Abuse is defined in the federal nursing home regulations as the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. It can take many forms including physical abuse, verbal, sexual, mental, emotional, and financial. Even though federal law states that residents of long-term care facilities have the right to be free from abuse, it still does occur and is largely under-reported and inadequately investigated and addressed.

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