The purpose of placing an elderly family member in a nursing home is so that they receive the attention and care they need throughout the day to ensure that they experience a higher overall quality of life. Unfortunately, in the worst-case scenario, even after due diligence, a family discovers that their elderly loved one suffered some form of physical abuse while they were a resident of a nursing home.
If your loved one suffered any physical abuse in a nursing home, you have the legal right to pursue justice and compensation for any medical bills, pain and suffering, and other bills incurred as a result. Consider visiting with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to help you understand your legal rights and learn how a Los Angeles unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer can ensure your elderly family member receives justice.
Nursing Home Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse found that nearly 3 in 10 of all nursing home abuse complaints were for physical abuse. Any physical harm inflicted upon an elderly resident of a nursing home falls under the category of nursing home abuse. Physical abuse of a nursing home resident could include:
- Inappropriate use of physical restraints
Vulnerability of Nursing Home Residents
Elderly nursing homes residents are much frailer than younger adults. Therefore, they often have less ability to resist or fight back against the abuse.
Nursing home residents are vulnerable to physical abuse not only because they have diminished physical capacity to fight back against their abuser, but because they also might suffer from neurocognitive diseases. Neurocognitive and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia could leave nursing home residents unable to understand what happened to them or remember the abuse later.
Whatever the reason for the physical abuse, a nursing home resident’s vulnerability makes them easy targets for those who seek to cause them harm, whether employees or other residents.
For a free legal consultation with an unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Statistics Involving Physical Abuse of the Elderly
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that elderly victims of physical abuse were at significantly higher risk of death when they suffered from abuse or mistreatment.
If you have suspicions that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of physical abuse in a nursing home, learn how a Los Angeles unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer can help your family receive justice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
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Signs of Physical Abuse in the Elderly
Physical abuse can appear in many ways in the elderly, often manifesting as bruises, cuts, or burns. If you discover that your elderly loved one has bruises, cuts, or burns that remain unexplained after asking for a reasonable answer from the facility’s staff or management, this could signal nursing home abuse or neglect.
Any unexplainable bruise on an elderly resident may indicate physical abuse. It is important to note that in some cases, elderly residents will attempt to get out of bed or a wheelchair and simply have an accident. Even in these cases, an elderly resident should remain monitored so that these types of accidents never occur. However, if the bruises on your elderly loved one remain unexplained, or the nursing home staff refuses to answer your genuine questions regarding the bruises, you might suspect that they were a victim of elder abuse.
Many elderly residents have very thin and fragile skin because of the aging process or due to medications they take for medical conditions. In some cases, residents will develop cuts by brushing their arms or legs against furniture or other items in the nursing home.
However, if you notice that your elderly loved one has any severe cuts, especially ones that have developed severe infections, you have the right to ask the nursing home about the circumstances that caused their cuts. If the cuts remain unexplained, your loved one may have the legal right to pursue a claim regarding elder abuse against the nursing home.
As expected, burns rarely occur to nursing home residents. These facilities typically do not allow residents to use candles, matches, or other flammable items as a safety precaution. Therefore, if you notice that your elderly loved one developed any burn that remains unexplained by the nursing home staff or management, you should consider whether they were a victim of some form of physical abuse.
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What to Do if You Suspect Abuse
In some horrific cases, an elderly resident will suffer harm from direct physical abuse of the nursing home staff. Employees at understaffed nursing home facilities may feel overworked, stressed, and undertrained to handle the residents adequately.
When nursing home residents have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they might become confused and fail to comply with the nursing home staff’s requests. To obtain compliance, nursing home staff members may physically assault or restrain residents, resulting in bruises or cuts that they will not explain.
If you ever see any visible bruising, cuts, or burns on your loved one in a Los Angeles nursing home that remains unexplained, you have several options. You can visit with the nursing home management to get a satisfactory explanation. You can report possible abuse to the California Department of Aging or law enforcement if the injuries were severe.
Finally, you can contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to seek justice and compensation for your loved one’s injuries. You could receive awards for medical bills, relocation costs to another facility, and the pain and suffering your loved one experienced.
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Learn How a Lawyer Can Help
If you discover that your elderly loved has an unexplained bruise, cut, or burn and suspect that they suffered abuse or neglect as a resident in a nursing home, a Los Angeles unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer can help. Learn how the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you and your family receive justice. Call (800) 794-0444 today to get started.