According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 2 million people older than 60 currently live in nursing homes. Unfortunately, many of these residents fall victim to abuse or neglect, which can cause emotional distress, medical complications or even death. If you have a family member in a retirement home, it is important to know how to identify and respond to nursing home abuse.
The first step in reporting nursing home abuse is to contact the proper authorities. Call the police if you find evidence of physical abuse, as well as the Office of Aging & Adult Services. You should also contact a personal-injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
A Lake Charles personal-injury attorney from Morris Bart can help you navigate the claims process. You or your loved one may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other damages that resulted from the mistreatment.
Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation. Until then, read on to learn the warning signs of physical abuse in a retirement home:
Common Examples of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse in nursing homes can take many forms. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, staff members can harm residents by punching, slapping, shoving or kicking. If a nursing home worker unnecessarily restrains a resident using straps or chains, then this may also constitute physical abuse.
Many nursing home residents need medication to survive or to treat chronic conditions. If the staff withholds that medication, then this may constitute physical abuse.
Some forms of physical abuse are easy to identify. Unexplained bruises and broken bones are obvious signs, but other symptoms are more subtle. If the resident does not have the mental faculties to communicate the abuse, then the mistreatment can continue unabated for years. For this reason, the families of residents must know the common signs of nursing home abuse:
Signs of Physical Abuse in Retirement Homes
There are several warning signs that could indicate physical abuse at a nursing home. These include:
- Unexplained injuries ranging from mild bruises to broken bones, sprains or scars. If the victim had an accidental fall, then the nursing home should alert the family and follow appropriate procedures.
- Marks or bruises on the legs or wrists, which may indicate the use of restraints.
- A caregiver’s reluctance to answer certain questions or to leave family members alone with the resident.
It is important to take action if you notice these or any other signs of abuse. Call the Department of Health and Hospitals at 1-877-343-5179. A fast response not only can save your loved one from further mistreatment, but it may also protect other residents.
If you or a loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart. A Lake Charles personal-injury attorney can evaluate your case, gather evidence and pursue the maximum compensation. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.