A form of nursing home abuse that many people are not aware of is known as involuntary seclusion. This drastic form of abuse is defined as “secluding or restraining a person against their will and without medical cause.” Involuntary seclusion should only be used as a last resort measure to prevent a person from hurting themselves or others.

The Detrimental Effects Of Involuntary Seclusion

This dehumanizing form of abuse will have many effects on the victim. Medical professionals have found that secluding a person by themselves for extended periods of time can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Self-harm if not restrained
  • Dehydration
  • Starvation
  • Psychotic episodes

Victims who have been bound for extended periods of time under these conditions have also been known to suffer:

  • Physical injuries to limbs
  • Bladder and kidney infections
  • Rashes and skin infections
  • Bed sores

Any and all of these serious side effects on a nursing home abuse victim can have lasting effects on the emotional and physical well-being of the patient.

Why Would Someone Do Something Like This?

There is no true answer as to why someone charged with caring and providing help to an elderly patient would ever do something so cruel. However, there have been some recurring themes when investigating these types of cases, including:

  • Financial Gain – Workers might hold the patients hostage until they give the care providers money for better treatment.
  • Punishment – The patient may have done or said something that the care provider found disagreeable and use seclusion as punishment.
  • Staffing Problems – When the staff is shorthanded they restrain or seclude some patients so that they can manage their workload easier.

Of course, none of these excuses — or any others not mentioned here — are acceptable. Involuntary seclusion of elderly nursing home patients is abuse and negligence, plain and simple.

What To Do If Nursing Home Abuse Has Occurred

If you or your loved one has been a victim of involuntary seclusion or any other type of nursing home abuse, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your rights as a victim should be protected.

A nursing home negligence lawyer will review the facts of the case and take the necessary steps to seek justice on behalf of the injured party. They will seek fair and full compensation for these injuries on behalf of the injury victim.

Nursing home abuse is not acceptable in any form. The residents of these care facilities are there during the most fragile time in their lives and they deserve much more than carless medical care and physical abuse. It is imperative for everyone who has been a victim of this type of treatment to stand up for their rights — it is the only way to make it stop.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes that only 20 percent of all abuse cases are reported. This is a devastatingly low number, and the thought of such a large percentage of frail people being abused is heartbreaking.

You have the right to be treated with dignity and be free from harm when you seek medical care from any provider. Protect your rights and stand up for those who have not been able to speak for themselves and report all forms of nursing home abuse. Speak to an experienced attorney such as the Personal Injury Lawyer Coeur d’Alene, ID locals trust.


Thanks to authors at Injury in Idaho for their insight into Personal Injury Law.


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