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This is one of the worst kinds of abuse that can take place in a nursing home. Staff members will intentionally hit the resident with either the hand or an object. It could be a light hit that won’t leave a bruise, which is often undiscovered until there is a broken bone or bruise from repetitive hitting. The abuse could also include biting, scratching or shoving the resident while the person is walking. The misuse of restraints is another type of physical abuse. The restraints are often used in a manner that will inflict injury on the skin, or the person is restrained to the point where no movements can be made while in the bed or a chair. There are sometimes evident signs of physical abuse, such as bruises of an unknown origin, a change in the demeanor of the resident or scratches that are not explained. Sometimes, the resident could have pain in an area of the body where there shouldn’t be any pain, which could be a result of hitting.
There are times when the nursing staff might make residents feel like they are unwanted or that it’s their fault that they are in a nursing home. This is emotional abuse. Residents can be made fun of while in the nursing home because of the clothing they wear or because they are unable to provide basic care, such as feeding or bathing. At times, staff might terrorize residents so that they don’t talk about the abuse that is seen with other patients. Blaming the resident for an accident is also considered emotional abuse.
Workers in a nursing home often have access to the finances of residents. Money could be left in a drawer or a wallet, or the resident might have a debit card that is used to get essential items that are needed for care. Sometimes, staff members will take the money that is meant to be spent on the resident and use it for their own gain.
In California, nursing home abuse can be considered a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity. Misdemeanor charges could result in fines of up to $6,000 or a year in jail. If charged with a felony, the person could spend four years or longer in prison depending on the age of the victim.
Help From An Attorney
One who has been charged with nursing home abuse can seek the help of an attorney to try to get the charges lowered. The attorney will examine the evidence presented to determine if it was intentional or accidental.
If a family suspects that nursing home abuse has occurred, the best thing to do is to take pictures of any bruises or marks to present to the attorney. Any medical statements from a doctor should also be provided. Compensation for the medical bills as well as pain and suffering can be filed in the case.