Kansas City Elder Physical Abuse Lawyer
Though physical abuse to the elderly is difficult to imagine, it’s an unfortunate reality. Nursing home residents are at the mercy of staff members and trust their physical, mental, and physiological well-being to employees. Although federal and state laws regulate what a nursing home can and can’t do, these laws aren’t always adhered to, and the result can be permanently damaging.
Signs of Elder Physical Abuse
Nursing homes residents may or may not show obvious signs of physical abuse, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Physical abuse can range from bruising on the upper arms to hidden bone fractures left untreated from falls. We expect nursing homes to abide by state laws and general standards of human care, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you suspect your loved one is being physically abused in a nursing home, get your loved one proper care. Then call an attorney.
Physical abuse is the use of physical force to cause harm, pain, or injury. There’s no reason for nursing home employees to use physical force when handling residents, yet physical abuse still occurs. Watch out for common signs of physical abuse when you visit your loved one, and report any suspicious injuries immediately:
- Scratches or bite marks
- Hand-shaped bruises or marks
- Burns from appliances or scalded skin
- Skin abrasions from improper restraint
- Injuries left untreated by employees
- Unexplained sprains, fractures, or broken bones
- Internal injuries identified by pain or organ malfunction
Any of these signs or other signs of adverse care can point to nursing home abuse. If your loved one complains of an employee pushing, hitting, shoving, slapping, or other inappropriate physical assault, don’t take it lightly. Pay attention to the condition of other residents, and observe how employees treat them.
If employees appear impatient, angry, or harassed, it could be a sign of an understaffed facility. Overworked staff should never take out their frustrations on residents. Victims of physical abuse in nursing homes have the right to file a claim against the individual employee and the facility itself. If the facility constantly overworks its staff, for example, or knowingly hires an employee with a dangerous history, a judge could hold a facility liable for damages.
How to Prevent Elder Physical Abuse
By visiting often, paying attention to social and visual cues, and keeping track of your loved one’s physical and mental condition, you should catch signs of physical abuse in time to put an end to it. Even if your loved one doesn’t show physical signs of abuse, he or she may have an internal injury or bruising beneath clothing. Pay attention to behavioral changes, such as tense or strained relationships with employees or withdrawal from typical activities.
We hope loved ones will speak up about physical abuse in a nursing home, but sadly, this isn’t usually what happens. Elder victims of abuse may struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s and are incapable of explaining the abuse they’re suffering. They may stay quiet for fear of an employee punishing them further or from fear of not being believed. Whatever the reason, it’s up to a family member or friend of sound mind to pay attention during visits and report any suspicious activities for their loved ones.
Your Elder Abuse Attorneys in Kansas City
We’ve dedicated most of our practice to representing nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits. Spencer Eisenmenger has handled many complex cases of resident injuries and complications. Our firm has built a reputation for being knowledgeable and highly experienced in the field of nursing home negligence and abuse throughout Missouri and Kansas.
If you need skilled legal representation for a nursing home abuse lawsuit, trust our attorneys to treat your case with dedication and hard work. Contact us online or call (816) 832-4688 for a free case evaluation.