Discovering Elder Abuse in California
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse happens every day in California. Nursing home residents are often the victims of horrible elder abuse because they have physical or mental restrictions that leave them unable to communicate.
Nursing home abuse can take on a variety of forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. It can range in severity, from small injuries, trauma, or fraud, to death, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or major financial losses. Regardless of the form or severity, elder abuse should be reported and its signs should be immediately investigated. Doing so will hold perpetrators responsible and protect your loved one and other residents from harm. The first step in preventing nursing home abuse is to recognize the signs.
If you believe a loved one has been abused in a nursing home, we can help. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer by contacting us.
Physical abuse is the intentional use of force that may result in bodily injury or pain. Such abuse can happen to any nursing home resident regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or race. The injuries can be very serious and sometimes fatal. Any sort of intentional physical harm to an elderly individual may be considered a form of physical abuse.
The most common signs of physical abuse appear directly on the elder’s body and include the following unexplained injuries:
- Bruising, especially on or around the arms and hands
- Dislocated joints
- Broken bones
- Hair or tooth loss
- Burns (from cigarettes or appliances)
Many forms of abuse trigger an emotional response, which may present as the following:
- An injury’s explanation that is not straightforward, or the “facts” change
- A strained relationship between the elder and the caregiver
- Social withdrawal
- Emotional withdrawal
- Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Uneasiness around a specific person
- Efforts to flee the nursing home or certain care
- Avoidance of assistance for bathing, changing, or showering
Nursing home residents are weak, defenseless, and often easy prey for sexual predators. When a nursing home resident is weak and unable to resist or speak up, the likelihood of sexual abuse increases. Elder sexual abuse can range from unwanted touching to rape.
Fortunately, even though sexual abuse can be well-concealed, you will have a much better chance of saving your loved one from a sexually abusive environment if you know what to look out for.
Signs of sexual abuse include:
- Development of a pelvic injury
- Problems walking or sitting
- Contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Torn, bloody, or stained underwear
- Bruises on the genital area or inner thighs
- Bleeding from the anus or genitals
- Irritation or discomfort of the anus or genitals
- Unusual outbursts of aggression coupled with references to someone doing “bad things” or being “nasty” to the elder
- An increase in flirtatious and sexually suggestive behavior
- Unusual hostility towards male caregivers and other males
"Mr. Bryant and his staff were always available to answer our questions and concerns."Eugenia A.
"Joel used creativity and attention to details of complex corporate matters to move the case to settlement within six months of filing."Robert H.
"They were very professional, honest, compassionate, and supportive."Brent R.