Physical abuse is a very common form of nursing home abuse, and most often committed by the staff members of the home. Others who can commit it include visitors and other patients of the nursing home, although this is less common. It can come in many forms, but always carries the intention to cause physical pain, injury and harm to the victim. Beyond the physical scars, it can also have psychological effects on the victim.
Physical abuse can take several forms, including striking the victim, kicking, sleep deprivation, exposure to hear or cold, withholding food and/or medication, and more. All of these can have devastating effects on the patient, and long lasting consequences on his or her physical and mental health.
Due to the increased risk of injury the elderly face, it can lead to bruising, broken bones, fractures, and scars. Other signs can include bite marks or evidence of burns. If you see these signs on a patient, take action as soon as possible to make sure of the cause. Most likely it is elder abuse, especially if there is no readily available and logical explanation of the cause.
There are also many more serious side effects that victims can face. Their ability to function can decline, depression can set in and the victim can become more and more dependent on others. Elders who face this type of abuse also face a higher mortality rate than other members of the population.
If the elder is being abused, you may also notice the presence of unexplained injuries or an unexplained absence from the elder’s usual activities and social interactions. These warning signs should not be ignored; it is important to investigate and take action immediately to avoid any potential further harm to the patient.
Those most at risk are elderly women and any patients that are over the age of 80. Only one in six patients have been found to report the abuse on their own, so it is extremely important to watch for any signs of physical abuse in nursing home patients.
You can play a role in preventing a loved one from suffering due to physical abuse. For instance, simply making visits to the elder on a regular basis and paying careful attention to any differences between visits is very important. This includes the patient’s health condition, social patterns, and general behavior. Alone, this will significantly decrease the risk to the patient. In addition, talk to the patient and make sure to listen to any concerns mentioned and note medications the patient is on.
If you believe a loved one is a victim of physical abuse in a nursing home, it is important to take immediate action. The longer you wait, the more risk the patient faces.
Find Out if You Have a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Parker Scheer nursing home abuse lawyers have successfully represented persons injured as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect. Those interested in having their potential claim reviewed by one of our nursing home abuse attorneys are encouraged to contact us or telephone us toll free, seven days a week at 617-886-0500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and all information supplied will be held in strict confidence.