Why So Much Abuse?

There are many reasons why nursing home abuse occurs. A nursing home that is lacking in resources and professional management is challenging to operate, which ultimately causes the quality of care for the home's residents to suffer and perpetuates neglect and even abuse. With such a high rise in nursing home abuse cases, one would think that there would be a subsequent decline in such horrendous behavior, as nursing homes adjusted their practices in response to the unfortunate discoveries. Still, unfortunately, change cannot happen until the reasons behind why nursing home abuse still occurs are thoroughly investigated and brought to an end.

More answers to commonly asked questions

While there is no reason to justify the abuse that elderly residents at nursing homes endure, we can discuss the most common reasons as to where and how the abuse can stem from. Below we have created a comprehensive list of the most common reasons for abuse. 

  • Understaffed homes: When a nursing home is understaffed, it can create a stressful and hostile environment. Some staff may even become disgruntled and bitter from feeling unsupported and ill-equipped to do their jobs. As soon as a nursing home faces a staff shortage, responsibilities drop, care standards fall, and specific duties are neglected. This can occur because staff members are forced to begin prioritizing particular needs of residents over others. Then, over time, it can lead to neglect and long-term failure to provide basic needs, which can eventually constitute abuse.
  • Undertrained staff: Even when a nursing home has a full staff line, if the individual staff members are not adequately trained or do not have the experience, they cannot perform all of their job duties as needed. Improper training will ultimately impact the residents and the quality of life while staying at the nursing home. All staff must have the proper education and experience to be able to provide appropriate medical attention, personal care, and other support they may need.
  • Underpaid staff: Because the majority of nursing homes are privately run businesses, there are no across-the-board standards for pay rates. In many cases, the caregivers in the nursing home feel underpaid, thus undervalued. Without the proper pay, they are unmotivated to provide the appropriate level of care for residents, leaving many to go neglected or abused by staff who do not feel compelled to help or go above and beyond. Over time, this can lead to a drop in their morale, creating a culture of accepting lower standards of care.
  • Caregiver issues: There are a multitude of reasons why caregivers commit abuse. In some cases, they may be suffering from problems that can lead them to justify their neglectful or abusive actions. Caregiver issues that cause nursing home abuse may include but are not limited to mental illness, burnout, stress, and or a personal history of being abused. Unfortunately, because these individuals are dealing with their own personal issues, bringing their frustrations to work. Instead of finding a proper outlet to facilitate their emotions, they will act abusively towards the residents, who are viewed as easy targets.
  • Lack of consequences: One of the most prominent reasons that abuse in nursing homes continues is a lack of punishments for mistreatment. Even when abuse is reported, cases of abuse can go uninvestigated by the local and state authorities, allowing many nursing homes to continue to operate despite repeated incidences of neglect and abuse.
  • Poor management: If a nursing home does not have the exemplary leadership, management, and supervision needed to run a safe operation, standards will begin to slip, and neglect can quickly occur. When a nursing home's administration does not set high levels of accountability regarding resident care, the staff might not feel the urge to provide it. A continued lack of responsibility and leadership will breed an environment where neglect and abuse can continue without consequence.

It is also important to note that the types of residents and their unique needs will also play a role in how the abuse is carried out.  Residents with high needs, veterans, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are at higher risk of being abused. Any patients with severe cognitive or physical disabilities are also targets. Your loved ones should never have to face neglect or abuse when staying at a nursing home. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of abuse while staying in a nursing home, contact us today by filling out our case evaluation form.

Oftentimes speaking up can mean the difference between life or death for those in our lives who may not be able to defend themselves in a time of crisis. If you suspect or know that someone in a nursing home is a victim of abuse, our law firm is here to fight for you. For over 30 years, our team of expert attorneys at Morgan & Morgan has been helping victims of nursing home abuse fight to get the justice they deserve. For more information about how we can help your case, please fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form today, and a member of our team will be in touch.