What You Need to Know About Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

What You Need to Know About Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, 1 in 3 seniors in nursing homes experience various forms of abuse. Physical abuse is one of the more common types of harmful conduct toward nursing home residents.

Physical abuse in nursing homes involves the intentional or reckless use of physical force that leads to physical harm, pain, or impairment. Unfortunately, when elderly patients suffer any form of abuse, the experience often reduces their life expectancy.

Below is some information about the physical abuse of nursing home residents. To discuss specific concerns, reach out to our nursing home abuse attorneys in Chicago right away.

Signs of Physical Abuse to a Resident

Physical abuse takes a toll on seniors and can lead to long-term illness or death. Here are some tell-tale signs.

Visible Signs

  • Sprains
  • Broken bones
  • Burns 
  • Bruises on the hands
  • Dislocated joints
  • Broken eyeglasses or flames
  • Open cuts, untreated injuries, and punctures

Behavioral Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

  • Strained relationships between nursing staff and the senior
  • Inconsistent account of how the elder got injured from the caregiver
  • Elders become withdrawn from social activities

Lastly, there are other health indicators that point to a potential physical abuse case. For instance, delays when seeking medical care following physical harm or an underlying treatment history for the same injury.


Effects of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

The apparent effect of physical abuse is bodily harm, e.g., bruises, neck, back, and internal injuries. The degree of physical injuries varies from one patient to another, with some requiring expensive treatment.

When patients experience recurring physical abuse and neglect, they will likely suffer other problems. Here are some other physical effects that abuse victims suffer:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Bedsores
  • Deteriorating overall health
  • Considerable weight loss
  • Malnutrition and dehydration

Some injuries are not visible – however, any form of physical abuse has a psychological impact. As such, a family member can take cues from a sudden change in behavior or personality.

Examples of psychological impact include eating disorders, agitation, refusal to take medication, depression, and eating problems. Keep in mind that psychological effects also contribute to severe illness and mental regression.

Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

What are some of the risk factors of physical abuse in nursing homes? Elders with disabilities, mental illness, or other underlying health conditions are highly likely to experience physical abuse.

How can you treat physical abuse? A physically abused patient should be taken to a doctor or emergency as soon as possible. It’s also advisable to transfer your loved one from a nursing facility where they experienced physical abuse.

Should I hire a lawyer to deal with physical abuse? A nursing home abuse lawyer can help get your loved one out of danger, facilitate proper reporting, and seek legal redress in court.


Speak to a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today

The role of a nursing home is to take care of residents and not subject them to physical abuse. Our legal team at Malman Law can represent you in pursuing a claim against a nursing home or its employees. Contact us to learn more about nursing home abuse representation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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