5 Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem. As baby boomers age, their need for nursing homes increases.  Nursing home abuse is a very real problem. Understanding the five different types of nursing home abuse can lead to recognizing signs and symptoms, as well as preventing nursing home abuse altogether.

The five types of nursing home abuse recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological and emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Financial exploitation

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse of the elderly comes in many forms.  It can include the inappropriate use of drugs in an attempt to control a patient.  It may take the form of improper use of restraints or even confinement. Additionally, physical abuse also includes more common forms of abuse such as hitting and shoving patients. Any use of force that causes physical pain, injury, or impairment can be classified as physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse

As with any victim, sexual contact with an elderly person without their consent is sexual abuse.  This can include the most obvious form – physical sex acts.  But it can also include forcing a nursing home resident to watch pornographic movies, view pornographic pictures, or forcing them to watch sex acts performed by others.  Additionally, forcing a resident to undress for a non-medical purpose could be sexual abuse.

Psychological or Emotional Abuse

Psychological and emotional abuse include the way people speak to and treat nursing home residents.  It can include such things as:

  • Terrorizing or menacing an elderly person
  • Isolation from friends or keeping them from activities
  • Ignoring an elderly person
  • Humiliating
  • Ridiculing
  • Intimidation, such as threats or yelling


Neglect and abandonment account for many cases of elder abuse.  Neglect covers situations where a person’s caretaking needs are not met. For example, neglect can include failing to attend to necessary bathroom needs, failing to administer medication or other forms of simply ignoring the patient.

Financial Exploitation

Generally, financial exploitation takes one of two different forms – the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s property, or the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds.  This could include using a nursing home resident’s checks, credit or debit cards, as well as other cash accounts.  It also covers stealing property from a nursing home resident.  Finally, forging a nursing home resident’s signature on financial documents is also financial exploitation.

No One Should Suffer from Nursing Home Abuse

If you believe a loved one is suffering nursing home abuse, contact the Law Firm of Miller Kory Rowe, LLP.  Our nursing home abuse lawyers have extensive experience with elder abuse as well as nursing home abuse.  Two of our esteemed attorneys teach future physicians about elder abuse at the University of Arizona Medical School.  Of course, no one should suffer nursing home abuse.  We may be able to secure compensation – as well as possibly implement much-needed changes at nursing home facilities on your loved one’s behalf.  Contact us to discuss your family’s situation at (602) 461-8640.

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