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California Nursing Home Physical Abuse Lawyer

Physical abuse is rampant in California nursing homes. According to a study done in 2017 by the World Health Organization (WHO), 9.3% of nursing home staff members admitted that they had committed some form of abuse against an elderly patient in the past. Unfortunately, physical abuse in nursing homes is widespread due to the fact that many, if not all, nursing home residents have cognitive and/or physical impairments that inhibit them from defending themselves from perpetrators. Additionally, those suffering from physical abuse often do not tell their loved ones out of fear of retaliation, and thus it goes unnoticed.

Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force that may result in bodily injury or pain. Such abuse can happen to any elderly patient in a nursing home regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or race. The injuries that a nursing home resident may suffer as a result of physical abuse can be very serious and sometimes fatal, as many elders are fragile. Any sort of intentional physical harm upon an elderly individual may be considered a form of physical abuse. Such harm includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Hitting/Punching/Slapping/Striking/Beating
  • Bruising/Wounding/Welts/Scaring (especially if appearing on both sides of the body, symmetrically)
  • Pushing/Shoving/Shaking
  • Kicking
  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Excessively Restraining/Confining (indicated by rope marks on wrists and/or ankles)
  • Sexual Assault and/or Battery
  • Denial of Food and/or Water
  • Force Feeding
  • Overly Medicating (such as a drug overdose that involves hospitalization)
  • Under Medicating (recognized by more left of a medicinal prescription than there should be)
  • Withholding Medical Care
  • Broken Eye Glasses/Frames (indicating strikes or blows to the face, or falls from shoving)

Why does physical abuse happen in nursing homes?

Physical abuse in nursing homes occurs for a variety of reasons. One common reason is under-staffing at nursing homes, which allows abuse to go unnoticed. Other reasons include failure to conduct background investigations on employees, failure to properly train staff, failure to properly supervise staff members, and failure to provide the proper ratio of staff to patients. These reasons are no excuse, and nursing homes have a duty to provide residents with a safe place to live. There are also many risk factors to take into account that may make you or a loved one more susceptible to nursing home abuse, and they include the following:

  • Memory Loss:​ Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory loss diseases or conditions are more prone to abuse as they are vulnerable and fail to recognize abuse as it occurs.
  • Disabilities:​ Elderly individuals who are disabled often are more prone to suffering from abuse within a nursing home facility as well. These individuals often require a bit more work, assistance, and patience from caregivers, which in turn can make caregivers a bit frustrated. Upon becoming frustrated or irritated, a caregiver can lash out at an elderly individual in the form of physical abuse.
  • Isolation:​ Nursing home patients who do not receive regular visits from friends or loved ones are also more susceptible to abuse as they are not regularly monitored, and the perpetrators can more easily get away with the abuse.

All elders are susceptible to elder abuse regardless of whether they suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, as elder abuse is the choice of the perpetrator, after all. There are many factors that may result in an increased risk of a perpetrator abusing an elderly individual. Such factors include but are not limited to the following:

  • Depressed or overall saddened mood given off by the caregiver
  • Lack of assistance from other potential caregivers
  • A caregiver with a mindset that the elderly individual is purely a burden, and has no emotional attachment to them.
  • Abuse of substances by the caregiver
  • Isolation, with the elderly individual often alone with the same caregiver
  • The relationship between the elder and caregiver previously, if any
  • A history of domestic violence in the home of the caregiver
  • The inability of a caregiver to look beyond any sort of verbal abuse that the elderly patient may be exposing them to
  • Unreasonable amounts of responsibility put onto the caregiver resulting in an abundance of emotional stress
  • Lack of sufficient experience or training for the caregiver
  • Poor working conditions or environment that results in the caregiver reaching their wits’ end.

It is important to ensure that the individuals providing a loved one with care are truly passionate about what they do and feel rightfully compensated for their work. It is also important to support care providers and be sure that they have adequate breaks. After all, taking care of an elderly patient is never easy and can sometimes be as emotionally frustrating as it is rewarding.

What are some signs of physical abuse occurring in a nursing home?

There are many different indications that physical abuse may be occurring in a nursing home. The most common indicators of physical abuse within a nursing home appear directly on the elder’s body and include the following unexplained injuries:

  • Bruising, (especially on or around the arms and hands)
  • Dislocated Joints
  • Sprains
  • Broken Bones
  • Hair or Tooth Loss
  • Burns (from cigarettes or appliances)

It is also important to take note of injuries that have been explained, and ensure that such explanations have not been fabricated. This can be done by checking up on the elderly individual and ensuring that their injuries are healing properly. Also, it is important to note whether the injury continuously appears in the same or other locations. If injuries continue to persist or reappear, it is of great importance to acknowledge the pattern and ensure that a loved one is not in harm’s way. Unfortunately, however, such patterns often are grave indicators of abuse, in which case a knowledgeable California nursing home abuse attorney such as Mr. Bryant should evaluate your loved one’s circumstances, and assist you with following the correct procedures with authorities, social services, and the perpetrators themselves to ensure that such abuse does not continue.

Not all of these indicators may be physically present as well, because physical abuse often triggers an emotional response from the elderly individual which may present as the following:

  • An injury’s explanation that is not straightforward, or the “facts” change
  • An unexplained saddened or depressed mood
  • An overall social withdraw from activities that the elder previously enjoyed
  • Hesitation to visit with good friends or family
  • A strained relationship between the elder and the caregiver

Finally, a third indicator that a loved one may be suffering from abuse within a nursing home has to do with their health care and includes the following:

  • Multiple hospitalizations for a recurring injury
  • Multiple hospitalizations at different locations to ensure the pattern of abuse goes undetected
  • No care at all for an injury that an elder receives
  • Cover up for an injury that an elder receives instead of seeking treatment
  • A delay in care for an injury an elder receives for an unexplained reason

If you have recognized any of these signs of abuse with regard to your loved one in a nursing home facility, do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Bryant today. Your hesitation could be the difference in whether or not your loved one is safe, and their abusers are held responsible, or seriously, and possibly fatally injured.

How can I prevent abuse against a loved one in a nursing home facility?

Extensive research should be done when considering a nursing home, but sometimes even these searches into the backgrounds of the nursing homes are not enough. For this reason, in order to ensure that a loved one is not being physically abused in a nursing home facility, it is important to remain in constant contact with the elder. It is also important to visit in person at random times to limit the possibility of apparent physical abuse being covered up by the care provider. During in-person visits, it is imperative that visitors look for obvious signs of abuse such as the ones listed above. It is also a good idea to take into consideration the environment in which your loved one is residing in. Is the facility clean and organized? Do the staff seem genuinely happy and attentive when dealing with the patients? Finally, do the other elderly patients appear to be in good care and spirits? These are all important things to take into consideration upon visiting, as they may be small indicators of a much larger problem in the nursing home itself.

How is physical abuse concealed?

Physical abuse in nursing homes is sometimes hidden. Often, nursing home staff will claim a resident has fallen in order to cover up the abuse. Any injury requiring emergency treatment or hospitalization is a sign of abuse. Other signs of abuse include broken bones and unreported injuries. Any injury that does not make sense as to how it occurred could be a sign of physical abuse. Anytime a resident is kept from seeing his family members or guests, physical abuse may have taken place and it is important to investigate further.

Physical abuse can also be concealed or covered up by elderly individuals themselves out of fear of retaliation if they believe that their family will confront the wrongdoer(s) and then not remove them from the dangerous situation. Also, physical abuse may be concealed by the elder out of embarrassment, as they can be ashamed that they were so frail and vulnerable they were unable to protect themselves from the abuse.

How does one report suspected elder abuse?

If you or a loved one is being physically abused in a nursing home, it is important to reach out to an elder neglect and abuse attorney immediately. Elderly patients are more fragile than the general population and are more susceptible to serious injury and possibly death should they be exposed to physical abuse. A knowledgeable attorney such as ​Joel Bryant will be able to immediately help with the reporting process of the situation should he evaluate your circumstances or a loved one’s as physical elder abuse, in his ​free consultation.​ Joel Bryant will aid you in navigating the process of informing local law enforcement and social services of the alleged abuse as well as provide additional support through his many resources during the duration of the investigation. Joel will work with you to ensure that your loved one is rightfully compensated for the abuse they have endured, and ensure that the wrongdoers are held responsible for their actions in causing the pain and suffering that has led to contacting Attorney Joel Bryant.

Seek help from a nursing home physical abuse attorney

Nursing home neglect and abuse must be stopped, and the owners of nursing homes are responsible if a resident in their care becomes the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If one of your loved ones was abused in a nursing home, ​contact ​Attorney Bryant and his team today. It is important for loved one’s to speak up on behalf of their elderly family members because many times, elderly individuals are unable to speak up out of fear, embarrassment, isolation, or diseases such as Alzheimer’s that leave them more vulnerable to being abused.

The experienced team of ​San Diego elder abuse attorneys​ can help recover the compensation you deserve, and ensure that our loved one is no longer abused and that the perpetrators are held responsible for their actions. Mr. Bryant and his team have been one of the top elder abuse firms in San Diego for over 20 years and they are committed to helping you navigate the legal process and get you and your loved one the justice that is rightfully deserved. Reach out today for a free, confidential consultation to see if your loved one’s case justifies legal action.

Some common signs of physical abuse in nursing homes include

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Excessive use of physical restraints
  • Denial of food or water
  • Force feeding
  • Overly medicated
  • Withholding medical care
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Wounds
  • Elder reporting of being mistreated
  • Striking or beating
  • Shaking or slapping

If your loved one exhibits any signs of physical abuse in a nursing home immediately report the incident and contact California Attorney Joel Bryant at (619) 239-7900 for a free legal consultation. Mr. Bryant will help you get the compensation your entitled to.

“Joel and his team were the help I needed to approach the nursing home that didn’t take good care of my grandmother. With Joel’s help, my grandmother was fairly compensated for the injuries she suffered as a result of the nursing home’s neglect and abuse.”

Andrea C.

“When one of the most tragic events happened in my life, Joel Bryant and Jason Julius were there for me when I needed someone the most. They both were very professional, honest, compassionate, and supportive."

Brent R.

“Joel was amazingly accessible, by phone, email and often, in person, and still is. He is a professional with an understanding heart, and a sense of humor. I still feel very fortunate to have had him on my side.”

Michelle B.
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