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Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Attorney




















Nursing home neglect lawyer Ed Atkinson handles elder abuse and nursing home negligence cases in Norfolk, VA, and throughout Hampton Roads. Contact Atkinson Law at 757-648-8579.


Many families place their trust and confidence in a nursing home to care for an elderly relative. With alarming frequency, nursing homes and assisted living facilities put their hunger for profits above the needs and rights of their residents. A huge gap often exists between what Virginia nursing homes promise family members in their brochures and commercials and the low quality of care that is actually delivered to seniors living there.


Personal injury, medical malpractice, and even wrongful death cases against nursing homes typically reveal that a facility’s chronic understaffing lies at the root of failures to administer medication and health care, maintain safe conditions for residents, and even follow an agreed-upon plan of care.


In a vulnerable population such as senior citizens, neglect or abuse can cause serious physical injury. In other cases they mean an undignified or humiliating existence for the elderly resident.


Some common forms of nursing home abuse are:

  • Physical Abuse – physical elder abuse is the non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

  • Emotional Abuse - occurs when people speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. Verbal forms of emotional abuse include Intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation and ridicule, and habitual blaming or scapegoating.

  • Nonverbal psychological elder abuse - includes ignoring the elderly person, isolating an elder from friends or activities, and terrorizing or menacing the elderly person.

  • Sexual Abuse – contact with an elderly person without the elder’s consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts. Other sexual abuse can include activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts or forcing the elder to undress.

  • Neglect – failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation that is either intentional or unintentional can result in injuries such as pressure sores (also called bedsores) that appear on a resident’s skin, leading to infection, the need for surgery, or even death. Elder neglect can happen in regard to nutrition, hydration, cleaning, and even climate control. In under-staffed facilities, there is often a lack of attention given to dietary intake resulting in poor nutritional status. Those seniors with diminished mental capacities can, if unsupervised, wander off or elope, presenting a serious risk of harm or death. Choking incidents and frequent urinary tract infections could also indicate improper and substandard care.

  • Fall Injuries – Although slip/trip and fall accidents can happen without negligence in nursing homes, some senior facilities fail to assess their residents for fall risk.  In other cases, facilities fail to implement a plan to prevent subsequent falls. Unfortunately, because of the frail condition of many nursing home residents, such falls can lead to hip fractures and other serious injuries that require life-threatening surgeries or further diminish the resident’s quality of life.


Our elderly are entitled to a dignified existence. When a loved one is placed in a nursing home, he or she should receive the care being paid for. They also deserve the degree of care appropriate for the resident's well-being and dignity. When a family member is mistreated, you need to immediately seek the advice of a Norfolk nursing home abuse attorney.


The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health Nursing Home Complaint hotline is 1-888-832-3858 and can be called 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, go to

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