An estimated 1.6 to two million seniors in assisted living facilities experience elder abuse each year. Nursing home abuse can lead to a decrease in the quality of life of the victim and, in severe cases, may even lead to death.
“Seniors in need of assistance are among the most vulnerable groups in our society,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Charlotte nursing home abuse attorney. “Because of this, it is my goal to educate the families of potential victims of the dangers that their loved ones may face in care facilities.”
How is Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes Defined?
Physical abuse is the use of excessive force against a senior citizen that causes injury or extreme discomfort to the victim. Caregivers who commit physical abuse of a senior often do so as punishment or are using improper care techniques. In some cases, the senior may perform actions that are harmful to themselves, but this is not considered to be physical abuse. The actions must be committed by another, otherwise this could be classified as neglect.
Possible Indicators of Abuse
Visual indicators for possible cases of physical abuse include cuts, scratches, bruises, burns, abrasions and even broken bones. Sexual abuse is also another form of physical abuse.
Physical abuse is perhaps the easiest form of abuse to detect, but not all warning signs are visible. Some indications may be behavioral.
- Uncharacteristic listlessness or unresponsiveness
- The victim seems unusually withdrawn or upset
- Hesitation when explaining how an injury occurred
- Inability to explain how an injury occurred
- The victim does not want to speak when staff members are present
Why Do Cases Go Unreported?
Only approximately one in every 14 cases are reported. While every case is different, the main reasons for unreported nursing home abuse are because of
- Shame or embarrassment
- Intimidation by the responsible party
- Fear of retaliation
If you suspect a loved one has been abused in a nursing facility, but they are unwilling to admit it, the best thing to do is to make sure that they understand you are on their side and will help them get out of that situation. Begin documenting any signs of abuse with pictures and descriptions with times and dates. Once you have collected necessary information, talk to your lawyer.
Trust a Compassionate & Knowledgeable Charlotte Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Thomas D. Bumgardner is a Charlotte nursing home abuse attorney with years of experience fighting for his client’s rights and winning fair compensation. If you or a loved one feel that nursing home abuse has been committed, give us a call to discuss your case for free – (704) 870-4779.