When a family leaves a loved one in the care of a nursing home, it is often one of the most difficult decisions they make. Many families do not wish to do this, but simply do not have the time, resources or skills to give an aging family member the treatment they need to maintain a good quality of life.
This makes it even more devastating when nursing home staff acts in a negative way against residents. While mounting frustrations in the industry can lead some people to lash out and harm residents, these actions have massively negative consequences for the victims, the families of the victims and the staff member in question, too.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information discusses elder abuse in long-term care settings. Cases of neglect and abuse often share similar problems and the actions that fall under each category may also seem similar at times. However, the charges that a nursing home staff member may face for abuse usually lean toward the severe end of the spectrum.
Nursing home staff members can face numerous criminal charges for the abuse of the residents in their place of employment, and as one may expect, these charges vary in severity depending on the crimes the individual committed. For example, if an employee hits a resident or makes aggressive physical contact, they can face charges of felony battery.
Staff members can also face misdemeanor charges. In a recent case, a staff member who verbally threatened a resident faced charges of misdemeanor intimidation. Even staff members who do not directly participate in abuse but also take no steps to stop it if they are aware of its occurrence may face a penalty, such as misdemeanors for failing to report the abuse of residents. Thus, such crimes in a nursing home should always have serious treatment.