Everyone experiences bruises in their lifetime; however, when an elderly person has a bruise, it can turn into a much more serious medical condition or even signal the presence of elder abuse or neglect. If your elderly loved one developed bruises while living as a resident of a nursing home, you may have the right to receive compensation for their injuries. Contact a Forest View bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you with your next steps.
Bruising occurs when a portion of the body suffers injury in some way, such as through a fall or by bumping into something. Medically speaking, a bruise constitutes a contusion and an injury to the soft tissue underneath the skin. When an area of the body suffers injury, broken capillaries leak red blood cells, which then move to surrounding tissue, forming the bruise that becomes visible through the skin. Minor bruises may only last a few hours or days. They may begin as slightly pink-ish at the beginning and then turn blue, black, purple, or yellow as they heal. Bruises may feel painful to the touch for the first few days and grow less painful as they begin to fully heal. Bruises heal slowly as the blood leaked from the capillaries reabsorbs within a person’s body.
Bruises in the Elderly
Seniors have a tendency to bruise more easily simply because their skin grows more brittle with age, and they heal slower than younger adults. The fatty protective layer of skin often thins due to age, and without this additional cushioning, bruising happens much easier. Additionally, elderly persons take longer to heal overall; therefore, if they do receive a bruise, it will likely take them much longer to heal from it than a healthy, younger adult. Finally, certain medications make elderly residents more prone to bruising, such as certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen. These anti-inflammatories and pain-reducing medications can possibly interfere with the body’s ability to form blood clots, leading to easier bruising. Also, Coumadin and Plavix—or blood-thinning medications that some elderly people take—can also reduce their body’s ability to effectively clot.
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Bruising and Nursing Home Abuse
When an elderly resident of a nursing home develops a bruise, it can signal that nursing home abuse or neglect occurred. Nursing homes have the responsibility and obligation to ensure that their residents receive monitoring throughout their stay. Every resident should receive adequate attention such that if they need to go to the bathroom or get out of bed, they have the assistance to do so safely. An event in which a nursing home resident falls in the absence of a caregiver’s assistance classifies as nursing home neglect.
In more serious and shameful cases, the nursing home staff member will directly hit or harm the elderly resident, causing a bruise. These instances represent cases of nursing home abuse. The location of the bruises may prove helpful in determining if the bruising occurred accidentally or from abuse or neglect. Oftentimes, bruising due to physical abuse appears on the face, neck, chest, abdomen, and buttocks.
If you believe your elderly loved one suffered from any form of elder abuse or neglect as a resident in a nursing home, you should seek immediate medical assistance. Consulting a bruises lawyer serving Forest View may also help to ensure the protection of your elderly loved one’s legal rights. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help determining your legal rights.
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Additional Challenges for Nursing Home Residents
In many cases, a nursing home resident will suffer from cognitive dysfunction such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which makes them unable to remember how they received the bruising or unable to articulate the circumstances surrounding the bruising event. In other cases, a nursing home resident may feel fearful of reporting their abuse or neglect to their family or the management of the nursing home due to a fear of retaliation against them. Also, some elderly residents may simply feel embarrassed that they cannot remember the abuse or neglect or feel embarrassed that they could not protect themselves from the abuse.
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Report the Alleged Abuse or Neglect
If you believe your elderly loved one suffered any form of abuse or neglect in a nursing home that led to their bruising, you should first alert the management of the nursing home who must then investigate the alleged neglect or abuse and provide a copy of that investigation to the Illinois Department of Public Health. You may also contact law enforcement if your elderly resident’s safety concerns you in any way.
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Contact a Forest View Bruises Lawyer
Older adults bruise more easily; however, if you notice any pattern of bruising in your elderly loved one, or that the bruises are in places on the body that would not typically suffer an injury due to a minor fall, you may have a strong case for nursing home abuse or neglect on behalf of your loved one. Contact a Forest View bruises lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you determine if you should file a claim against the nursing home for abuse or neglect due to bruising to ensure the protection of your elderly loved one’s legal rights.