Merriam-Webster defines dignity as, “The quality or state of being
worthy, honored, or esteemed,” whereas respect is defined as “an
act of giving particular attention: consideration,” and the “quality
or state of being esteemed.” In the nursing home setting, do you
believe that elderly residents are being treated with dignity and respect?
Let’s take a look at what the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say about it.
According to the CDC, “For every one case of elder abuse that is
detected or reported, it is estimated that approximately 23 cases remain
hidden.” So, the statistics make it clear that not all elderly residents
in nursing homes are being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,
and as nursing home abuse attorneys, we have witnessed this first-hand.
How Are Residents Dishonored & Disrespected?
Nursing homes are for-profit companies, so unfortunately, they often do
not hire the highest trained or the highest paid employees. When you combine
that with trying to cram as many beds into a facility as possible, while
trying to run on a minimum number of staff, you get increased stress and
a recipe for disaster.
Here are some ways an elderly resident can be dishonored and disrespected
in the nursing home setting:
- The staff does not knock when entering the room.
- The staff does not let the resident have a private phone conversation.
- The staff does not let the resident have private visits with friends and family.
- The staff does not let the resident have privacy while dressing.
- The staff takes pictures or video of the resident while undressing, or
while in embarrassing situations.
- The staff forces the elderly resident to watch inappropriate videos for
- The staff isolates the resident from other residents so they cannot socialize.
Even something such as not allowing the elderly resident to participate
in social activities as “punishment,” or turning his or her
wheelchair so it faces a corner during Bingo, or denying them dessert
or other food as if they’re children– these too can lead to
a loss of dignity and respect, especially when other residents are painfully
aware of the mistreatment.
Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes
When a resident loses their dignity and respect because of how they are
treated by caregivers, it’s considered psychological abuse, which
is a form of
nursing home abuse. According to the CDC, such treatment can lead to post traumatic stress
disorder and a higher risk of “developing fear and anxiety reactions.”
If you suspect your loved one is losing their dignity and respect in a
contact our office at once for a consultation with a Long Island nursing home abuse lawyer!