Under some circumstances, serious physical elder abuse may be occurring in a nursing home setting. Physical elder abuse is generally defined as the use of physical force by another person that results in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. For example, physical elder abuse in a nursing home may include acts of violence like hitting, beating, pushing, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, and burning. In addition to these more obvious physical abuse behaviors, inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force-feeding, and physical punishment of any kind also are examples of physical elder abuse.
Many nursing home residents may be physically or mentally impaired and thus it will be very hard for them to report physical abuse from their caretakers. It is important that family and friends constantly monitor seniors in a nursing home. Close to a million reports of physical elder abuse are submitted to authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported to any one.
Signs of Physical Nursing Home Abuse Include:
- Bruises, welts, cuts, wounds, cigarette or rope burns
- Open wounds, cuts, and punctures in various healing stages
- Unexplainable Blood
- Loss of weight and paleness
- Sudden deterioration of health
- Improper Medicating
- Broken Eyeglasses
- Sudden Change in Behavior
- Nursing home staff refusing to allow visitors
If assault and battery has occurred, there may be state law remedies that can help. There could be criminal sanctions for this type of physical elder abuse and the police will need to conduct an investigation. After the police conduct their investigation of an assault and battery charge, there may still be a civil remedy available to an abused nursing home patient in a civil nursing home negligence lawsuit. It will be necessary to consult a local nursing home abuse lawyer to explore options that are available in your home state.