Nursing Home Abuse Can Be Hard To Spot

Contact the St. Louis elder abuse attorneys at the Bruning Law Firm today.

Nursing homes are an important source of elderly care outside of hospitals as they provide custodial care in the form of assistance with feeding, bathing, dressing, eating, and medical services.1 Nursing homes are structured around an extensive staff and professional personal including licensed doctors, nurses, administrative personal, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and nutritionists.2 These types of individuals service and care for the nearly 1.4 million adults over the age of 65 who reside in nursing homes³. However, despite the dependency on nursing homes, there is a significant level of skepticism towards nursing homes, because they can correlate to instances of elderly abuse.

Abuse in St. Louis, MO Nursing Homes

Injury or loss arises in nursing homes for a number of reasons including abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.4 Abuse is a prevalent issue as annually hundreds of thousands are effected by some form of abuse.5 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are six categories or types of maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial abuse. Physical abuse is one of the most common forms of elder abuse and includes any intentional infliction of pain such as through slapping or grabbing, but also restraint through physical or chemical means.6 One of the other leading forms of elder abuse is emotional abuse caused by the intentional inflicting of mental pain, anguish, or distress; elder abuse can be carried out through verbal or nonverbal acts, but is often identified by humiliating, intimidating, mocking, or threatening a patient.7

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse in MO

There are certain symptoms or warning signs that suggest a person may be enduring abuse which could include bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns, withdrawal from activities, changes in alertness, unusual depression, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, or strained or changed relationships. However, despite these warning signs, it can be very difficult to define, understand, and identify nursing home abuse. Patient reporting is infrequent due to a number of reasons including the fear of repercussions if abuse is reported, limited contact with outside parties or family members to discuss abuse with or to recognize the warnings, and the commonality of memory or communication problems that prevent clear reporting. The decreased mental and physical condition of elder adults often acts as an excuse for nursing home personal to deflect blame away or to identify an alternative source of the injurie since it is easy to blame bruises, broken bones, or behavior changes on natural conditions when a patient has a blood condition that makes them susceptible to bruising, frail bones that easily could break during a fall, or dementia that could also account for confusion.

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you loved has been harmed due to nursing home abuse, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests to compensation. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.

Resources:

  1. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/senior-housing/guide-to-nursing-homes.htm
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ElderAbuse/
  5. Ibid.
  6. http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/elder_rights/EA_prevention/whatisEA.aspx
  7. Ibid.