It may be an understatement to say that nurses have a tough job. On occasion, a nurse may crack under the pressure of being handed a difficult situation. Elder abuse occurs when someone causes harm to an elderly person, putting him or her at risk of serious harm. In some cases, it is an intentional act, while many times it is simply due to an act of neglect.
There are times when a nurse may be accused of wrongdoing when they, in fact, were not at all negligent. Unfortunately, some elderly people may claim to be abused, and the finger is often pointed at a nurse that is providing care to them.
This illustrates the importance of nursing liability insurance. A major concern for owners of nursing homes is abuse of their residents. While no one knows just how many people are affected by elderly abuse, some estimates suggest that as many as one in ten seniors experience abuse of some kind. For cases of abuse there is malpractice insurance, but where accusations are made falsely, professional liability insurance is the policy required.
Examples of elder abuse
While physical abuse is often the result of an attack by an abusive caregiver or even another patient, abuse can take different forms, including physical abuse or threats, emotional abuse inflicted through verbal or nonverbal acts, sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment, and in some cases financial exploitation.
There are factors that can make some seniors more vulnerable to abuse than others. For instance, older people living in nursing homes may face a higher risk of abuse or neglect if staff members are not properly screened or receive inadequate training. The risks are also higher for elderly individuals who are socially isolated or mentally impaired by dementia or mental illness.
Researchers estimate that only one in five cases of elder abuse even gets reported, which means that many of the abused are not getting the help they need to cope with and prevent these types of occurrences. Nursing home operators should look for possible indicators that something may be amiss, such as physical signs of abuse, poor hygiene, bedsores or other unattended medical needs.
Not all claims of abuse are valid. With reputations on the line and the added threat of financial ruin, it makes sense for all nursing practitioners to carry nursing liability protection to be safeguarded from wrongful claims.