Choosing a nursing home is complicated: nursing home liability signs of abuse. 

A nursing home is a facility that provides organized, structured nursing care and services to its residents. United States nursing homes usually cannot operate without a state license, and must follow federal and state laws regarding the resident bill of rights.  Agencies must apply for, and be granted licensure by a state’s health and human services department so they can be monitored for compliance to nursing home standards of care.  Regulation insures residents are receiving a proper level of care upon admission to nursing homes, or long term residential care facilities.  Marlborough Massachusetts nursing home attorneys assist individuals who have been abused, or neglected while living in long term skilled facilities.

Federal funding.

Federal nursing home laws are in place to protect the residents of nursing homes to make certain they attain mental, physical, and psychosocial well-being while living in a care facility, and address operational and staffing requirements to make certain residents have support they need while receiving adequate care. The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV: of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 created uniform guidelines for long-term care facilities receiving federal Medicaid and Medicare funding that grant all nursing home residents the rights to maintain and receive adequate nutrition, personal hygiene, mental and emotional support, and social involvement. If an individual, or their family member suspect a resident’s rights are being violated, they should contact a Marlborough nursing home abuse attorney.

Federal nursing home laws state that residents are entitled to receive:

  • Medically-related social services,
  • Proper health care, such as primary and dental care,
  • Accurate dispensing, receipt, and administration of medicines and drugs,
  • Dietary services that meet daily nutritional needs of each patient,
  • Services for mentally ill and special needs residents,
  • Personal, material, and financial privacy when requested,
  • Treatment that does not violate the resident’s dignity or respect.

Federal funding affects bed allocation. There are private pay facilities and Medicaid/Medicare-certified beds which receive revenue from federal agencies.  Nursing home providers must allocate a certain number of beds for Medicaid patients in order to receive reimbursement for eligible Medicaid patients.

Signs of abuse.

Bodily Injury in Marlborough – Physical abuse may reveal itself through: 1) unexplained bruises or injuries, or recurrence of the same type of injury, or abrasions; 2) signs of restraint on wrists and ankles such as bruising, cuts, or abrasions, using restraints for long periods of time can cause patients to suffer from lower muscle tone, reduced bone mass, and muscle disorders; 3) malnutrition, dehydration and sudden or severe weight loss; and 4) when staff will not leave family alone with resident for fear they may tell of abuse.

Neglect in Marlborough – Physical neglect is a type of abuse that may or may not be intentional, perhaps as a result of not enough staff, or supplies at a nursing home.  Resident’s cleanliness, availability of food, clothing and surrounding sanitary environment that diminish human dignity are signs to look for and overlap with physical abuse of malnutrition and dehydration.

Emotional Abuse in Marlborough can present itself in many different ways such as agitation, nervousness, fear, or sadness. Acts of emotional abuse can be intentional, but they can also be unintentional when the abuser is overly stressed and unknowingly lashing out, or harming the elderly person. Emotional abuse can be both verbal and nonverbal in nature. 

  • Verbal abuse is characterized by verbal harassment, yelling, or emotional manipulation that the abuser inflicts on the elderly. In nursing homes, abusive caregivers must be reported immediately.
  • Non-verbal abuse can make elderly patients feel isolated, helpless, and afraid. After witnessing this abuse once, you may not notice that abuse is occurring, but the repetitive nature of this type of abuse can cause serious psychological and emotional damage to a nursing home resident. Nonverbal forms of abuse include: 1) silent treatment; 2) threatening to cause physical harm; 3) ignoring resident and keeping them from socializing; 4) restricting food, water and using the bathroom; 5) treating them as if they were children; and 6) hiding, or taking away personal items.

Exploitation Abuse in Marlborough occurs when someone improperly, or illegally uses or steals a resident’s funds, assets, or property.

Sexual Abuse in Marlborough could reveal itself through 1) a new case of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); 2) difficulty walking, sitting, or complaints of pelvic injury; 3) bruises, irritation, bleeding or pain on inner thighs and genital areas; 4) bloody, torn, or stained clothing items; 5) agitation and withdrawal from socializing; 6) PTSD symptoms and panic attacks; 7) unusual sexual or inappropriate behaviors toward abuse suspect; and 8) attempts at suicide.


The nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury, or neglect causing harm to a resident, or patient in their care.  This negligence may have occurred by their part through:

  1. negligent hiring,
  2. understaffing,
  3. breach of regulatory obligations to guidelines,
  4. insufficient employee training, or
  5. errors in treatment, or medication dispensing.

Liability is the state of being responsible for something and vicariously liability is a legal doctrine assigning liability for the injury to a person, even if they did not cause the injury directly, but had a legal relationship with another who directly caused injury, or harm.  A nursing home employer can be held responsible for the negligent, or abusive acts of its employees, or contracted workers, during the course of their work and through the scope of their job duties. Contracted parties, through their contracted scope of work with a nursing home, may share the liability for any neglect, abuse, or injury to a resident.  A Marlborough nursing home abuse attorney can give concerned individuals some guidance on legal action against abuse, or neglect.

Report abuse in Marlborough Massachusetts.

Each state has a hotline to report elder abuse through their Department of Family and Protective Services.  When individuals believe a provider is allowing abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident, it should be reported and if emergent response is needed, 911 and police should be called.  Individuals should contact a Marlborough nursing home lawyer to discuss options to assure resident safety.

Hire a Marlborough Massachusetts nursing home abuse attorney

If you or someone you know was abused in a nursing home use our site to find a Marlborough nursing home abuse attorney that can help you.