It can be difficult to place family members in nursing homes but when you do so, you do it with the hope that they will be receiving the best care possible. That is why it can be deeply upsetting to find that the nursing home you have entrusted your family member with, has allowed them to be abused. Physical and sexual abuse can have major physical and psychological repercussions, and often the most vulnerable patients are the ones who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other memory problems that are not able to tell others what happened to them.
Other people who are particularly at risk are those who are physically disabled because they cannot protect themselves. However, if you find that a loved one is being subjected to sexual or physical abuse in a nursing home, get in touch with a West Palm Beach nursing home physical and sexual abuse lawyer. A determined nursing home abuse lawyer can fight for justice for you and your loved ones.
Defining Physical Abuse
Physical abuse in a nursing home is any injury to a nursing home resident caused by negligence or lack of attention on behalf of the nursing home. Physical abuse could be a situation where an employee attacks the nursing home resident. It might be that the patient is not given the care they deserve or a nursing home resident falls and injures themselves. A resident may develop pressure sores or the staff is not paying close enough attention and a nursing home resident wanders away and is harmed.
Common examples of physical abuse in a Palm Beach Gardens nursing home include falls resulting in injuries like fractured hips; failure to turn bedbound residents in the right position so they do not develop pressure sores, and failure to identify that a nursing home resident is having problems and send them out for the healthcare they need.
All nursing home residents are vulnerable to physical abuse. The fact that they are in a nursing home indicates that they need a level of care that they cannot provide to themselves independently and their loved ones cannot provide to them. Every nursing home resident is at risk.
The first thing a person should do if they suspect that someone is being physically abused is to determine how to stop the abuse and make the resident safe. That might involve calling the Agency for Healthcare Administration or calling for the police. It is most urgent to get the resident to safety. The next thing to do is to call a West Palm Beach nursing home physical and sexual abuse lawyer.
Defining Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse in a nursing home is any unwanted or undesired sexual touching by an employee or another resident. One resident might sexually abuse another resident. There can also be circumstances where some of the employees of the nursing home sexually abuse a resident. If the abuse is coming from another resident then the nursing home has an obligation to protect their residents from abuse and neglect from other residents.
When someone believes that a loved one is being sexually abused, they should first make sure that their loved one is moved to a safe place. They should then call the police, the Agency for Healthcare Administration and a West Palm Beach nursing home physical and sexual abuse lawyer who can guide the person through the process to protect the abused person’s rights.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Detecting warning signs that a loved one is being sexually abused can be particularly difficult with nursing home residents because nursing home residents often have difficulty explaining what it is going on with them. Whenever there is a change in behavior or there are bruises on a person’s body, those are the types of signs indicate abuse. Extreme agitation, withdrawal from social interactions, and inappropriate behavior can indicate that there is a problem that needs intervention.
Role and Duty of Nursing Home and Staff
The faculty has an absolute obligation to protect their residents from mental and physical abuse including sexual abuse from nursing home staff and other residents. Using force against a resident is rarely acceptable. The only occasion that might warrant the use of force against a resident is when they are so out of control because of their dementia that they need to be restrained or held down for their own safety or for the safety of the other residents. However, that should just be for a short time until they get the appropriate care.
Value of a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Physical and Sexual Abuse Lawyer
When you place someone in a nursing home, you are trusting those at the home to care for your loved one and treat them with respect. When that trust is broken, and you find that your family member is being abused, seeking legal counsel is vital. A West Palm Beach nursing home physical and sexual abuse lawyer can look at the existing evidence, collect witness statements (if there are witnesses), and do what they can to build your case. If you find that your loved one is the subject of nursing home abuse, contact an attorney today.