The Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is not always an active or malicious intent of the nursing home staff to do injury to the people entrusted into their care. Sometimes it can be due to an oversight or unintentional neglect. However, it is no excuse as it can still result in grievous harm to patients who are mostly unable to help themselves.

Nursing home abuse may take the form of inadequate nutrition, sporadic assistance in getting up or laying down, inattention to signs of distress or need for medical attention, poor patient hygiene, or poor social interaction. It is possible that some members of the nursing home staff are properly trained but do not have the patience or interest to provide the care these patients need. In most cases however, it all comes down to how many and how much.

“How many” refers to the number of qualified staff members who are hired to provide round-the-clock professional care to nursing home residents. “How much” refers to what the nursing home management can afford to set aside for the salaries of direct care and support staff, which will determine the ratio of qualified care givers to residents. In the US, many nursing homes rely on Medicare, Medicaid and insurers to pay for the keep of the majority of their residents.

These institutions, however, dictate how much nursing homes will get per resident; all but a few establishments can increase their rates to meet the rising costs associated with running a nursing home, which in large part includes the salary of nurses. As a result, many nursing homes are either understaffed or have under-qualified staff, or a combination of both. This can lead to neglect of the residents. Even if the neglect is understandable, it is still inexcusable. A nursing home abuse attorney would be sure to prove negligence on the part of the administrator, most especially if the cost-cutting is not one of necessity but of greed.

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