As people age, their skin becomes more thin and frail, making them more susceptible to discolorations or bruising from simple accidents. In many cases, discolorations of the skin may also occur due to different medications prescribed to elderly residents of nursing homes. In other cases, physical abuse of the elderly causes serious hematomas or severe bruising. If you suspect that your elderly loved one’s bruises resulted from either nursing home neglect or abuse, contact a Riverside bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you with your next steps.
Accidental vs. Intentional Bruising
With thinner skin, fragile capillaries, and decreased fat, many seniors have a greater likelihood of accidental bruising. Additionally, some prescribed medications that some elderly people take, such as Aspirin, Warfarin, Plavix, and inhaled corticosteroids, can increase the risk of bruising in older adults. Also, many seniors have challenges with mobility, and simple decreased motor ability can lead to falls causing bruising. Accidental bruising tends to occur more on the arms and legs on elderly residents as they try to brace themselves during a fall.
If you notice that your loved one has large bruises that appear on the head, neck, face, ear, inside arm, back, genitals, buttocks, or soles of the feet, they may signal elder abuse instead of a simple accident. Additionally, if you notice your elderly loved one has any type of patterned bruising, such as fingermarks or multiple bruises in the same location, your elderly loved one may have suffered abuse.
Bruises and Elder Neglect
Nursing home staff employees may work in understaffed nursing homes, according to Health Service Insights. In these cases, the employees simply cannot tend to all the needs of the residents in a timely way to ensure the avoidance of any accident. When elderly residents suffer from neglect, they may attempt to stand on their own to obtain food, water, or go to the bathroom. When these elderly residents rise from their beds or wheelchairs, their overall lack of mobility may cause them to fall and injure themselves. If the nursing home staff remained vigilant, these types of accidents would never occur.
In other more serious cases, nursing home staff members will intentionally leave residents alone and fail to check on them because they remain frustrated or exhausted. However, every nursing home resident should have a specific plan suited just for them, which may include specific times to receive repositioning, help eating, or assistance going to the bathroom. If the staff of a nursing home fails to attend to a resident’s needs, and the senior falls and suffers any type of serious bruising, this qualifies as elder neglect.
For a free legal consultation with a Bruises Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Bruises and Elder Abuse
Any intentional infliction of physical harm towards an elderly resident of a nursing home by the staff or management is elder abuse, according to a study in The Journals of Gerontology. Bruising constitutes one of the obvious signs of nursing home abuse. If accompanied by any other visible sign of trauma, your elderly loved one may suffer from elder abuse in their nursing home. Elder physical abuse may include any type of slapping, shoving, pushing, scratching, hitting or even physical restraint of an elderly person. Unfortunately, statistics show that those elderly persons that suffer from elder abuse have a 300% higher risk of death, according to the Journal of American Medical Association.
Take time to inspect your elderly loved one’s skin and physical condition every time you visit them. If you notice any dark blue, purple, or yellow bruising on their skin, make sure to ask them how they received that bruising. Bruises that appear yellowish in color have been there for some time and begin the healing process.
If you notice that your loved one has bruising of any kind, they may have suffered from elder abuse. Visit with the nursing home management staff immediately regarding your loved one’s bruises and ask if any incidents caused the bruising to occur. If you suspect that your loved one suffered from abuse in any way that resulted in bruising, contact a Riverside bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you receive justice on their behalf.
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Dementia, Abuse, and Bruises
Many elderly residents of nursing homes suffer from some form of cognitive deterioration, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, those seniors suffering from memory loss or decline in the ability to communicate may lack the ability to recall how they received their bruises. Additionally, many elderly residents that have dementia may also suffer from accompanying paranoia or hallucinations. If they do alert their family members or the nursing home management to the abuse, a caregiver may dismiss their concerns.
If you believe your elderly loved one suffered from abuse and received bruises, note their emotional state. Residents that suffer from dementia may have strong feelings that linger much longer than actual memories. If you notice that your loved one has unexplained bruises and also significant emotional changes, you should strongly consider whether or not they may have suffered from some form of abuse that resulted in bruising.
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Nursing home residents should never have any serious bruising. Even if your elderly loved one cannot remember the abuse, they may have suffered as the victim of either elder abuse or neglect as a resident in their nursing home. Look for patterned bruises, multiple bruises in the same location, or a significant change in emotional behavior in your elderly loved one. If you suspect that your loved one suffered any kind of abuse, contact a Riverside bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine your legal rights.