Signs of Physical Abuse
Although some signs of physical abuse, such as marks on the body, are obvious, others are not. Elderly residents may be hesitant to report abuse for a number of reasons (pride, embarrassment, or confusion as a result of dementia, among others), and it is important to become familiar with the full range of potential indicators.
Signs of physical abuse include:
• Bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, sprains, or fractures
• Isolation or hesitancy to engage with others
• Marks around the wrists or ankles indicating the use of restraints
• Noticeable mood swings or any unexplained changes in behavior
• Internal injuries or bleeding
• Employees who refuse to allow unsupervised visits with residents
• Inability to explain how injury occurred or suspicious-sounding explanations
Types of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse can be loosely defined as the use of physical force to cause a person harm, injury, or pain. Types of physical abuse include:
• Hitting, slapping, pinching, or kicking the resident
• Shoving or pushing; throwing or lowering residents onto a bed without proper assistance
• Force-feeding residents (often misused as a form to encourage proper food intake)
• Burning the resident
• Using chemical restraints or overmedicating
• Pulling residents’ hair
• Using physical restraints
These examples are just a small sample of the many forms physical abuse can take. A number of causes, including staffing shortages, lack of proper training, and poor managerial oversight, can lead to or exacerbate abusive behavior. Regardless of the cause, abuse is intolerable and entirely unacceptable.
Consult with Us Today
Elderly victims of abuse may experience cuts, bruises, and fractures more easily than younger individuals in better health. Complications arising from injuries caused by abuse can lead to the worsening of existing medical conditions and even result in wrongful death. This harrowing reality makes it even more urgent that we act today to protect nursing home residents and fight to protect their rights.
With over 70 years of combined legal experience, our law firm has the experience and passion to act as aggressive advocates for the rights of you and your family. If you believe your loved one is a victim of physical abuse or would like to learn more about our available services, contact Rosen & Spears today to schedule a consultation.