Nursing homes and skilled care facilities provide care to people who, due to age-related conditions, cannot live on their own. While family members may choose to fill the role, it can be quite tasking to take care of a senior, and most people opt for nursing homes. But like in most cases where one individual wields power over another, there are often cases of elder abuse in these facilities.
If you suspect your loved one has been abused in a facility in Massachusetts, a nursing home abuse lawyer is you and your loved one’s best chance at being compensated. But before you do that, let’s talk about the types of abuse.
A nursing home resident who suffers from any sort of physical injury, pain or mistreatment due to a nursing home worker’s actions or inactions is suffering from physical abuse. According to a study by Nursing Home Abuse, as many as 23% of nursing home residents experience at least one instance of physical abuse by nursing home caregivers, other residents or visiting family members.
There are three types of physical abuse:
Active abuse is an act of abuse that’s done purposefully and with the intent to hurt, and it’s the easiest form of abuse to observe. Common examples include slapping, kicking, pushing and punching.
Misuse of restraints: restraints are often used for a number for medical reasons, but only for a limited time. When a caregiver uses it to discipline a resident or for any other reason that isn’t medical, and for longer than required, it’s a form of physical abuse.
Physical neglect isn’t usually done on purpose, but the effects are still as harmful. It could be due to understaffing, limited resources or unskilled staff, resulting in limited food or clothing for the residents, and inadequate physical care. If, for instance, a senior is left in one position for so long they develop bedsores, they are being physically abused.
A physically abused senior may have unexplained and recurring injuries, abrasions, and bruises from restraints, unexplained weight loss and they may seem depressed and withdrawn. If you spot any of these signs, don’t hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
This kind of abuse is more subtle, but the impact it can have on a vulnerable senior can be massive. These are rarely cases we can handle as they are very hard to prove damages. For someone who needs help doing basic, day to day activities, your caregiver is essentially your lifeline. However, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, a lot of caregivers abuse this power, with 60% of all self-reported elder abuse being verbal.
Some signs of verbal abuse may be withdrawal and depression, low self-esteem, changes in personality or behavior, agitation, or extreme nervousness.
Who Should be Held Liable?
Now that you’ve confirmed that your loved one has indeed been abused in a nursing home in Massachusetts, who is liable for the abuse? Ideally, the nursing home should be held liable if it hired untrained or insufficient staff, was aware of the abuse and failed to stop it, or didn’t do background checks for its staff.
Talk to Our Experienced Attorneys
A nursing home abuse lawyer will greatly increase your loved one’s chances of being compensated for the pain and suffering caused by abuse. Send us a message online or call us today at (617) 933-3858 to schedule a free consultation.