Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
It may seem unthinkable, but physical abuse at nursing homes is an all too common occurrence. One study from 2011 found that almost one-quarter of nursing home residents suffer from some type of physical abuse. Elderly residents of nursing care facilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to their lack of mobility, impaired cognitive function, and inability to fight back.
If you or a loved one have suffered from abuse as a resident of a nursing care facility, you have options available to you. Don’t let the physical and mental harm inflicted by a person paid to care for you or your family member go unchecked and unpunished. Chris Hudson Law Group is standing by to answer questions and guide you through the process of getting compensation for inadequate care or physical abuse in nursing homes.
Call us today at (706) 690-4613 or fill in our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Abuse
Physical abuse can be one of many types of intentional mistreatment or harm. The American Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as a “knowing, intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person, inflicting serious harm or serious risk to a vulnerable person.”
Physical abuse can range from shoving or pushing to striking an individual. Types of physical abuse experienced in nursing homes include the following:
- Assault (hitting, kicking, slapping, striking, etc.)
- Denial of medication or food
- Involuntary confinement
- Forcing an individual to take unwanted medication
- Sexual abuse
- Any unnecessary use of force
Physical abuse of nursing facility residents occurs for many reasons. Most nursing care facilities are for-profit businesses, and they may try to cut corners by hiring staff that is under-trained or hiring fewer staff members than are necessary to provide adequate care. Care facilities can be stressful working environments, and an under-trained staff member might take out their frustrations by harming residents, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Physical abuse at care facilities is also under-reported and not studied extensively. Residents who suffer abuse may be afraid to notify anyone about their situation for fear of retaliation or may not even be able to report the abuse because of cognitive impairment or decline.
How to Prevent Physical Abuse
The best way to prevent abuse of an elder at the hands of nursing care staff is to investigate the care facility thoroughly before committing a loved one to their care. Contact the senior administration and request information on staffing, turnover, any reported incidents of abuse, and training regimens. It’s in a nursing home’s best interests to be as transparent as possible regarding the quality of the care they provide, so if a care facility is unwilling to answer questions about how they hire and train their staff, it’s a good indicator that they may not provide top-quality care.
Visiting the facility and inspecting the services they provide is a good way to prevent abuse. Some information you should acquire about the facility before your loved one moves in includes the following:
- Does the facility have ample room for its residents?
- Does it appear clean and well-kept?
- Does the staff appear relaxed while caring for residents, or do they appear overworked or stressed?
- Do the residents seem comfortable and well cared for?
- Does the facility provide healthy and nutritious food and beverages?
- Does the facility provide adequate social support and activities for residents?
Once your loved one has been committed to a care facility, it’s important to stay actively involved in their life and well-being. Ask them about their time at the facility, and make sure they are getting the care and support they deserve.
How to Spot the Signs of Physical Abuse in a Nursing Home
Physical abuse at nursing care facilities is usually easier to spot than psychological mistreatment and other types of neglect, but that doesn’t mean it’s always apparent. Because physical abuse can take so many different forms, it’s important to look for indicators other than what’s visible.
Signs of physical abuse can include:
- weight loss
- withdrawal from friends and family
- loss of appetite
- frequent illness
- lack of hygiene
If you see any of these indicators of abuse while visiting a loved one at a care facility, ask them about it. Make sure they understand that if staff is hurting them in any way, they do not have to stand for it.
At Chris Hudson Law Group, we handle cases related to:
- cuts and bruises
- broken or fractured bones or sprains
An attorney who specializes in helping nursing home abuse victims can help get them out of a bad situation and also the compensation they deserve for injuries and mental suffering. Contact Chris Hudson Law Group today to see how we can help.
What Should You Do If You or a Loved One Suffers Physical Abuse at a Nursing Home?
No one, especially the most vulnerable among us, deserves to live in fear of being harmed by those tasked with caring for them. If you or a loved one have suffered from physical abuse at a nursing home, here are a few appropriate steps to take:
- If you see strong signs of physical abuse or neglect, get emergency medical attention for the victim immediately. Visible bruising or outward signs can sometimes indicate more severe injuries. Have a doctor check for internal injuries that may be harder to detect.
- Notify the police, Adult Protective Services, or the care facility’s ombudsman. If you or a loved one have suffered abuse, it’s likely there are other residents who have as well. The authorities should be notified so they can investigate and determine the proper course of action.
- Remove the victim from the facility. If you or your loved one has been abused at a nursing home, don’t wait until an investigation has been completed. Find a different care facility right away.
- Consider contacting an attorney. An attorney can help you file a claim with the facility’s or the caregiver’s insurance company and get compensation for medical bills, suffering, or relocation.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer from Chris Hudson Law Group
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney from Chris Hudson Law Group at (706) 690-4613 or fill in a contact form to set up a free consultation and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.