Abuse is rife in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities throughout the United States, and especially in Florida where much of the elderly population goes to retire. The types of nursing home abuse include emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or negligence, medical errors, prescription errors, financial exploitation, and physical abuse, which is by far the most common form. Physical abuse in nursing homes occurs when one uses physical force or violence, maltreatment, or neglect in order to cause bodily harm, injury, pain, or impairment to an elderly resident of the home. Compared to the other forms of abuse, physical abuse is one of the more serious and dangerous forms because it can lead to severe injuries and even death of a victim. If you or a family member experienced physical abuse while residing in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys of Abbott Law Group today to discuss your legal rights today.
Common Perpetrators of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
According to Nursing Home Abuse Guide, approximately one out of three nursing home residents report that they have been abused while residing in a home. In addition, 95% of nursing home residents report that they have seen other residents being abused in one way or another at some point in time. This is why it is vital for family members to understand how physical abuse in nursing homes occurs, who the common perpetrators are, and what to look for if they suspect that their family member is being abused. The most common perpetrators of physical abuse in nursing homes include:
Nursing home staff – The vast majority of physical abuse in nursing homes is committed by the staff of the home. Some of this physical abuse consists of intentional violence toward residents; however, the vast majority of it consists of injuries that result from neglect and negligence of the nursing home staff.
Other residents – Much of the physical abuse in nursing homes is also committed by other residents of the home. Studies suggest that approximately 20% of residents suffer physical abuse by their fellow residents. Even though the actual abuse may be caused by other residents of the home, the nursing home is often still liable because of their failure to protect the victim from other residents.
Visiting family and “friends” – Unfortunately, physical abuse by visiting family and friends is also a common occurrence in nursing homes throughout the country. Again, liability often falls back on to the nursing home for failing to keep the resident safe.
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Not only is it important for family members to know of the common perpetrators of physical abuse in nursing homes, but also it is vital that they know of the warning signs that abuse is happening to their loved one. Some of the common signs of physical nursing home abuse include:
Broken bones or fractures,
Bruises or welts,
Cuts or lacerations,
Untreated wounds and injuries,
Unexplained weight loss,
Lab findings of a drug overdose,
Poor physical appearance,
Uncleanliness of the resident or his living area,
Mood swings or changes in mental status,
Refusal of resident to speak to family members,
Refusing to eat, and
Facility’s refusal to allow family members to see their loved one alone.
If you spot any of these common signs of physical abuse in nursing homes, you should contact the appropriate authorities and a nursing home abuse attorney immediately.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one were physically abused while resident in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the home or facility. Through a nursing home physical abuse lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation from the nursing home or assisted living facility for any damages incurred as a result of the physical abuse, such as for past and future medical bills and pain and suffering. Abbott Law Group has a team of experienced attorneys and staff that are dedicated to representing the elderly in nursing home abuse lawsuits. Contact us today for a free nursing home abuse consultation.