Physical Abuse in DC Nursing Homes

Any intentional act that causes harm to an individual would constitute physical abuse in DC nursing homes. The more mentally incapacitated an individual is, the more susceptible they are to physical abuse. People that have their faculties about them are less likely to face this abuse because they are able to take steps to prevent it. If you or a loved one may have been subject to this type of treatment, speak to an established nursing home neglect lawyer right away.

Common Examples of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

Forced labor is a common example of physical abuse in DC nursing homes. Residents of a nursing home are not allowed to be put to work. It is common to see residents forced to cook, or clean, which simply cannot happen. Another example is when someone takes advantage of an incapacitated individual in a sexual manner. In very rare cases, you can see violent physical acts by an employee towards a resident.

Warning Signs of Physical Abuse

The most common warning signs to notice are physical. Someone could have bruises, or appear scared or uncomfortable at the nursing home. Bruises or marks are the most obvious sign. A noticeable change in mental status is the next thing to look for.

These situations can be similar to child abuse in a way because people are placed in a nursing home because they are no longer able to take care of themselves. This is why it is important to look for subtle signs of abuse in addition to obvious ones.

Scenarios of Acceptable Use of Force vs. Unacceptable Use of Force

The only time nursing home staff should use force is when an individual has a severe change in mental status and needs to be restrained, and even then the staff must proceed with reasonable force under the circumstances. For example, if someone has an altered mental status or they are severely demented and are having an episode where they are at risk of harm to themselves or to others, then the professionals have a right to physically restrain them.

The only time that the use of force is appropriate is when somebody is at risk of harm to themselves or others. The staff cannot tie someone to the bed just because they are up and around and they get tired of chasing them. Similarly, they cannot confine them to their wheelchair if they are constantly attempting to get up. Either of those situations would constitute an inappropriate use of force.

How to Handle Nursing Home Abuse Cases

The steps available to be taken in light of physical abuse in DC nursing homes depends on the nature of the abuse. If someone believes intentional acts have taken place, then they need to report it to the police. If intentional acts are not involved, the first thing one would want to do is take pictures and they also should bring the situation to the attention of the nursing home administrator. If these actions do not solve the problem, then it would be time to take legal action.