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Physical & Emotional Abuse

Physical & Emotional Abuse Attorneys in Pittsburgh

Fighting For The Justice You & Your Loved Ones Deserve

Physical and emotional abuse is unacceptable, especially when it is at the hands of those who are entrusted to care for you. This is why we are so dedicated to helping our clients get the justice they need to move forward with their life. Armed with decades of experience in personal injury law, our team of attorneys understands what it takes to a strong case for our clients. We always strive to offer personalized representation, and we understand that each case is unique and merits its own approach. With nearly 40 years of providing legal counsel for the injured in Pennsylvania, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Pittsburgh are prepared to assist with your case.

If you've been subjected to abuse while staying in a nursing home, don't hesitate to call our dedicated attorneys today at (844) 383-0565!

Common Types of Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in nursing homes refers to the intentional use of force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It's a form of mistreatment where caregivers or staff members cause harm or injury to residents.

Physical abuse can take various forms, and common types include:

  • Hitting or Striking: This involves hitting, slapping, punching, or striking a resident, resulting in physical injury or pain.
  • Pushing or Shoving: Staff members may push or shove residents, causing them to fall or sustain injuries.
  • Restraining: Improper or excessive use of physical restraints, such as straps or ties, to confine a resident's movement. This can lead to physical discomfort, injury, or psychological distress.
  • Force-Feeding or Overmedicating: Forcing residents to eat or take medication against their will or administering medication in doses higher than prescribed, leading to adverse effects or harm.
  • Rough Handling during Transfers or Care Procedures: Mishandling residents during transfers between beds, chairs, or during personal care tasks like bathing or dressing, causing physical harm or discomfort.
  • Neglecting Basic Needs: Failing to provide adequate food, water, hygiene, or medical care, leading to physical deterioration or injury.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any form of non-consensual sexual activity, including touching, fondling, or intercourse, perpetrated against a resident by staff members or other residents.
  • Forced Restraints: Tying residents to their beds or chairs against their will, which can cause physical discomfort, injury, or psychological trauma.
  • Excessive Use of Physical Force during Discipline: Using physical force as a form of punishment or discipline, such as excessive spanking or slapping.
  • Intentional Deprivation of Basic Needs: Withholding food, water, medication, or necessary medical care as a form of punishment or control, leading to physical harm or deterioration.

Common signs of physical abuse include:

  • Unexplained Injuries: Residents may have bruises, cuts, fractures, or other injuries that cannot be adequately explained or are inconsistent with their medical history.
  • Bruises in Unusual Locations: Bruising on the inner arms, thighs, neck, or torso can be indicative of physical abuse, as these areas are less likely to be injured accidentally.
  • Broken Bones: Fractures, especially multiple or recurring fractures, can suggest physical abuse, particularly in elderly residents who are at a higher risk of injury.
  • Signs of Restraint: Marks or injuries from restraints, such as rope burns or strap marks on the wrists or ankles, may indicate improper or excessive use of physical restraint.
  • Fear or Apprehension: Residents may exhibit signs of fear, anxiety, or hesitation around specific staff members or in certain areas of the facility.
  • Inconsistencies in Explanations: Staff members may provide conflicting or vague explanations for a resident's injuries or medical conditions.
  • Refusal to Seek Medical Attention: Residents may hesitate or refuse to seek medical attention for their injuries, either out of fear or because they have been threatened by their abuser.
  • Changes in Behavior or Mood: Physical abuse can lead to changes in a resident's behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, agitated, or unusually quiet.
  • Signs of Trauma or PTSD: Residents may exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks, nightmares, or hypervigilance.
  • Evidence of Neglect: While not always indicative of physical abuse, signs of neglect, such as malnutrition, dehydration, or untreated medical conditions, can sometimes co-occur with physical abuse.

Common Types of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse in nursing homes involves behaviors or actions that inflict mental anguish, distress, or anguish on residents. It is a form of mistreatment that undermines an individual's emotional well-being and can lead to psychological trauma.

Common types of emotional abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Verbal Abuse: This involves the use of words to belittle, intimidate, humiliate, or threaten residents. Verbal abuse may include yelling, screaming, insulting, or using derogatory language towards residents.
  • Humiliation or Ridicule: Staff members or other residents may engage in behaviors that embarrass or shame residents, such as mocking their appearance, abilities, or personal habits in front of others.
  • Isolation: Deliberately preventing residents from socializing or participating in activities, such as refusing to allow visits from family or friends, or isolating them from other residents.
  • Intimidation or Threats: Making threats of physical harm, abandonment, or other forms of punishment to control or manipulate residents' behavior.
  • Ignoring or Neglecting Emotional Needs: Failing to provide emotional support, comfort, or reassurance to residents, or ignoring their emotional distress or concerns.
  • Gaslighting: Manipulating residents into doubting their perceptions, memories, or sanity, leading to confusion, self-doubt, and emotional distress.
  • Withholding Affection or Attention: Refusing to show care, compassion, or affection towards residents, or ignoring their emotional needs for companionship or interaction.
  • Manipulation or Coercion: Pressuring residents into making decisions against their will or best interests, using guilt, fear, or other forms of emotional manipulation.
  • Treating Residents Like Children: Speaking to residents in a patronizing or condescending manner, infantilizing them, or denying them autonomy and dignity.
  • Undermining Confidence or Self-Esteem: Constantly criticizing or demeaning residents, making them feel inadequate, worthless, or powerless.

Common signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Withdrawal or Isolation: Residents may become withdrawn, avoiding social interactions or activities they previously enjoyed.
  • Depression or Anxiety: Emotional abuse can manifest as symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders.
  • Unexplained Changes in Behavior: Sudden changes in behavior, such as aggression, agitation, or self-harm, may be indicative of emotional distress.
  • Fearfulness or Avoidance: Residents may exhibit signs of fearfulness, anxiety, or avoidance around certain staff members or in specific areas of the facility.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Emotional abuse can erode a resident's self-esteem, leading to feelings of worthlessness, shame, or self-doubt.
  • Verbal Outbursts or Aggression: Residents may display verbal outbursts, aggression, or hostility, particularly towards caregivers or staff members.
  • Emotional Regression: Reverting to childlike behaviors, such as rocking back and forth, sucking their thumb, or engaging in repetitive actions, can be a sign of emotional distress.
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Emotional abuse can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia, nightmares, or other sleep disturbances.
  • Avoiding Eye Contact: Residents may avoid making eye contact or appear fearful or apprehensive when interacting with caregivers or staff members.
  • Self-Blame or Guilt: Victims of emotional abuse may internalize feelings of guilt or blame, believing that they deserve mistreatment or are somehow responsible for their abuse.

Ready to Help Your Loved One Immediately

Unfortunately, physical and emotional abuse in nursing homes is not uncommon. Since elders are sometimes unable or afraid to speak out about the abuse, it's critical that their loved ones keep an eye out for signs that something is awry.

If you believe you or your loved one have been harmed while staying in a nursing home, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Pittsburgh are prepared to help. We've represented countless clients, and we are committed to seeking justice for those who've been abused at the hands of those that are being paid to care for the elderly.

Call us now at (844) 383-0565; our team of supportive attorneys has the experience you need!

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  • “My experience with Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. was exceptional. From the first day that I contacted them, I knew I made the right choice. Their entire team is very knowledgeable and guides you through the entire process with ease.”

    - Kelly Weber
    Pittsburgh Injury Attorneys Experience You Can Trust
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