Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes by Staff and Fellow Residents is a Real Problem
Nursing home physical abuse happens more often than anyone wants to admit. This is often because the nursing home staff is not properly checked during the hiring process. Many nursing home residents who are victims of nursing home physical abuse will hide this abuse from others. They may feel ashamed or feel like it is their fault. Nursing home abuse can be hard to identify the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. They may believe that they deserve the treatment or that there is nothing they can do about it. They might think staying silent is the best way to make the abuse stop or they may not even realize that their mistreatment is considered abuse. It is important that if you, or someone you love, is showing signs of physical abuse, that you consult a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Reduce or Prevent Physical Abuse
All patients have the right to be free of all forms of abuse, including: violation of Minnesota Nursing Home Bills of Rights physical, sexually and verbal abuse. However, what goes on behind closed doors will often include all forms of abuse. Physical abuse comes in many forms including:
- Seclusion/ Restriction of visitors/ Restriction of access to facilities and to go outdoors
- Over medication
- Physical harm from rough handling or hitting
- Unnecessary use of restraints
- Lack of proper care
- Fellow Resident Left Unsupervised
If you suspect any form of physical abuse is occurring in a nursing home, it is important to take a stand and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. The welfare of all residents should not be compromised by physical abuse and there are laws in place to protect residents and keep them safe. Physical Abuse Symptoms and Complications One of the most How to identify elder abuse and neglect of physical abuse is in a nursing home is bed sores or pressure sores on the body. However, this is not the only sign of physical abuse, additional signs can include:
- Torn, stained, bloody clothing
- Bruises and scratches
- Frequent falls
- Unexplained strains or sprains
- Blank stares, drowsiness
- Cracked lips
- Change in personality
- Fear or unexplained nervousness
- Fecal / Urine smells, Urinary Tract Infections
- Excessive weight gain or sudden weight loss
In some instances, a resident may not display any signs of physical abuse. However, it is important to always be on the lookout for these signs and to speak with your loved one about the treatment he/she is receiving. Any type of abuse in a nursing home environment is wrong and a crime. Under the Minnesota Nursing Homes Residents Bill of Rights, all residents have the right to “be free from harm, including abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.” Physical abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes but sexual abuse also occurs behind closed doors. No one wants to think that this could be happening to a family member.
Psychological and Physical Abuse of Nursing Home Residents
Sometimes it is difficult to determine if there was an incident of abuse or neglect suffered by a nursing home resident. Due to the complex nature of the care needs of many residents it is not always immediately evident if a person’s condition is the result of declining health or a disease process or due to either physical abuse or more subtly neglect.
Federal Regulations Prohibit Physical Abuse and Neglect of Nursing Home Residents
According to 42 CFR § 483.10 Resident rights, the resident has a right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the Minnesota Nursing Home Bills of Rights, including each of the following rights: (a) Exercise of rights. (1) The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States. (2) The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights. (3) In the case of a resident adjudged incompetent under the laws of a State by a court of competent jurisdiction, the rights of the resident are exercised by the person appointed under State law to act on the resident’s behalf. (4) In the case of a resident who has not been adjudged incompetent by the State court, any legal-surrogate designated in accordance with State law may exercise the resident’s rights to the extent provided by State law.
Definitions of Physical Abuse and Neglect
If You Suspect Physical Abuse Contact Attorney Kenneth LaBore
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from physical abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota, Kenneth LaBore provides a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore directly please send an email to: KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com, or call Ken at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589. Disclaimer