. Just recently, a case was filed against a nursing home in which a female patient died because of allegedly receiving improper care. The lawsuit was against Presence RHC Senior Services in which the cause of the woman’s death was said to be carelessness and negligence by the nursing home staff.

This is just one case to give an idea of how severe the consequences can be of nursing home neglect. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 1,800 elderly patients die because of this reason. So this begs the question, “Are nursing homes really safe for your loved one?”

Basic Types of Negligence

  • There are several causes due to which incidents happen in nursing homes, and they vary among individual cases. However, they can be broadly categorized into the following four types:
  • Medical Negligence: This may include nursing home fails due to inadequate attention, medication, or prevention against medical conditions such as infections, cognitive diseases, diabetes, mobility issues, cuts, and bed sores.
  • Personal Hygiene Negligence: This may include unsanitary conditions of rooms and other areas of the nursing home, and lack of proper hygiene practices such as brushing, bathing, cleaning, changing clothes, and laundry.
  • Emotional Negligence: This may include patients being repeatedly ignored, left alone, and harshly treated by the staff.
  • Basic Needs Negligence: This may include depriving patients of a safe environment, clean water, and hygienic food.

Other reasons, which may contribute to causing incidents in nursing homes, include:

Incorrect Evaluation by a Doctor

It is understandable that accidents, like fall or any other type of injury, do happen, no matter how many patient safety and care standards are put in place by an assisted living facility. But there have been cases where the doctors failed to correctly diagnose the patient’s condition and prescribed wrong treatments, leading to worsening the injuries. In the aforementioned case, it was ruled out that the on-duty doctor didn’t evaluate the woman’s condition properly, due to which her health deteriorated. Unfortunately, this is one of the leading causes for incidents in nursing homes.


Another common reason for improper care in nursing homes is understaffing. Assisted living facilities that have high employee turnover are forced to hire inexperienced or untrained employees, resulting in poor or insufficient care. Moreover, the management can also be at fault in such cases because they fail to give proper guidance and training about standard healthcare procedures to the newly hired staff.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

If your elderly loved one has suffered from any injury or has been mistreated in the nursing home, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the facility. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm and evaluate your options.

Caught on Tape! Nursing Home Bullies Have a New Enemy

As of January 1, 2016, Illinois nursing homes are likely to have a new tool in their arsenal to combat nursing home abuse and negligence. Now that the new Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act has gone into effect, health care facilities will be able to place cameras in the rooms of their residents to help ensure those that are entrusted to their care are receiving the proper treatment. The Act also provides some level of comfort to families who place their trust in the facility to care for their loved ones in a professional manner. It may only be words on paper, but the power in this new law will hopefully lead to more prosecutions for abusers and better recovery for victims if litigation is necessary to hold guilty parties accountable for their actions.

Building a Case

According to state records, Illinois has approximately 1,200 facilities that serve over 100,000 residents. These facilities are fully licensed and regulated by the state, and must pass annual inspections in order to keep their licenses active. They are also subject to federal laws, and answerable to the agencies responsible for enforcement, if they accept federal benefits. One would think that this level of monitoring and accountability would be sufficient to make administrators hire quality staff who care for their patients at the appropriate level. Sadly, this is not always the case, as institutions find their funding sources vary year to year while the costs of medical care steadily rise.

The first step in identifying who may be at fault for injuries to loved ones is to dig into the financial history of the facility responsible for their care. If the facility has a history of cutting costs by hiring less qualified staff members, or not hiring sufficient staff for the number of patients in their care, that facility may be setting itself up for a negligence action. All too often, abuse occurs when staff members are ill-equipped to handle the challenges of 24-hour elder care and typically react in one of two ways: lashing out, or choosing to ignore patients. While some may think that abuse must take the form of bruising or open cuts, the mental abuse of being ignored by your caregiver for hours on end and not having your basic needs being met can be even more painful.

The new law allowing cameras in patient rooms will help families and their attorneys build a case against an institution that has chosen to save pennies rather than fulfill their duty of care toward their patients. Much of nursing home negligence law deals with situations that require a battle between the statements of the alleged abuser and his/her powerful institutional attorneys, versus the story of the victim and any witnesses who may come forward. Unfortunately in many situations, if there are any witnesses to abusive behavior, they are often too afraid to speak out on behalf of patients as they rely on their job to care for their own families. The ability to record the care provided to each and every patient will provide victims with a new ally that will help catch their abusers in action.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.


If you are concerned about the level of care a loved one is receiving from a long-term care facility in Lake County, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C today and speak to an experienced attorney. Our team knows the law and can help you recover damages for your family and ensure facilities are following the law.