Physical abuse is a type of nursing home abuse that involves intentional harm to an older adult’s body. This can include hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, kicking, or using excessive force when restraining an older adult. Physical abuse can also involve the inappropriate use of restraints, such as tying an older adult to a bed or wheelchair for an extended period of time.
Physical abuse is a serious problem in nursing homes, and it can have both immediate and long-term consequences for older adults. Immediate consequences can include physical injuries such as bruises, cuts, burns, or broken bones. Long-term consequences can include chronic pain, disability, or even death.
Signs of Physical Abuse
It is important to be able to recognize the signs of physical abuse in nursing homes so that you can take action to prevent further harm. Some signs of physical abuse may include:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Broken bones or fractures
- Sprains or dislocations
- Burns or scalds
- Internal injuries or bleeding
- Reluctance to discuss injuries or appear fearful or anxious around staff members
- Evidence of the inappropriate use of restraints, such as marks on the skin or a loss of muscle tone in the affected area
Preventing Physical Abuse
Preventing physical abuse in nursing homes requires a multi-faceted approach that involves not only identifying and reporting abuse but also addressing the underlying causes of mistreatment. This can include improving staffing levels, providing training to staff members on identifying and preventing abuse, and implementing policies and procedures that prioritize resident safety and well-being.
If you suspect that an older adult is being physically abused in a nursing home, it is important to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. This can include state agencies, local law enforcement, or adult protective services. You can also contact the ombudsman for assistance and support.
Physical abuse is a serious problem in nursing homes that can have devastating consequences for older adults. By being aware of the signs of physical abuse and taking action to prevent mistreatment, you can help protect your loved ones and ensure that nursing home residents receive the care and respect they deserve. If you suspect nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to report it and seek legal help. The Terry Law Firm can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.