Every American should have freedom from abuse and violence. This is no less true for nursing home residents. In fact, between state and federal laws, nursing home patients are guaranteed certain rights, no matter their condition. When care providers do not do their part to keep our elders safe, they can—and should—be held accountable.
One way to do so is by reporting the conduct to Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services. Individuals can also file a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the offending facility. If you are considering taking the latter step, our team can help. Peterson & Associates, P.C. has been serving Kansas City injury victims for nearly 30 years. We want to help you fight for justice if your loved one was physically abused while in a nursing home.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling 816-888-8888. Our Kansas City lawyers are ready to help you file a lawsuit against a negligent nursing home.
What Physical Abuse to Elders Looks Like
A study of Michigan nursing home patients found that nearly 1 in 4 suffered some form of physical abuse by a staff member. Sadly, the prevalence of abuse by caregivers is probably similar in nursing homes around the nation. Physical abuse consists of the use of force and/or violence against a patient. It may entail hitting or slapping; beating; shaking; kicking; pushing; spitting on; scratching or pinching; burning; force-feeding; inappropriate use of medications and physical restraints; and other aggressive acts.
Highly violent abuse can cause serious disabilities like:
- Broken bones
- Head or brain injury
- Chronic pain
- Exacerbation of existing medical issues
Some abusers are savvy enough to only cause injuries that do not leave marks or to make sure signs of violence will be hidden by clothing. However, these people deserve to be held accountable just as much as those who severely injure patients. Physical abuse has emotional effects: Elders may withdraw from others, live in a constant state of fear and/or anxiety, and find it hard to trust others. This mental strain can lead to a decline in physical health.
How Physical Abuse Happens in Nursing Homes
Seniors in nursing homes may be vulnerable because of their medical conditions, dependence on others, and mental state. Often, they have little or no contact with the outside world. This makes it easier for abusers to mistreat them. Physical abuse may be perpetrated by:
- Nursing home staff
- Other residents
- Visiting family members
Nursing homes must provide proper oversight to ensure this type of behavior doesn’t happen. However, most nursing homes these days are staffed at the lowest permissible levels. This means nurses or other managers may not see acts of violence, whether they are between residents or inflicted by staff members on their patients.
Filing a Claim Can Make a Whole Community Safer
If your loved one has been abused in their nursing home, it’s likely others around them are also at risk of, or facing, mistreatment. Reporting abuse and filing a lawsuit are therefore not only about finding justice for your loved one. They’re about making sure harmful individuals no longer have access to a group of potential victims.
Nursing home abuse cases don’t only address the violent or negligent individual(s), either. Our attorneys will look into the way the facility is run to see if there are deeper issues at play. Often, the mismanagement starts from the top—and filing a lawsuit can be the best way to bring harmful corporate behavior into the public eye.
We Can Help You Fight for Justice
Our team works on a contingency basis to help people like you access the help you need during difficult times. We understand the safety of your loved one is most important right now, and it’s where you need to focus your energy. We provide all-around support to help you and your loved one heal.
Meanwhile, our lawyers do everything we can to fight for our clients. Our firm has the skilled litigators and sufficient resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case and build a strong legal strategy for you. We are dedicated to helping you find justice, even if that means taking your case to court when a nursing home refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Our elders are a valuable part of our families and communities, and Peterson & Associates, P.C. is here to protect them when others take advantage of their vulnerability. Reach out today if you are looking for help.