Nursing home residents in California have extensive rights under state law that should guarantee them safety and security within their facility and considerate care from employees of that facility. Unfortunately, not every nursing home administrator and owner goes through the rigorous hiring processes to ensure that all their staff members have the experience and emotional temperament necessary to perform this job well. Sometimes that leads to residents suffering severe and inexcusable harm.
Physical abuse in Los Angeles nursing homes can be immensely devastating to learn about and even harder to sue for, whether on your own behalf or on behalf of an affected loved one. Fortunately, support is available from a dedicated nursing home abuse attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to help you pursue justice.
What Forms Can Physical Abuse Take?
Obviously, no nursing home resident should ever be subjected to intentionally malicious physical assault from staff members or other residents, be it punching, slapping, kicking, biting, scratching, grabbing, or simply pushing from one place to another. It is important to understand, however, that, in Los Angeles nursing homes as elsewhere, physical abuse is not always so cut-and-dried, and there are various forms of physical mistreatment that are more subtle and sometimes difficult to define as abuse in the first place.
For example, while it is occasionally in a resident’s best interests for staff members to use physical restraints to ensure they do not hurt themselves or others, the excessive or inappropriate use of such restraints may be legally actionable abuse. Likewise, any staff member that administers drugs to a resident or uses any other chemical restraints without due cause may be abusing the affected resident(s). The same is true for any employee who knowingly deprives a resident of water, food, clothes, and/or sanitary living conditions.
Identifying Mistreatment of a Nursing Home Resident
As with most forms of neglect and abuse inside these facilities, determining conclusively that a Los Angeles nursing home resident has been subject to physical abuse can be difficult to achieve. Abused residents might not be physically or cognitively capable of explaining what they are going through to concerned family members and friends. Even those who are capable may be hesitant to do so for fear of reprisal from the staff member(s) abusing them.
It can be vital for people with loved ones in Los Angeles nursing homes to understand common symptoms and signs of physical mistreatment, which may include:
- Unexplained marks and bruises, particularly those with ovular shapes like fingerprints
- Other small injuries like cuts and burns
- Repeated small injuries in the same or similar places
- Sudden weight loss or other signs of malnutrition/dehydration
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Regression to childlike behaviors like thumb-sucking
- Dramatic changes in personality or mood, especially around a particular staff member
A qualified nursing home abuse lawyer could help examine signs of physical abuse and explain what legal options might be available.
Take Legal Action Against Physical Abuse in a Los Angeles Nursing Home
Physical abuse is unacceptable, and it is especially grievous when it affects vulnerable elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If you suspect a loved one is being physically abused in a Los Angeles nursing home, pursuing civil litigation is a key step towards protecting their long-term wellbeing and best interests.
A capable nursing home abuse attorney can review your case in detail during a confidential consultation. Call today to schedule yours.