You knew that your grandfather wasn’t going to live forever, but it seems his health took a turn for the worse after he was admitted to a nursing home. He seemed less active, less vital–and shortly before he died, you remember seeing a bruise on his arm. Is that enough to suspect negligence, or did the bruise have nothing to do with his death?
Unfortunately, many family members will accept simple explanations for bruises that have been caused maliciously. A recent study by the National Institute of Justice uncovered some disturbing facts about bruises in elder abuse victims. After examining multiple cases of elder mistreatment, researchers found that:
- 60 percent of deceased victims’ bruises were purposely inflicted, 14 percent were accidental, and 26 percent had unknown causes.
- 56 percent of the abused seniors had one or more large bruises (greater than 5 cm wide), while only 7 percent of non-abused elders had any large bruises.
- Bruises on the head, neck or torso were more common in abuse victims than were in non-abused seniors.
While nursing home bruises may be an indicator of abuse, there are also other explanations. Seniors with decreased mobility are likely to suffer bruising, and seniors with ailing heath may be more prone to blood clotting difficulties or burst capillaries. There are a number of ways family members can tell normal bruising from suspicious bruising, including:
- Location. Most accidental large bruises will occur on the hands, feet, legs and arms. Accidental bruises will also usually have a predictable pattern, while deliberate bruises will not (for example, a cluster of small linear bruises may indicate finger marks).
- Number. Seniors who are on medications that can make bruising more severe can be more likely to exhibit persistent bruising, or have more than one bruise at a time.
- Repetition. Bruises which occur frequently on the same part of the body are unlikely to be accidental. If a patient suffers recurrent wrist and ankle bruising, there is reason to suspect restraints are being used.
Bruising may not always be deliberate, but it will always have a cause. The attorneys at Gray and White can get you justice and peace of mind by investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s death.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.