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In most cases, the nursing home and elder care facilities that make up the bulk of the assisted living communities across the United States are staffed with well trained, caring and attentive employees who keep the surroundings clean and attend to the patients to the best of their abilities. However, this isn’t the case in a 100% of these type of facilities and in a field like this -anything less than that is not good enough.

Unfortunately, there have been many reported cases in the last several years of nursing home abuse and neglect. Some of these cases come from a facility being grossly understaffed and some from hiring unqualified or unethical employees. They often slip through the cracks and who never have to go through any type of training process and who aren’t watched as closely as they should be while they are caring for the patients and residents.

Nursing home abuse is a tragedy that is one hundred percent preventable – if the offending facilities had better management and more structured rules and policies in place then we would probably see a very large percentage of the abuse that occurs today disappear – add in background checks and stringent hiring policies for all prospective employees and it’s likely that nursing home abuse would dissappear completely.

The abuse in nursing homes comes in all shapes and forms. It isn’t limited to just actual physical abuse, it could include a number of other equally reprehensible offenses including theft of money and property from residents, neglecting the food and medicinal needs of residents and not keeping the residents or their environment as clean as necessary for the best chances of remaining healthy.

If you know someone that has a loved one that resides in a nursing home and have any proof, or even any suspicion of potential abuse, you need to take action immediately. The first step is to speak with the management of the facility to express your concerns – let them know exactly what you’ve seen as well as any suspicions you may have, if the situation is an isolated incident or if the party suspected of the abuse has had any previous complaints or allegations against them then this contact with the management may be enough to end the alleged abuse.

If you’re suspicious or even see evidence of physical abuse like unexplained bruising, cuts and scrapes or broken bones then a meeting with the management won’t be enough. If you feel that a loved one is being physically abused in the nursing home at which they reside you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer right away.

A personal injury lawyer will already have knowledge of past abuse situations that have gone on in the same facility, they will be able to look at medical records and identify if the injuries listed are consistent with physical abuse and they’ll be able to guide you through the entire process as it comes to light.

Do not listen to promises or excuses from the management of a nursing home. This is not good enough in the event of abuse. Understand that the management will do whatever it takes to protect themselves from appearing in court as a defendant.

If the accusations of abuse are founded and true, something needs to be done so that nothing like that ever happens again in that location. Threat of and follow through with a lawsuit and representation by a reputable personal injury attorney can force those necessary changes.

It is cetainly the case that a widely publicized lawsuit could lead to the necessary staffing changes, for stricter rules and hiring policies put in place by the management and reparations for the damage that has already been done. Though none of these things will take away the pain that was inflicted from the initial abuse, they can help to ensure that it will never happen again.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.



  1. Gravatar for Debbie Calvert

    Preventative care of coursis better health care. In the meanwhile we have to deal with reality -older generations did not practice what we now know. We owe it to them to care for them properly. Unlike my poor mother who suffered while the large Sun Healthcare giant for profit corporation cheated all of us: my mother was harmed by known broken equipment SUN refused to repair while under a Calif state injunction. She could not swallow for the remainder of her life after a stroke SUN caused. A horrific death. Then SUN cheated me out of compensation. I sued my attorney for malpractice when he neglected to include wrongful death and pain & suffering, he died 2 weeks later and I won the case. SUN cheated Calif taxpayers out of millions of dollars in fines from the injunction and SUN cheated me out of compensation for wrongful death and pain & suffering that my mother experienced for NINE months -SUN HEALTHCARE GROUP INC's board refusied to discuss with me when I recently provided medical records that confirm this manslaughter by their medical director, Dr L Scott Stoney, Newport Beach, California.

    Deborah Calvert daughter of the late Evelyn Calvert, Newport Beach, California

  2. Gravatar for Betty

    I'm shocked the nursing home Sunhealthcare Sunbridge got away with this murder. Why didn't the authorities respond? This must be punishable. I'd like to see reform in this industry.

  3. Gravatar for Emily Brannon


    It is shocking to think about what some facilities get away with. The important lesson learned is that if we ever need to put our loved ones into a nursing home facility, we must do our research. Make sure you know about the facility you choose. There is a lot of information on the world wide web including user opinions on particular facilities.

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