Sadly, physical abuse is a major problem in our nations nursing homes. An estimated 5% of our nations seniors have been victims of physical abuse at some point during their so called ‘golden years’. Some experts believe physical abuse is even more common in institutional settings such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) and hospitals- yet many cases remain unreported.
Abuse By Other Patients & Staff
In a nursing home setting, some patients may be physically abused by: other patients, visitors or even staff. In an effort to minimize physical abuse, some states have implemented laws to conduct background searches before hiring staff or admitting patients. In some cases, the facilities failure to properly screen or monitor their staff and new patients has resulted in harm to innocent patients.
Some elderly residents who are victims of abuse are unable to alert family or staff of the abuse due to physical impairment. They might be too scared to report the abuse or too embarrassed, or even unable to remember the abuse that they were forced to endure because of a cognitive impairment.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
Consequently, it is important for family and caregivers to be on the look out for the signs of potential abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures
- Frozen joints
- Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections, vaginal or anal bleeding
- Bloody clothing
- Bed Sores
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident.
- Staff not allowing resident to be alone with visitor
- Resident being kept in an over-medicated state
- Loss of resident’s possessions
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Sudden loss of appetite
Steps to Take Following An Abusive Event At A Senior Care Facility
If you believe your loved one was physically or sexually abused, seek medical attention for the physical and emotional injuries immediately.
Secondly, report the crime to your local police department immediately. When police get involved soon after an event, they may have better access to evidence and witness that may help identify the perpetrators.
Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
A nursing home abuse lawyer can provide you with answers as to how an incident involving patient abuse occurred and can hold a facility accountable for inferior when an act of abuse occurs at their facility. Equally important is that by taking a stand against abuse in nursing homes, facilities must undertake ways that they can improve care for other patients in the future.
Our nursing home attorneys are committed to eradicating nursing home abuse in all situations. If your loved one was harmed by another patient, staff member or visitor we stand ready to hold the facility fully responsible for their role in the matter. Before you talk with a facility, we encourage you to speak to an attorney who has encountered a similar situation. 888-424-5757