Elderly persons have much frailer and fragile skin, making it more prone to developing either bruises or discolorations from even minor accidents or mild impacts. Additionally, some medications taken by elderly residents cause an increased risk of bruising or discoloration of the skin, which can appear as a bruise.
However, there are certain cases where the bruising that appears on an elderly person could signal elder abuse or neglect within the nursing home. If you have any suspicion that the bruising on your elderly loved one resulted from either nursing home neglect or abuse, consider learning how a Newark bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 can help you understand if you have the legal right to file a claim against the nursing home for elder abuse or neglect.
Types of Bruises
Bruises occur when there is trauma to the body, but those with thinner skin, less fat, or fragile capillaries may develop bruises easier, according to the Mayo Clinic. In many cases, elderly seniors in nursing homes develop bruises easily due to their overall thinner skin, or even due to certain medications prescribed for common medical conditions. Some medications known to cause bruising in patients include antibiotics, dietary supplements, corticosteroids, and even aspirin.
Many bruises are accidental in nature and result from an elderly resident brushing up against an object or surface with a greater impact than expected. In an attempt to recover, the elderly person may use their hands, arms, legs, or feet to shield themselves from a greater impact, resulting in a bruise. In other cases, if an elderly person loses their balance or has challenges with walking, they may bump into something, causing bruising on their leg or arm. In many cases, a bruise on the arm or leg is indicative of an accident that occurred.
While bruises can happen to any person, there are certain areas that do not typically receive bruises. For example, any bruising on the face, ear, back, genitals, buttocks, soles of the feet, head, neck, or inside the arms or legs is typically not the sign of an accident.
Any patterned bruising that would indicate possible bruising in one area or fingermarks could be the sign of direct abuse or harm inflicted upon your loved one. If you see that there are any indications of physical restrain on ankles, wrists, arms, or legs, you should immediately contact the management of the nursing home to attempt to determine what caused those types of injuries on your loved one. Also, you should consider consulting with a lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, who can help you understand your legal rights regarding your elderly loved one.
Elder Neglect vs. Elder Abuse
According to a study published in Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America, elderly residents that live in nursing homes remain particularly vulnerable to elder abuse and neglect.
In many cases, nursing home facilities remain understaffed with workers that remain overworked. Employees of these nursing homes do not have the time or resources to attend to all of the needs of the residents as they should under the law. When nursing home facilities are understaffed, elderly residents ultimately suffer from either elder neglect or elder abuse.
Elder Neglect and Bruises
Nursing home staff facilities that have overworked and understaffed employees struggle to keep up and provide the proper care and supervision that many elderly residents need for their health and safety.
In the case of elder neglect, nursing home employees do not directly harm a patient physically, but rather fail to attend to their needs, resulting in injuries or accidents. In some cases, an elderly resident may attempt to go to the bathroom by themselves, get out of their beds alone, or attempt to find food or water independently. When an elderly resident who struggles with mobility issues attempts to independently walk or obtain something for themselves, they may accidentally fall or injure themselves, resulting in a bruise.
These instances of elderly residents attempting activities they should not do are representative of nursing home neglect as the nursing home staff should consistently and effectively monitor all of their residents for their safety and basic needs.
Elder Abuse and Bruises
The intentional infliction of any type of physical abuse on the elderly is considered elder abuse. Unfortunately, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) indicates that elderly persons who suffer any kind of abuse have a 300% higher rate of death than other persons of the same age.
In some cases, employees of nursing homes are simply overworked and frustrated with the working conditions and need to obtain compliance from elderly residents who struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and may not understand what they need to do. In these instances, nursing home employees will hit, slap, shove, push, scratch, pinch, or even physically restrain elderly residents in order to obtain compliance.
Of course, in the worst-case scenario, elderly residents suffer abuse because of cruel employees who have the opportunity to unleash their abuse on the vulnerable population in the nursing home.
For a free legal consultation with a Newark Bruises Lawyer serving Newark, call (800) 794-0444
Consider How a Newark Bruises Lawyer Can Help
You should take every instance of bruising in your elderly loved one seriously. If you notice that your loved one has bruises, bring it to the attention of the nursing home management directly. If you feel your concerns are not addressed appropriately or adequately, you have the legal right to remove your loved one from the nursing home.
Additionally, you have the legal right to contact Adult Protective Services as well as law enforcement if you believe that your elderly loved one suffered from abuse or neglect as a resident in a nursing home. Also, if you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of neglect or abuse, learn how you can obtain justice on their behalf by calling our team and learning how a Newark bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to help you determine your legal rights.