Nursing home abuse is, unfortunately, a fact of life for many of the nearly two million people over the age of 65 who currently reside in one of the more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States (according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates).
If you or a loved one resides in a nursing home, it is vitally important that you understand the many ways in which one may be vulnerable to physical abuse in a nursing home setting. Of course, nursing home abuse can take many forms. Physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuses are found in nursing homes across the US every day. The focus of this post will be the forms of physical abuse residents may encounter in these settings and some of the warning signs that they may be occurring.
Kinds of Physical Abuse:
Residents of nursing homes are entrusted to the care of the staff of that facility. The staff and management, therefore, have a legal responsibility to ensure the residents' safety, and certainly to ensure that abuses do not occur.
Yet it is not uncommon today for nursing home staff to be found guilty of physical assault on patients including slapping, punching, kicking, and even excessive restraint of the nursing home resident under their care. In addition, physical abuse of a nursing home resident may take the form of withholding of prescribed medications, or the administration of prohibited ones.
Physical abuse in a nursing home setting can often be the easiest form of abuse to detect, this due to the visible signs that physical abuse often leaves behind. Warning signs of such abuse can include:
- a caregiver who is hesitant or unwilling to allow the resident to be alone with anyone
- injuries that go unexplained
- a patient's refusal to take medication
- reports of medication overdose
- unexplained signs of wrist or leg restraints
Obviously, physical abuse is the last thing a nursing home resident or a loved one anticipates when an individual is placed in the care of a professional nursing home. That is often why these abuses go unnoticed. As such, it is important to (1) always be on the lookout for signs of abuse; (2) report any suspected abuse to the authorities and request an investigation; and (3) seek the counsel of an experienced accident attorney specializing in nursing home injury.
The attorneys of Panio Law in Chicago offer a wealth of experience in fighting for the rights of nursing home patients. Whether abuse or neglect is the culprit, we work assiduously to ensure the recovery of the wide array of damages to which our clients are eligible in these cases.
If you suspect a loved one is suffering physical abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Panio Law offices in Chicago at (708) 928-8680. We can help.