Physical Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
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Bruises are a common injury involving discoloration of the skin indicating physical trauma to that specific region. Some people bruise more easily than others, gaining them from just minor bumps and hits; however, bruising can also be indicative of a serious impact. Bruising is especially prevalent among the elderly, as their bodies do not recover from impact and trauma in the same way as a healthy, young body.
Understanding Bruises & Contusions
Bruises (medically known as a contusion) are a soft tissue injury involving blood leakage just beneath the skin. First signs of a bruise include soreness and redness. Over time, the bruise will turn blueish-black. As the healing process proceeds, it will fade to green and yellow.
There are three levels of bruising severity:
- Subcutaneous – Beneath the Skin
- Intramuscular – Within the Underlying Muscle
- Periosteal – Bruise on the Bone
Bruises beneath the skin are the most common; the other two are much rarer and usually only occur when the victim has suffered from some form of trauma. In a nursing home, they may indicate a serious fall.
Elder Abuse Statistics
The National Center on Elder Abuse was established as a resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder abuse and neglect. Their mission has been to provide access to research, training, and best practices for patients, family members, and facilities alike. Elder and nursing home abuse research suggests:
- Almost 1 in 10 nursing homes have been cited for violations that have caused harm, injury, or risk of death to patients.
- Of the various types of abuse complaints, physical elder abuse accounted for nearly 30%.
- Of the abused, the majority of victims were 75 years or older, female, and unable to communicate.
Types of Physical Elder Abuse
Physical abuse in nursing homes can range in types, from flat out active abuse to assault. Physical abuse types include:
- Physical assault: shoving, punching, kicking or inflicting other types of physical harm. This can lead to falls, bone fractures & breaks, and other signs of physical trauma.
- Sexual Abuse: Victims of elderly sexual abuse can be identified by potential signs, including unexplained STIs, bruising on thighs and genital areas, and panic attacks, and increased aggitation.
- Physical Neglect: Nursing home neglect can be caused by understaffing or intentional lack of care. Caregiver neglect can result in serious harm to the patient, including bed sores, poor hygiene, sepsis, choking, and even wrongful death.
Contacting a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered from bruises of some kind, and you suspect that they are tied to some form of abuse or neglect, we encourage you to contact our nursing home abuse attorneys today. We partner with top-litigation firms around the country—meaning that you get two firms for the price of one. Our lead attorneys have more than 50 years of shared experience between them and have been successful in recovering millions for our clients nationwide.