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Victim of Physical Assault in a Phoenix Nursing Home

How Physical Assault Plays into Elder Abuse Cases

When your loved one is in a nursing home, you spend a lot of time trying to find the best place. You research and ask people and do everything you can to make sure your loved one is in the best possible place. Many people never think that their loved one can be abused in a facility until the signs start showing up or they get a call that their loved one is injured or sometimes even being rushed to the hospital with a life threatening injury.

This is no surprise to our office as we handle many cases like these. We have had cases where families go away just for the weekend and come home to their loved one having a very serious injury due to the neglect of the nursing home. Some of the care is outrageous.

Unfortunately, these incidents occur more often than most people think. Putting your loved one in a nursing home is a difficult enough decision without having to worry about what might happen to them once they are out of your care. Neglect and physical abuse are becoming more and more common in nursing homes, and even looking at recent news stories or the latest statistics for Phoenix and throughout the rest of Arizona will tell you how significant the problem truly has become. If you are at this page, it may be because you suspect your loved one is being hurt or maybe your loved one has already been injured and you are searching what you need to do.

The Types of Physical Abuse Elders Can Endure in Nursing Homes

One of the biggest problems with determining that physical abuse is occurring within a nursing home is that most people do not understand what constitutes physical abuse. Also, many times it is not that simple. It is not like an employee is going to come up to you and tell you that your loved one is being abused. It tends to happen over time or the care of a facility tends to decrease over time. Many times it is not easy to detect that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home.

Of course, there are many times where there is one incident that causes a significant injury and then it is much easier to determine that the level of care at the nursing home fell way below the standard of care. Each scenario can be very different but the bottom line is that you put your loved one in a facility to still be loved and cared for. If your loved one is hurt in any way, it is important for you to continue to do research to see what the abuse was all about especially to make sure it does not happen again.

You may be thinking to yourself in hindsight that you should have saw the signs but that's not true. Many people think you would know abuse when you see it or when you hear about it, but that is not always the case. Most people think of physical abuse as punching, hitting, throwing someone against a wall, or kicking them. These are not the only types of physical abuse that someone can endure, and for the elderly, even the seemingly lesser types of physical abuse you normally would not categorize as such can cause serious physical harm.

Signs of Physical Abuse to Watch Out For

Below is a small list of some physical abuses that you should keep your eye out for if your loved one is in a nursing home. If you are coming to this page because you suspect abuse or are sure your loved one is being abused then you may already recognize some of these things. Look for the following.

  • Kicking, hitting, punching, slapping and injuries from these actions
  • Pushing the elderly person, even if it's just a small shove
  • Causing burns with a cigarette, a hot object like a light bulb, a burner on a stove, a curling iron, or any other type of hot instrument or chemical that can cause such injuries
  • Pinching the elderly person or pulling their hair, which may both be categorized as something children or childish people do, but may not be seen as abuse the first time you see it
  • Grabbing the elderly person and shaking them, or squeezing them very hard

Many times there are signs of mental and emotional stress on victims, and your loved one may begin to withdraw without ever having experienced physical abuse, but only the serious threat of harm. Threats of injury or harm still leave a permanent scar to your loved one.

How to Recognize Physical Abuse Injuries

Along with not understanding how to recognize physical abuse as it is happening, you may also not understand everything to look for that could clue you in as to what's going on in your loved one's life or maybe you have already seen these signs. While there are some obvious signs and symptoms that should prompt you to seek medical care for your loved one and to talk to them openly about their situation, there are some additional signs and symptoms for which you should be on the lookout.

  • Bruises, black eyes, and welts
  • Fractures that don't make sense; in other words, your loved one did not slip and fall on their own and suddenly have a fracture
  • Sprains, such as sprained wrists or ankles that come about suddenly
  • Marks on the skin that could have been caused by being restrained or by being hit with an object or bed sores that show your loved one has not been taken care of very well
  • Changes in their behavior, hygiene, or eating habits that put you off and make you wonder what is changing them

If you are researching to get more information because you think your loved one is in a facility that has harmed him/her, you are doing the right thing. It is important that our loved ones are protected and that we continue to look out for them. What may start as a great facility may turn into a horrible facility. One bad care giver can make the difference.

You can talk to your loved one and see if they are able to communicate how they are being cared for. If you already have enough information to know that the facility hurt your loved one then it is important to talk to another medical provider and take steps to make sure your loved one is protected.

Get Your Loved One the Legal Help They Deserve

Once you have determined that someone in the nursing home abused your loved one and have your loved one in a safe place, it is important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney, who can help you file the appropriate reports with Aging Services and also help you seek recompense from the abuser and the nursing home. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover the compensation necessary to pay medical bills, get mental and emotional health counseling to help your loved one recover, and even move them to a new facility where they will be protected and better-cared for. If you think that you might have a case for physical, call the Phoenix nursing home abuse attorneys at the Husband and Wife Law Team now.

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