Physical abuse against the elderly in homes and nursing homes across the country is on the rise. This type of abuse includes non-accidental force used against the elderly resulting in bodily injury, pain or impairment.
Illegal physical abuse against the elderly is a chief concern among individuals who must leave their elderly family members in the care of attendants and health workers. This is why it is important to be extremely selective when deciding on the elder care that is best for loved ones.
According to the law, physical abuse of the elderly, either by family members or healthcare workers, could mean criminal prosecution or even jail time for the aggressor. When the abuse is the result of negligence, civil penalties against a nursing home or home health agency are necessary. This means you may be entitled to compensation if you or someone you love has been the victim of physical elder abuse.
Physical abuse can come a a wide variety of forms and may or may not include violence. Physical abuse may include:
- Rough Handling
- Inappropriate Restraint
- Sexual Harassment
Every year, thousands of nursing home residents suffer from injuries from physical abuse. In some cases, the abuse can lead to permanent damage or can exacerbate an already serious health condition. Unexplained injuries, bruises, illnesses and medical conditions are telltale signs of physical abuse among the elderly. Fortunately, laws governing the treatment of nursing home residents once they enter the care of a nursing home facility are well-established.
Negligence and Physical Abuse of the Elderly
When a nursing home facility or home health agency is careless in its ability to maintain a safe environment for residents, the issue of physical abuse is a chief concern. Often, a nursing home facility that looks clean and well-managed from the outside can be hiding a negligent attitude about preventing accidents and injuries among residents or may fail to adequately train or discipline their attendants.
The federal government has laws in place to regulate the way that residents of nursing homes are treated and to ensure that their living facilities are safe. Additionally, each state has adopted laws for the oversight of each nursing home within its borders.
When a person enters a nursing home, the nursing home is responsible for providing a safe, hazard-free facility. This duty of care is violated when unsafe conditions cause falls and fractures that cannot be explained or other injuries that arise due to physical abuse. Also, nursing homes have the responsibility to report the cause and details of injuries; failure to do so could be considered illegal negligence.
Getting the Help You Need
Coming to grips with the fact that a family member or loved one may be the victim of physical abuse can be extremely devastating. Many families are left with no one to turn to in order to seek justice for the silent suffering of an elderly parent or relative. However, both federal and state laws exists for families in need of help.
If you suspect physical abuse has occurred to someone you know, do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys today. We specialize in upholding the rights of the elderly in cases of abuse, neglect and beyond. Our attorneys are well-versed in the area of elder care and nursing home abuse and are standing by to help. Call Shegerian & Associates today to get the justice you deserve.