As one of the leading elderly physical abuse attorneys in West Virginia nursing homes, we at the Love Law Firm are, nonetheless, devastated when we come across a client who has been physically abused or a family member of an elder being physically abused in his/her nursing home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elderly physical abuse is a form of maltreatment subject to liability and compensation for victims and their families. Additionally, physical abuse can affect victims of any age and may be repetitive or a singular incident.
Some harrowing facts about nursing home abuse include:
- One out of three residents report that they have been abused
- 95% of residents report that they have seen other residents abused
- Abused senior citizens have a 300% higher risk of death
Due to the nature of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, elderly physical abuse can be difficult to identify. However, by understanding elderly physical abuse in nursing homes, and the warning signs to look out for, you and nursing home attorney Charles M. Love can fight in West Virginia courts to hold the responsible individual(s) accountable.
For a free consultation with Charleston WV attorney Charles M. Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683.
Types of Elderly Physical Abuse
Elder abuse can come in many forms, and unlike financial or even emotional abuse, physical elder abuse almost always includes visible signs of abuse and/or physical harassment. Some types of elderly physical abuse can include, but are not limited to:
- Active abuse — Easiest to observe. Some examples include pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, and pinching. By its very nature, active abuse is intentional and meant to cause injury or pain.
- Misuse of restraints — Misusing restraints is against federal nursing home laws, but despite this, it still occurs. In cases of abuse, the dangerous use of restraints for discipline or convenience can cause injuries to the victim’s wrists and legs as well as serious injuries to the rest of the body.
- Physical neglect — This type of abuse might not be intentional, but it is often caused by a lack of staff or resources. Some examples include not providing the necessary food, clothing, and sanitary environment that a patient needs to survive and maintain their dignity.
In nursing home settings, the most common abusers in these cases include the nursing home caregivers, visiting family members, and other residents. Nursing home caregivers may commit abuse out of frustration, but, for the most part, the abuse is due to understaffing, a lack of resources, or a lack of sufficient staff training.
On the other hand, it’s essential to remember that family members and other patients can (and have!) cause abuse. Some studies have shown that 20% of nursing home residents suffer abuse by their fellow residents.
Warning Signs of Elderly Physical Abuse
Elderly physical abuse is hard to hide, and in nursing home settings, whether the abuse was caused by caregivers, family, or other patients, it is not uncommon to find several witnesses who can testify about the abuse and identify perpetrators. Nevertheless, if you have the slightest suspicion that elderly physical abuse is occurring, then you should keep watch for the following warning signs:
- Medical staff refuses to leave patient alone with family
- Unexplained injuries and recurring injuries
- Physical signs of restraint such as bruises and abrasions
- Malnutrition, dehydration, and sudden weight loss
If you’re a family member, for example, and you see some of these warning signs, you should immediately talk with the staff. However, remember that you do have a range of options, and if you feel that your loved one is in danger, pull them out and contact the authorities ASAP.
Call Charleston WV Nursing Home Attorney Charles Love
Speaking out against elderly physical abuse in West Virginia nursing homes can help all elders and their families across the state, as lawsuits and successful cases can help deter future instances of abuse. As nursing home negligence lawyers in Charleston WV, we’re prepared to take on your case, fully investigate the allegations, and represent your case in West Virginia courts.
For a free consultation with attorney Charles M. Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683.