Physical abuse in nursing homes is alarmingly common. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, an estimated 14.1% of nursing home residents will experience some form of physical abuse during their residency. Physical abuse, neglect, and exploitation also accounts for a significant portion of complaints against nursing homes. For example, the federal Office for Victims of Crime reports that physical abuse was cited in 27.4% of nursing home complaints.
If you have concerns about physical abuse in a New Jersey nursing home, you should not ignore them. Rather, you should seek help, and you should do so promptly.
No one deserves to become a victim, and nursing home residents have clear legal rights under New Jersey law. Nursing home abuse attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are available to help, and you can contact us 24/7 for a free and confidential consultation.
7 Physical Injuries That May Be Indicative of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse in nursing homes can leave residents suffering from a wide variety of injuries. The following are seven types of physical injuries that are commonly the result of abuse and mistreatment:
- Back and Spine Injuries – Back pain, herniated discs, nerve damage, and fractured vertebrae are all physical injuries that can result from nursing home abuse. This includes forms of abuse such as physical assaults, neglect, and intentionally leaving residents in uncomfortable or harmful positions.
- Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers) – Bedsores occur when immobile nursing home residents are left in one position for an extended period of time. They most commonly occur on the back, hips, shoulders, and buttocks (although they can occur anywhere on the body), and they can range greatly in severity. In general, the longer a resident is left in a stationary position, the worse his or her bedsores will become.
- Broken Bones – Broken bones throughout the body can result from both abuse and neglect. Nursing home residents often suffer broken bones due to being pushed, struck, left unattended, or forced to try to walk without proper support or supervision.
- Cuts and Bruises – Cuts and bruises can be indicative of hitting, slapping, scratching, pushing, and other forms of physical violence. They can also be indicative of nursing home residents being left alone and forced to try to do things on their own (e.g., if a nursing home resident falls and gets a cut or bruise on the way to the bathroom). In either scenario, residents and their loved ones can pursue claims for nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Burn Injuries – Similar to the other types of injuries listed above, burns can be indicative of either abuse or neglect. Nursing home staff may burn residents as a form of physical abuse, or they may leave residents to attempt to cook or boil water when it is unsafe for them to do so. Friction burns may be indicative of efforts to restrain residents or harm them intentionally.
- Concussions and Other Brain Injuries – Concussions are common injuries that can result from falls, physical contact, and other traumatic events. Aging nursing home residents may be prone to suffering other, more-severe types of traumatic brain injuries as well.
- Welts – Welts, which appear as swollen red marks on the skin, are often indicative of physical abuse in nursing homes. This includes physical abuse in the form of hitting, pinching, and striking with objects such as décor items, kitchen items, belts, and medical equipment and supplies. The use of restraints can also leave welts.
If you notice these or any other signs of nursing home abuse, prompt action is crucial. This includes seeking medical attention as soon as possible, reporting the abuse to the nursing home, taking steps to keep yourself or your loved one safe, and consulting an attorney.
For a free legal consultation, call (201) 585-9111
Seeking Treatment for Physical Injuries from Nursing Home Abuse
If you or a loved one is a victim of physical abuse in a New Jersey nursing home, or if you have concerns about possible physical abuse for any reason, you should seek diagnosis and treatment from a doctor promptly. Nursing home residents have the absolute right to seek treatment outside of the facility, and administrators and staff cannot legally prevent residents from obtaining necessary medical care.
Nursing homes are not always cooperative when allegations of abuse and neglect arise. If you are dissatisfied with how the facility handles the situation or you are afraid for your or your loved one’s safety, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Entrusting the care of an elderly loved one to a stranger is never easy. If you are the victim of abuse or you believe that your relative is being victimized, it is crucial to seek legal guidance.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi has decades of experience representing clients in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our attorneys thoroughly investigate and build strong claims against those responsible for abusing and mistreating nursing home residents.
Please call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 today for a free case evaluation. Our nursing home abuse lawyers serve clients in Fort Lee and throughout New Jersey, as well as New York.