Living in a nursing home likely means that your loved one needs help with many daily activities. A nursing home is also supposed to keep your loved one safe. There are many ways that bruises can happen, but nursing homes are designed to prevent all of them. That is why bruises appearing on an elderly patient in a nursing home is often a sign of neglect or abuse.
Bruises can develop from impact trauma—or more specifically, being hit by something or someone hard enough to damage soft tissue under the skin. Falls are a common cause of bruises. Bruises can also appear in the form of bedsores, which are bruises that appear when constant pressure is applied to one area from staying in place for too long. Elderly people who need help getting up and moving around can develop bedsores if they are being neglected.
If your loved one lives in a nursing home and develops bruises, they may be experiencing abuse or neglect. A Los Angeles bruises lawyer can help you determine if you have any legal options to seek compensation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 today to discuss your case with our team.
Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot, especially if you are unable to visit your loved one frequently. There are several signs that you can watch for, including:
- Bruises, cuts, or burns: If a nursing home patient ever develops injuries such as bruises, cuts, or burns, there should be a plausible explanation. These injuries be caused by accidents, but they can also be signs of abuse.
- Poor hygiene: Nursing home patients often need assistance with self-care. If they have poor hygiene, it is likely because they are not getting the care they need.
- Untreated infections: Nursing home patients should receive treatment for infections and other medical conditions in a timely manner. If they are sick for an extended period, it is likely that they are not receiving proper care.
- Bedsores: Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, develop when nursing home patients stay in one place for too long. The constant pressure causes a build-up of blood in the patient’s soft tissue, which can lead to other complications if not treated.
- Dehydration or malnutrition: Not receiving enough food or water, or receiving food that is not nutritious enough to maintain good health, can cause health problems.
- Rapid weight loss: Losing weight is a sign that nursing home patients do not have access to enough food or are not receiving food that is nutritious or calorically dense enough to keep them healthy.
- Unclean living conditions: Unclean living spaces can result in a greater number of illnesses and infections and cause more tripping hazards.
- Social isolation: Patients who are abused may avoid other people. If your loved one suddenly does not want to be around people, this could be a sign they are being abused.
- Emotional outbursts: People who are abused tend to be irritable and prone to emotional outbursts that seem inappropriate for the situation.
- Fear of other people: Nursing home patients who begin to show fear around other people may have been abused.
There are other signs of abuse and neglect not covered on this list. If your loved one begins showing any signs that cause you concern, it is important to investigate their living conditions as soon as possible. Abuse may come from a single staff member or from several in the facility without the facility’s management team knowing. If the facility’s management team is unable or unwilling to resolve the problem, a Los Angeles bruises lawyer can help you determine your legal options. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Prevalence of Bruising in Nursing Homes
Bruising is one many types of abuse that happen in nursing homes, and it is not always intentional. There are many cases when bruises and bedsores develop because of understaffing, when there are not enough staff members to provide the level of care that is needed. Regardless, something should be done about bruising that develops in nursing home patients.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse continues to rise, which is mainly attributed to poor training, low job satisfaction, and understaffing for nursing home staff. This combination can lead to a highly stressful environment where some staff members do not handle the situation well and turn to abuse to release their frustrations.
One of the most difficult issues with nursing home abuse—and bruising in particular—is determining which injuries are accidental and which are intentional. Bruises can happen in many ways, some that are innocent and some that are abusive. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) confirms how difficult it can be to tell accidental bruising from intentional abuse. This can make people think twice about pursuing legal action when they cannot be entirely sure that the bruising is from abuse.
For a free legal consultation with a Bruises Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Types of Bruises
According to the Mayo Clinic, the reason that elderly people are more prone to bruising is because their skin becomes thinner and loses some of the protective fatty layer that helps cushion blood vessels from injury.
There are several types of bruises that you can watch for, including:
- Subcutaneous bruises: Subcutaneous bruises happen just below the skin. They can appear for a variety of reasons, from strong impact to illness.
- Intramuscular bruises: Intramuscular bruises develop in the muscles and can be very painful.
- Periosteal bruises: Periosteal bruises develop on your bones and can weaken them.
There are many other subtypes and variations of bruises not covered on this list. The deeper bruises go, the more dangerous they can be. However, any bruises can be dangerous, as they can cause infections and other types of diseases if left untreated.
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A Los Angeles Bruises Lawyer Can Help
Nursing homes are supposed to provide appropriate healthcare and daily assistance for their patients. If and when patients develop bruises, they should receive medical care as soon as possible. If your loved one resides in a nursing home and does not get proper care, they can suffer injuries or even death.
If your loved one develops bruises while living in a nursing home and you suspect they were caused by abuse, you may be able to file a lawsuit to collect compensation. A Los Angeles bruises lawyer can help you understand your legal options and seek justice for your loved one. To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free consultation about your case.