Bruising May be a Sign of Nursing Home Abuse
Unexplained bruising may be a sign of nursing home abuse. Elderly people’s skin does bruise more easily than younger skin for a variety of reasons. For instance, certain medications cause bruising; blood vessels become less elastic and are more prone to breaking, which causes a bruise; and as the body ages, fat tissue becomes thinner in certain areas, providing less cushioning, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The elderly are also more likely to bump into furniture or fall due to poor eyesight and balance. However, excessive bruising and particularly unexplained bruising may be a sign that your loved one is being abused. To find out more, you need to work with an experienced Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer.
Signs That Bruising is Not Accidental
- Symmetrical bruising to both sides of the body;
- Many areas of bruising across the body;
- Severe bruising;
- Bruising that resembles fingerprints where your elderly loved one was grabbed;
- Nursing home staff members have conflicting stories about how the bruising occurred or their stories seem made up;
- Your elderly loved one says he or she cannot remember what happened;
- Your elderly loved one changes his or her story about the bruising;
- Your elderly loved one does not want to talk about it or tries to change the subject; and
- Anything else that seems suspicious or untruthful.
How Physical Abuse Causes Bruising
Working in a nursing home is certainly a difficult job, and even frustrating at times. But that never gives a caretaker the right to use unnecessary physical force on a patient. Sadly, according to studies, a surprising number of nursing home staff abuse their patients. One study found the following self-reported abusive behavior. In the last 12 months, nursing home staff engaged in the following:
- 51 percent yelled at a resident in anger;
- 23 insulted or swore at a resident;
- 8 percent threatened to hit or throw something at a resident;
- 17 percent pushed, grabbed, or shoved a resident;
- 2 percent slapped or hit a resident; and
- 1 percent threw something at a resident.
The following are types of abuse nursing home staff may have inflicted on your elderly loved one to cause the bruising that you have noticed:
- Holding down;
- Shoving or pushing;
- Causing the resident to fall down;
- Forcefully pushing something into the resident (such as a walker);
- Hitting the resident with an object;
- Excessive or unnecessary use of physical restraints; and
- Pinching or twisting.
Any type or level of physical or emotional abuse is uncalled for in nursing homes. The abuse that your loved one has already experienced is traumatic, and the abuser needs to be held accountable. Moreover, they need to be stopped immediately. What starts out as slapping or forcefully grabbing may lead to even more violent acts, resulting in broken bones and life threatening injuries. The longer the abuse is allowed to go on, the more confident the abuser becomes that he or she will not be caught or held responsible. To talk to an experienced Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer, call Goudie & Kohn today at 813-428-8504 to schedule a free consultation.