Physical Abuse of the Elderly in Nursing Homes
Of all the types of abuse and neglect of our elderly in nursing homes, physical abuse remains the most prevalent. The Department of Health and Human Services defines nursing home abuse as “the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.”
The number one cause of abuse in nursing homes is poor staffing. High turnover, poor training and an overworked staff leads to greater risks for residents. For instance:
- Poorly trained staff cannot provide quality care.
- Short staffing leads to overworking of the staff who then become tired or burned out making them forgetful and less observant.
- Failing to provide the staff necessary can lead to caregivers snapping under the pressure and taking their stress out on the residents.
In a nursing home environment, where the residents are more fragile and conditions like dementia are more prevalent, physical abuse can be very serious.85% of nursing homes reported at least one incidence of abuse or neglect in 2012. Click To Tweet
Types of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse varies, but the types of physical abuse seen in nursing homes includes:
- Physical punishment, such as hitting, kicking, slapping, pinching, pushing, shaking, beating
- Hitting the resident with an object
- Pushing or shoving the resident
- Burning the resident
- Pulling the resident’s hair
- Inappropriate use of physical restraints
- Force feeding
Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Your elderly loved one may be too afraid or embarrassed to admit they have been the victim of physical abuse. The following signs can tell you what he or she will not.
Physical signs to watch for:
- Unexplained injuries such as wounds, cuts, bruises, black eyes or welts in various stages of healing
- Unexplained injuries, such as broken bones, sprains and dislocations
- Falls, fractures or head injuries
- Marks on the wrists, ankles and neck that could come from ropes or belts (i.e., inappropriate restraints)
- Internal injuries or bleeding
- Unexplained hair loss
- A nursing home staff member refuses to allow your elderly loved one to have private visitors
- Unexplained changes in your loved one’s behavior, such as showing fear, stress, anxiety or a strong reaction when a certain staff member approaches, becoming withdrawn or non-communicative
- Your loved one makes excuses or stories to explain physical injuries
- Your loved one has Injuries requiring emergency treatment or hospitalization
Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
Like many families, you rely on the staff at nursing homes, assisted care facilities and other long-term care providers to give your loved one the proper care. Sometimes physical abuse from the staff is unintentional; other times, it can be very intentional.
Proving abuse can be challenging and building a case takes experience and resources. The nursing home abuse lawyers at Nash & Franciskato will use its extensive network to investigate all aspects of abuse in the facility your loved one resides in, including staff training, staffing levels, and background checks for potential criminal records.
In the Kansas City area, the attorneys at Nash & Franciskato are experienced in recovering financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
Receive a Free Evaluation from Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
As qualified nursing home abuse lawyers, the attorneys at Nash & Franciskato will help you answer questions and understand your legal options. We are your advocates and the voice for your elderly loved one. We want to help protect his or her rights. Contact us for a free no-obligation review of your case.