Nursing home abuse with younger patients

Most people usually think of nursing home residents as being senior citizens, but people under 65 in nursing homes are much more common than you would think.  Statistics show that younger people under the age of 65 account for approximately 15% of nursing home residents and make up the fastest growing segment of the nursing home population, in general. 

While many of these younger residents may not be planning to remain in the nursing home for the rest of their lives, some younger residents are people with certain disabilities, physical as well as developmental, that require constant care.

Because nursing homes are typically designed to care for residents in the last year of their lives, they’re generally not equipped to handle the needs of residents who are more than likely going to need an increasing amount of care for many years. Therefore, younger nursing home residents may find themselves more vulnerable to abuse by nursing home employees.

What are some of the health issues that would require a younger person to become a nursing home resident? They include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and/or spinal cord injuries that make it impossible for a younger person to care for themselves at home
  • No alternative care within the community for a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia
  • Cognitive and/or developmental disabilities that make it too difficult for the younger person to be cared for at home
  • Rehabilitative needs following an accident until the younger resident is able to enter some type of assisted living

Not getting the care and attention that is required?

The type of abuse that younger nursing home residents may risk experiencing are:

  • General or basic needs neglect — this includes a failure to provide for the basic needs of a resident; can result in malnutrition, dehydration, and weight loss
  • Personal hygiene neglect — younger residents aren’t receiving the help they need with bathing, grooming, oral hygiene, or general cleanliness
  • Sexual abuse — caregivers, visitors, and even other residents may take advantage of a younger resident’s disabilities or injuries to force them to engage in non-consensual sexual activity
  • Physical abuse — inappropriate use of restraints, unnecessary confinement, pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking

Other types of nursing home abuse that younger residents are vulnerable to include financial abuse, social isolation, medication theft, and even resident-on-resident abuse.

Some of the more common signs of nursing home abuse including such things as:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, welts, soft tissue or other injuries
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Broken glasses, hearing aids, or other assistive devices
  • Restraint marks on wrists
  • Bedsores
  • Fear of a particular caregiver
  • Improper distribution of medication

If you see any of these or other signs that your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse or negligence, you need to contact an attorney that specializes in nursing home abuse cases.  Scott S. Harris, nursing home abuse attorney in San Diego, defends the rights of nursing home residents throughout Southern California.

Taking action for your family member

Nursing homes and their staff are liable for injuries and abuse suffered by residents due negligence or intentional acts. If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse and want to find out if you have a case, call Scott S. Harris to schedule a free consultation at his office in downtown San Diego.