Why Does the Physical Abuse of Elders Occur?

elder portrait concept

It may be a heartbreaking decision to place your elder in a facility, whether it be a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospice care, or otherwise. But ultimately, you may come to the conclusion that a facility will provide them with the best form of care. However, the physical abuse of elders might occur in any one of these facilities. Read on to discover what the physical abuse of elders looks like and how a seasoned California elder abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can help you spot this.

Why might the physical abuse of elders occur?

Your elder may be suffering from a chronic physical or mental condition that requires them to enter a facility in the first place. Their condition may make them dependent on nurses and other facility workers to feed them, administer their medicine, take them to the bathroom, or otherwise.

But unfortunately, this exact physical or mental condition makes them vulnerable and therefore an easy target for physical abuse. Nurses and other facility workers ultimately breach their duty of care when they physically harm their elder patients. In addition, your elder’s condition may make them unable to report this abuse or fear that doing so may lead to retaliation and further abuse.

What does physical abuse look like?

It is difficult to think about the possibility of your elder being physically abused while in someone else’s care. But you must serve as their protector and watch out for any warning signs or indications of abuse. That said, physical abuse may look like the following things:

  • Your elder says that they are in pain but they cannot explain why.
  • Your elder says that they fell but they cannot explain why or how.
  • Your elder has broken bones or fractures but cannot explain why or how they got them.
  • Your elder has bruises or cuts but cannot explain why or how they got them.
  • Your elder appears to be heavily medicated.
  • Your elder shows fear when certain nurses or facility workers enter their room.

Should I file a claim if my elder is being physically abused?

You cannot stand idly by if you suspect or know that your elder is being physically abused. Instead, you must immediately get her out of harm’s way by contacting your local law enforcement, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline, the California Department of Public Health, or the California Department of Social Services. Then, you must consider recovering your elder’s damages via an elder abuse lawsuit.

If you are ready to take legal action against a negligent nurse, facility worker, or facility, then you must retain the services of a competent California elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible. We look forward to working with you.