Assault is the intentional act of making someone fear that you will cause them harm. You do not have to actually harm them to commit assault. Threatening them verbally or pretending to hit them are both examples of assault that can occur in a nursing home.
Unfortunately, assault is common in long term care. Overworked employees can develop “compassion fatigue” and actually start to resent the sick and vulnerable people under their care and act out aggressively instead of compassionately. We’ve worked on dozens of cases involving assault in long term care, including sexual assault (by staff and other residents), physical assault (by staff and other residents), and psychological/verbal assault. We’ve had several cases involving “nanny cams” that showed not only that assault occurred, but that other employees knew about it and failed to report it.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of assault, or if you suspect it, follow your gut and say something. If we can be of any help, even just to talk about your rights and what steps to take next, please call us for a free consultation.