When we place our parents in a nursing home we want to be certain that they are happy and comfortable, and are receiving the best care possible. That is why it can be very troubling to discover that our loved one has unexplained bruises. While bruising may be a common occurrence, particularly for older individuals, it isn’t necessarily typical. Any time you notice bruises or other marks on a nursing home patient it is certainly necessary for further investigation.
Causes of Bruises on Nursing Home Patients
If you see bruising on your loved one you will likely ask him or her what happened. Unfortunately, elderly patients are often unable to provide this information and sometimes they may not even be aware of the bruises themselves. Bruises may be caused by one of a number of reasons including:
· Intentional abuse or neglect · Violent healthcare workers · Dropping a patient · Patient falls · Improper transition of patients · Sexual abuse · Rough treatment
Bruises are often considered one of the signs of possible nursing home abuse or neglect.
Bruises and Nursing Home Abuse
Not all patient bruises are the result of nursing home abuse or neglect. One of the main considerations is to find out when and how the bruises occurred. The facility should notify you if there has been any type of injury to your loved one and if that has not occurred you will want to find out why not. Because older patients may bruise more easily it is possible to sustain bruises more readily through everyday activities. Additionally, some medications and illnesses, as well as malnutrition, may make bruising more common. However, any time you have discovered bruising it requires immediate attention.
What to Do If You Find Bruises on a Nursing Home Patient
If your loved one has unexplained bruises you must take action. First, get as much information from your loved one as possible. Inspect the patient to see if there are other bruises that have gone undetected. Report the bruises to the staff and request that a doctor evaluate them. Often a doctor will be able to assist in determining a likely reason for the bruises. Make note of where the bruises are located as well as their condition. This allows you to appraise them later to see if they worsen or improve, or if more bruises appear. If you suspect that abuse may have occurred, consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Nursing Home Abuse
At the very least, unexplained bruises may be a sign of poor nursing home care. However, they may also be due to abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse happens all too frequently. In fact, one recent study reported by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) found that as many as 95% of nursing home patients surveyed said they were abused or had seen abuse of another patient. These are alarming statistics. Nursing home abuse is serious and needs to be properly handled. If you think that abuse may have occurred it is best to get help immediately from a qualified attorney. Contact Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation today.
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