Physical abuse in a nursing home can mean a variety of things, including physically injuring someone, holding them down, sexual abuse and more. However, there is also a form of physical abuse in nursing home cases that involves letting a person’s dressing stay on a wound for too long, or letting them sit in their feces too long, which can cause physical harm. Even though the harm may not be intentional, if physical harm occurs, this could be grounds for physical nursing home abuse.
If you or a loved one has suffered from this sort of abuse, it is critical that you contact a Tampa nursing home physical abuse lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to prepare a case to assist in maximizing any potential damages you may be entitled to.
Types of Abuse
One common example of physical abuse in nursing homes includes bruises on a resident’s arms, where an individual may have been squeezed or held in a position by a staff member that may have been frustrated with how they were acting or moving. Other signs of abuse include rashes and other problems from letting a resident sit in fecal matter too long, or not changing a dressing when it is needed. Lastly, there can be evidence of sexual abuse, which is also considered physical abuse.
Nursing home facility staff are only allowed to use force if it is absolutely necessary for the safety and well-being of the patient. For instance, if the patient is abusing themselves, hitting their head against the wall, or other things of the sort, the nursing staff is allowed to use force to calm the patient down and hopefully prevent them from self-inflicted injury.
However, if this force was used inappropriately, an individual should not hesitate to contact a Tampa nursing home physical abuse lawyer to begin preparing a case against the facility.
Particularly Vulnerable Individuals
Patients with some sort of mental incapacity, whether they deal with Alzheimer’s or dementia or do not verbalize things that they see or experience very well, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse. Many times, they are the ones that are being taken advantage of because they are not able to verbalize what the problem is to their family members or friends that visit them.
One of the warning signs that a person is being abused is that they favor one side or the other, or they make some kind of noise that shows they are in physical pain. Sometimes, a person will have to check under the resident’s clothes because it is common that if physical abuse is ongoing that the person committing the abuse will do so on places of the body covered by clothing so that marks are not visible when the resident’s family comes to visit.
Additionally, people should check on their family member in the nursing home every once in a while to make sure they are being changed and cleaned properly. If they are not, many times, smells or other changes may be seen in their demeanor or in their personal hygiene. If it is discovered that a patient has been abused, it is important for that patient’s family to contact a Tampa nursing home physical abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Contacting an Attorney
Anyone that has a suspicion that their loved one is being physically abused in a Tampa nursing home should report it to the facility manager. A Tampa nursing home physical abuse lawyer should also be contacted to make sure the abuse is reported to all of the proper avenues, whether it is law enforcement, an administrative board that handles these types of complaints, or a Department of Health complaint.
A Tampa nursing home physical abuse attorney can usually take care of all this and ensure that the patient is removed from the facility if the family feels that their loved one is still in danger.