When you think of nursing home abuse, you likely picture a staff member violently pushing an elderly man or woman to the ground or yelling loudly in their face. Perhaps you imagine nursing home staff members watching a man in dire need of assistance standing there and laughing at his helplessness. While all of these acts are, in fact, examples of nursing home abuse, and the treatment many residents are subjected to endure, there are other types of abuse that some might consider to be more “subtle,” but still constitute as mistreatment.
Examples of “subtle” nursing home abuse might include:
- Staff members pushing your loved one into their bed.
Many residents often require assistance with getting in and out of their bed. Some might take longer than others to get into their bed and get comfortable but regardless of how long one person takes to get situated, staff members should never rush them or force them to lay down by pushing their legs, arms, or even head down. While it is understandable that the workers have other residents they must tend to, every resident is well deserving of respect and shouldn’t be physically forced to do anything when they are complying with staff requests.
- Staff members are rough when picking up a resident off of the floor.
Sometimes, a resident might forget that they are unable to walk themselves to the restroom due to the form of dementia they suffer from and might attempt to go alone. If they fall and need help getting up, the workers who respond to their cries for help should be gentle in maneuvering the individual from off the floor and back into their chair or bed. Unfortunately, many staff members will grab a resident’s arm roughly and thrown them into their seat rather than take the extra time to be careful and gentle as to not hurt the individual when moving them.
- Staff who is rough with a resident and others who stand by and laugh.
Because nursing home staff members are required to lift and move residents, some of which are heavy, they may need to use a little force to get them from one area to another. But this doesn’t mean they must do so in a rough manner. Unfortunately, some staff members take out their frustrations for having to lift a heavy or needy resident and haul them onto their bed, into their chair, etc. while the other workers stand around watching and laughing at what seems to be amusing behavior but in all reality is a form of abuse.
Now, the examples provided above are not hypothetical situations. In fact, they come from video footage provided on behalf by ABC News, which was captured from the inside of a nursing home resident’s room whose son suspected his mom was being abused. After noticing marks on the woman’s arm, her son decided to install a hidden camera in his mother’s room to find out for himself whether those marks came from the nursing home staff members. What he found was that his 92-year-old mother was being treated just as we described in the examples presented above.
The truth is, caring for a nursing home resident can sometimes be challenging, especially when the resident suffers from dementia or another type of medical condition that limits their physical and/or cognitive abilities. However, all the aging individuals who choose to go and live in a nursing home have the right to be treated with respect, dignity, and live a life free from abuse and neglect.
Sadly, many aren’t given this opportunity as they are placed around workers who claim they are there to help and care for them but wind up mistreating them. And if you have a loved one who is living in a nursing home in Phoenix, AZ who you suspect is being “subtly” abused or harshly mistreated, you need to contact an AZ nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. While you might be committed to bringing attention to the issue, there are challenges family members are often faced with when they choose to take action on their own. Some of these include:
- Having the staff refute your claims. The majority of staff members who are accused of abusing a nursing home resident will be quick to deny the allegations. Many might counter a claim by saying they were simply doing their job and as a result of the resident’s condition, they were required to act in the manner that they did. This can make holding them accountable more difficult to do.
- You might also find that despite a worker refuting your claims, even if they are charged for abuse or assault, you may not have collected enough evidence to hold them accountable resulting in them being acquitted.
Therefore, rather than risk not having your claims taken seriously or handled accordingly, it is best you connect with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Phoenix, AZ today who can help you take the necessary steps to identify a nursing home and/or worker for their inappropriate behavior and obtain justice for your loved one.