Georgia Attorneys Representing Victims of Elderly Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse of patients in nursing homes goes beyond nursing home neglect and places the patient in immediate and immense danger.
According to statistics from the federal government, nearly 25 percent of all nursing homes are cited every year for nursing home abuse resulting in severe injury or death to a resident. An investigation from CBS News reported an inspection of over 1,000 nursing homes and revealed that half had been cited for hiring staff members with a reported history of physical abuse. This is especially disturbing when you consider that most experts believe that the majority of physical abuse in nursing homes goes unreported.
The well-being and safety of your loved ones is the top priority for our Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys. Patients and their families place an immense amount of trust in caretakers, and if that trust is broken, it is often impossible for families and victims to fully recover. Let our firm help your family by offering legal advice, conducting an investigation and holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions that caused you or your loved one harm.
How is Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes Defined?
Physical abuse differs from neglect because it is the intentional use of physical force to intimidate or control elderly patients. The physical abuse can include but is not limited to striking, shoving and slapping residents as well as administering harmful drugs, isolating and/or confining residents unnecessarily for extended periods of time in addition to exposing them to dangerous conditions.
The unfortunate reality about nursing homes is that many are for-profit corporations; some care about their bottom lines over and beyond patient safety and care. When nursing homes fail to ensure they run complete background checks on staff, when nursing homes are understaffed, when nursing homes fail to properly train and supervise their employees—physical abuse by staff members may occur as a result to innocent residents.
Why Do Caretakers Physically Abuse the Elderly?
There is no one specific reason that some of these caretakers abuse residents in nursing homes. Sometimes it may occur because the staff member was not trained properly, has criminal intentions or due to short staffing the employee becomes frustrated and takes this out on residents.
Additionally, some caretakers have been known to extort money and government checks from residents by using violence or the threat of violence to intimidate the victim and keep them from reporting the abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Physical Abuse at Nursing Homes
Anyone who has loved one in nursing homes should at least be on the lookout for signs of physical abuse. Keep an eye out for any of the following signs in a patient who may be suffering abuse:
- Unexplained injuries like lacerations, bruises and abrasions
- Sudden withdrawal or signs of depression or disinterest from the resident
- Any unexplained bleeding from body orifices, including anal and vaginal
- Signs that the patient is being restrained like rope burns or bruising on ankles, neck, elbows or wrists
- Any instances of caretakers threatening patients
- A sudden change in the resident’s will, titles or power of attorney
Attorney Stephen D. Apolinsky has over 26 years of experience fighting for the rights of senior citizens in nursing homes. If you even suspect that your loved one is suffering, contact our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers today for a free consultation and review of your potential legal options.