Clear Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

As nursing home abuse lawyers, we have previously posted educational tips about the prevention and treatment of bed sores. Today we wanted to inform readers of some additional forms of nursing home abuse that often occur. Just as with bed sore prevention, there are signs that can be observed that indicate nursing home abuse.

Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

One type of nursing home abuse that has outward signs is physical abuse. Physical abuse is occuring if bodily injury or pain results from the excessive application of physical force. The abuse can be, but is not limited to: hitting, pushing, shoving, pinching, burning, or even beating. Inappropriate use of restraints is another form of physical abuse. In fact, the use of restraints over long periods of time is not only physically abusive, but can also lead to the development of bed sores and pressure ulcers. The over use of medications, usually sedatives, and force feeding can also be considered physical abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse Red Flags

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers list sings abuseIt is important that nursing home staff be fully trained in how to deal with the special needs of nursing home patients so that physical abuse does not occur. It is also important that a patient’s family be aware of the signs of abuse. Some of the more obvious signs are bruising, cuts, unexplained marks, broken bones, and a variety of injuries in various stages of healing. It is also important to listen to the patient. A resident’s report of violent behavior, such as being hit or mistreated, must be investigated. Sometimes, a nursing home patient’s sudden change in behavior can be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect and should absolutely be investigated. Any drastic changes with no explanation must be looked into.

Sometimes, nursing home staff will actually try to hide signs of abuse by refusing access to the patient by visitors. This can cause residents to not only suffer from isolation, but also become fearful of discussing the abuse or neglect with a family member or supervisor. Any refusal by nursing home staff to allow visitor access should raise immediate red flags that are probed with the utmost scrutiny. As in all cases of nursing home abuse, the sooner it is discovered, the sooner the treatment and prevention of further abuse can take place. It is imperative to watch for the signs of physical abuse, especially in those nursing home patients that are unable to protect themselves.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in NJ and PA

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility, and you believe they are receiving inadequate and negligent care, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the team at the Mininno Law Office work to earn you the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.

Tip # 11 for Bed Sore Prevention and Treatment

As New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers, we are continuing this series of tips to prevent bed sores in nursing home patients. Bed bugs can also cause sores on your body, read these bed bug mattress cover reviews, and get you or someone in a nursing home one. We have recently focused on the importance of repositioning, as well as the use of the proper support surfaces. Today’s tip concerns the importance of devices to help protect the bony prominences, such as tailbone, heels, ankles, and knees from bed sores and pressure ulcers.

Tip #11 for Bed Sore Prevention

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers check bony prominencesBed sores result from prolonged pressure that prevents proper blood flow to tissues, which, in turn, kills that tissue. The death of this tissue most often occurs when it is compressed between a bony prominence and an external surface, i.e. bed, wheelchair, or sometimes even other parts of the body. Some of the worst bed sores that occur in nursing home patients don’t even occur from those that are bed ridden as the name suggests. Prolonged sitting in a wheelchair can lead to bed sore development. It is important that nursing home staff members are equally vigilant with their nursing home patients in wheelchairs and in beds.

Using pillows or foam wedges to keep the bony prominences from direct contact with each other can be helpful. Skin that is subjected to devices should also be padded and inspected regularly to make sure that no bed sores are forming. The lack of such inspection and care would be considered nursing home abuse. Just the placement of a simple pillow under the calves to raise the heels from the bed can sometimes be enough to prevent bed sores from forming, and it can help with the treatment of those bed sores that have started to form. These simple steps can be the difference between a nursing home patient that develops a horrible bed sore and one that does not. As always, prevention is the best medicine in bed sore and pressure ulcer cases.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility and you believe that they are receiving inadequate and sub-standard care, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. Our nursing home abuse lawyers are hardworking and very dedicated to earning victimized patients and families the compensation they deserve. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the Mininno Law Office team earn you your full and fair compensation.

Nursing Home Falls Cause Serious Injury

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys negligence falls cause serious injury
If you or a loved one have fallen due to the negligence or abuse of nursing home caregiver, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free consultation.
The dropping or falling of a nursing home resident can have serious consequences on that person’s quality of life. Each year, an average nursing home reports one to two falls or drops per resident. About 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries.
Residents who experience non-fatal falls can suffer serious injuries that greatly reduce their quality of life. Residents have the right to live their remaining years with dignity, and avoidable falls rob them of this dignity and often accellerate their death.

How serious are these falls?

Nursing home falls can cause serious injuries including head trauma and fractures. Many times, the nursing home resident who suffers a fracture is not a candidate for corrective surgical measures. Falls result in disability, increased functional decline and reduced quality of life. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation.

Why do falls occur more often in nursing homes?

Falling can be a sign of other health problems. People in nursing homes are generally more frail and unstable than older adults living in the community. The problem is that nursing homes don’t always take the appropriate measure to prevent avoidable falls. Also, nursing home employees often take shortcuts that lead to the dropping residents.

Residents are generally older, have more chronic conditions, and have difficulty walking. They also tend to have problems with thinking or memory, to have difficulty with activities of daily living, and to need help getting around or taking care of themselves. Of course, this is generally the reason the family trusted the nursing home to care for their loved one in the first place.
The nursing home has a duty to properly assess a resident’s probability for falls, and to communicate with their physician to institute appropriate measures to prevent avoidable falls and drops.

What are the most common causes of nursing home falls?

Nursing homes know muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents. Environmental hazards, such wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs are also a cause of falls among residents. Medications often increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
Other causes of falls include difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.

It is the duty of the nursing home to understand and consider these factors when developing individualized strategies to prevent the resident from falling or being dropped, in order to avoid nursing home abuse.

How can we prevent falls in nursing homes?

Fall prevention takes a combination of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and environmental changes. The most effective interventions address multiple factors. Interventions include:

1. Nursing home staff assessment of resident upon admission to evaluate the degree a resident is at risk for falling.

2. Nursing home staff assessment of resident after a fall to identify and address risk factors and treat the underlying medical conditions.

3. Educating nursing home staff and families about fall risk factors and prevention strategies.

4. Making changes in the nursing home environment to make it easier for residents to move around safely. Such changes include putting in grab bars, adding raised toilet seats, lowering bed heights, and installing handrails in the hallways.

5. Instituting toileting schedules so residents do not try to go to the bathroom without assistance.

6. Using devices such as alarms that go off when residents try to get out of bed or move without help.

Do physical restraints help prevent falls?

The biggest misconception for the public is that restraints lower the risk of falls or fall injuries. Restraints should not be used as a fall prevention strategy. Restraints can actually increase the risk of fall-related injuries and deaths. Limiting a resident’s freedom to move around leads to muscle weakness and reduces physical function.
Doctors are more likely to order the lowering of beds and the placement of soft mats around them to prevent injury from falls.

Nursing Home Abuse in NJ and PA: Mininno Law Office

The nursing home abuse attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to fighting for those wronged by abusive and negligent treatment in the nation’s nursing homes.
If you or a loved one have been negatively affected by nursing home abuse or negligence, please contact the Mininno Law Office and get a free case evaluation. You can also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

We will fight to get you the settlement that you deserve.