Security footage at Advantage Living Center in Warren, Michigan showed an employee shoving a 91-year-old resident into her wheelchair, grabbing her by the neck, and continuously pushing her head down until it struck the counter in front of her.
The abuser carefully placed a band aid on her forehead in an attempt to cover the large gash, and told coworkers that the resident had simply fallen. Thankfully, they noticed the signs of abuse and could tell that there was more to his story. After viewing the incident on security footage, they contacted the police immediately.
Attacker Had No Prior History of Abuse
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of violent people caring for their loved ones. This particular abuser was a Licensed Practical Nurse, with no prior history of abuse in his background check. While background checks do offer peace of mind, they don’t always keep abusers out of nursing homes.
Luckily, this attacker was arrested and fired from the facility, but many similar cases go undetected every year. Two out of three nursing home staff members reported committing abuse in the past year alone.
Common Signs of Physical Abuse
If your loved one is in a nursing home, it can be frightening to hear stories like this. It’s helpful to know the warning signs of physical abuse so that if it does occur, it can be stopped quickly. The caregivers at the Advantage Living Center were likely aware of the following signs of physical abuse:
- Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises, and bleeding, especially if they appear symmetrically on two sides of the body
- Sprained, dislocated, or broken bones
- Broken glasses or frames
- Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on wrists
- Social isolation or withdrawal
- Anxiety, including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Fear around staff
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Residents Are Targets for Abuse
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse. Individuals with mental conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are likely targeted if they are unable to communicate the abuse to their families.
Residents who resist care or have behavioral problems may be handled more aggressively as well, especially in understaffed nursing homes where workers might not be as patient. Nursing home abuse can also be based on factors like gender and race. In the case of the Advantage Living Center, the abused resident was likely defenseless due to her age and smaller size.
What to Do if You Suspect Abuse
No one should have to go through the pain of finding out a loved one was abused by the people entrusted with their care. If you suspect that your loved one has been physically abused in their nursing facility, call our experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys at Pintas & Mullins today: (800) 794-0444.