According to the National Center On Elder Abuse, physical abuse encompasses any intentional physical act that leads your loved one to suffer harm. This definition casts a wide net around actions that may constitute physical abuse of your loved one, and while some forms of physical abuse classify as more serious than others, your loved one should not have to tolerate any form of physical abuse while living in a nursing home.
If you suspect abuse, physically or otherwise, in a nursing home, do what you must to get them out of that setting. Next, call law enforcement. Afterward, you can take advantage of the free consultation with a Berwyn physical abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm by calling us.
Physical Abuse Occurs in Nursing Homes
The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that the majority of caregivers in nursing homes admit to mistreating residents.
While other forms of abuse—psychological, emotional, sexual, and others—come with serious dangers to the residents, physical abuse may be easier to spot if you know what signs to look for. Caregivers and residents often have a hands-on relationship, and so certain forms of physical abuse can remain subtle. Do not allow any sign of injury to slip through the cracks without questioning your loved one’s caregivers.
Spot the Signs of Physical Abuse and Ask the Right Questions
Each case of physical abuse differs, and while some abusers may hit or throw their victims, others may grab them excessively hard or engage in some other form of physical harm. No single stereotype fits all physical abusers, so you must remain vigilant to any possible sign that your loved one endures physical abuse.
A comprehensive list of possible signs of physical abuse provided by The National Institute on Aging includes:
- Bruising that does not have a valid explanation, especially if you frequently witness bruises in different locations on your loved one’s body.
- Broken bones, particularly if your loved one has suffered multiple fractures since living at the nursing home.
- Concussion, especially if it occurs alongside a more significant injury, such as skull fracture.
- Red marks on your loved one’s skin, especially if you notice them shortly after a situation that left them alone with a caregiver.
- Cuts and scrapes that your loved one or their caregiver cannot explain.
- Burn marks, especially if your loved one does not use a stove or other heat-emitting device on their own.
- Marked changes to your loved one’s personality, especially if they seem to reflect fear, anxiety, or depression.
- A black eye, which may constitute deplorable abuse.
Take any change in your loved one’s physical appearance seriously. You may notice changes in their demeanor or secondary symptoms of abuse, such as weight or hair loss. You should ask your loved one about these possible abuse symptoms until you receive an answer that you believe.
If it turns out that your loved one sustained abuse, they may have also experienced neglect alongside their abuse.
Neglect and Abuse Often Go Hand-In-Hand
While abusers must go out of their way to harm your loved one, neglect represents a more passive form of mistreatment. Like abuse, neglect can also come with serious health consequences. Neglect can affect your loved one’s mental and physical health, ultimately shortening their life span and robbing you of valuable time with them.
Signs of neglect may include:
- A decline in your loved one’s hygiene, including apparent body odor, uncombed hair, stubble on the face, dirty clothing, and anything else that indicates they lack regular care and declined hygiene.
- The presence of pressure sores, or bedsores, that can lead to infection or worse if caregivers leave them untreated.
- Injuries, which may result from not having proper assistance when moving around or having to care for themselves in unsafe ways.
- Choking episodes, which can happen because of inadequate assistance while eating or drinking.
- A general decline in your loved one’s mood, mental health, or physical health.
You should follow up on any changes in your loved one that may indicate neglect, as these may pose a direct threat to your loved one’s health and happiness. If you suspect that your loved one suffered harm, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
The Nursing Home May Bear Liability for Mistreatment of Your Loved One
A Berwyn physical abuse lawyer may help you decide who bears fault for the harm that led you to a lawyer in the first place. When that harm involves mistreatment of your loved one, the individuals who perpetrate the abuse likely bear fault, but the nursing home’s decision-makers may share liability.
Management of a nursing home may allow caregivers to mistreat your loved one by:
- Hiring nurses, doctors, and other staffers who lacked the necessary experience, had prior criminal convictions, or had red flags on their work histories.
- Failing to monitor residents at regular periods in a way that would ensure their safety.
- Failing to take seriously or report allegations of abuse or neglect, which the Department of Health and Human Services requires them to do.
A lawyer may help identify the ways in which the defendants in your loved one’s case acted negligently and present a case for compensation on your loved one’s behalf. You may have the right to various forms of compensation covering their nursing home-related expenses and losses.
For a free legal consultation with a Physical Abuse Lawyer serving Berwyn, call (800) 794-0444
Hire a Berwyn Physical Abuse Lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
We aim to protect your loved one from any further harm. Call us for a free consultation. Our clients pay nothing upfront and nothing out of pocket, and we only collect a fee if your loved one obtains a judgment or settlement.