Physical abuse in nursing homes can be as blatant and obvious as a resident being the victim of a physical assault and battery. They are hit sometimes because the individuals that are designated to be their caregivers are under a tremendous amount of stress. Caregiver positions are often very low-paying and very demanding and sometimes the caregivers are ill-equipped to handle the stress of dealing with older people and their particular needs and it results in abuse to the nursing home patients.
Other less obvious examples of physical abuse include things like failing to change people’s undergarments in reasonable intervals, or leaving open wounds and not changing them appropriately, leading to infection. Other physical abuses include making patients forcibly sit in their own waste, their own feces, and their own urine for unreasonable amounts of time.
With these things in mind, if you think that a loved one is in imminent danger or are at risk for abuse, you should first contact law enforcement, and then consult with a Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure that both you and your loved ones have their rights protected in this process.
Outward signs of physical abuse are manifestations of unnatural bruises, cuts, or other physical injuries. Additionally, if you have a loved one with a change in their personality—they become less outgoing, they do not want to communicate, they become depressed, these can also be signs that there may be something wrong in that facility.
Furthermore, an increase in urinary tract infections or loss of sharpness, mentally are signs that something may not be right because they may not be fed appropriately, given their medications appropriately.
Particularly Vulnerable Residents
Patients that are particularly susceptible are those that have memory issues, especially with patients that have dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is sometimes difficult for them to be able to speak and to communicate effectively about what may be wrong with them. Additionally, patients with mental illness or patients with, for example, dementia, are very susceptible because they are not good at communicating with their family members. They are also sometimes more difficult to manage simply because of their condition.
Allowable Use of Force
There is no instance when a nursing home is allowed to use force. The only thing that is authorized, sometimes, is if an individual resident or patient becomes a danger to themselves or others. In these cases, they may have to be restrained or somehow subdued, but these are calls that need to be made by medical doctors and not just the nursing home staff. So there should be an extremely good reason and paper trail to document that.
Abuse From Other Residents
If a loved on is being abused by other residents, it absolutely is physical abuse and happens often. This happens especially in memory care units because those particular individuals sometimes do not have their faculties about them and their perceptive reality may be different than what is going on. There is often a lot of abuse between residents, and it is the nursing home or assisted living facility’s obligation to monitor those residents to make sure that they are safe.
The Benefit of an Attorney
An attorney can help the family ask residents to be moved from facilities, especially when it is evident that their facility staff cannot accommodate a particular resident or are incapable of protecting them. If you have gotten to the point of removing a loved one from a nursing home, it is necessary to contact a lawyer to help with the extremely complex paperwork, documentation changes, and demands that a lawyer will understand and help combat. The Florida statute is very specific in how the process may be done. If it is not done right, an individual may be compromising their rights, and worse, the rights of their loved one.