Physical & Emotional Elder Abuse Attorneys in Kansas City
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care Facilities
Nursing home abuse takes many forms, all of which can have severe or even fatal consequences for victims, but physical abuse is one of the most common and most dangerous. Elderly nursing home residents who suffer physical abuse are at risk of serious injuries, as well as psychological harm.
At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we believe that those who commit acts of physical violence against anyone, but most especially our society’s most vulnerable individuals, deserve to be brought to justice.
If you or someone you love was the victim of physical abuse in a nursing home, long-term care facility, or similar assisted living situation, reach out to our team right away. We can help you not only seek to hold the liable party responsible but also work to recover the full, fair compensation you are owed.
Our Kansas City elder abuse attorneys have decades of experience and a proven record of success. We devote a significant portion of our practice to this area of law and have the resources needed to aggressively advocate for you and your family.
Here are several reasons why you should choose our firm:
- Experience: With years of experience in personal injury law, we have a proven track record of success in handling elder abuse cases.
- Compassion: We understand the emotional toll that elder abuse takes on families, and we approach every case with empathy and sensitivity.
- Legal Expertise: Our team is well-versed in the laws and regulations governing nursing homes in Missouri, ensuring that we provide the most effective legal representation.
- Client-Centered Approach: We prioritize your needs and concerns, keeping you informed and involved throughout the legal process.
Contact us online or by phone at (816) 597-4556 to request a free consultation.
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What Constitutes Physical Abuse?
Physical abuse is any intentional, harmful physical contact. The victim does not necessarily need to suffer a serious injury for an act to constitute physical abuse.
Some examples of physical abuse include:
- Hitting or slapping: Deliberately striking a resident with an open hand or a closed fist, which can cause bruises, cuts, or other injuries.
- Pushing or shoving: Forcibly moving a resident in a rough or aggressive manner, which can lead to falls and injuries.
- Pinching or scratching: Using one's fingers or nails to inflict pain, leave marks, or cause injury to a resident.
- Restraining or tying down: Inappropriately using physical restraints such as belts, straps, or ropes to confine a resident, which can result in physical harm or emotional distress.
- Force-feeding or withholding food: Forcing a resident to eat against their will or denying them food and water as a form of punishment, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration.
- Rough handling during transfers or care procedures: Mishandling residents during activities like transferring them from a bed to a wheelchair or during personal care routines, resulting in injuries.
- Overmedication or inappropriate medication use: Administering excessive doses of medication or giving medications not prescribed by a healthcare professional, leading to adverse effects and harm.
- Neglect leading to physical harm: Neglecting a resident's basic needs, such as providing proper hygiene, mobility assistance, or medical attention, which can result in physical deterioration and injuries.
- Inadequate supervision: Failing to monitor residents properly, allowing incidents of resident-on-resident abuse or falls that cause physical harm.
- Sexual abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact or activity involving a resident, which can result in physical injuries and severe emotional trauma.
Nursing home staff and private caregivers should never use physical force against residents. It is never acceptable for a staff member—or another resident—to cause intentional injury.
Emotional Abuse & Psychological Harm
While physical abuse is often the focus of discussions about nursing home abuse, emotional abuse can also have a devastating impact on elderly residents. Emotional abuse can include verbal insults, threats, isolation, and manipulation, and can cause significant psychological harm.
Emotional abuse can take many forms, including:
- Verbal insults or humiliation
- Isolation or social exclusion
- Intimidation or threats
- Manipulation or control
- Withholding affection or emotional support
Signs of emotional abuse may include:
- Unexplained changes in behavior or mood
- Withdrawal or isolation from others
- Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
- Changes in sleeping patterns or appetite
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, it's important to take action immediately. Contact the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. for help. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of protecting your loved one's rights and safety.
“He worked hard on our behalf and we reached a positive conclusion.” - Lori D.
“Tom gives lawyers a good name.” - Donna J.
“Tom and his firm are great people!” - Brad
Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Unexplained injuries are the most common sign of physical abuse in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and assisted living centers.
- Broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and scratches
- Head injuries
- Marks on the wrists and/or ankles
- Sores and open wounds
- Black eyes
Physical abuse may also lead to emotional distress, which can appear as unexplained bouts of crying, changes in mood or behavior, new or increased irritability, and apparent fear in the presence of a staff member, caregiver, or fellow resident.
Physical abuse can also result in serious accidents, including falls, and may lead to worsened mental or physical health conditions.
What to Do If You See or Suspect Physical Elder Abuse
If you know or suspect that someone is the victim of physical abuse in a nursing home or similar setting, you should take immediate action.
State laws require certain individuals—including doctors and other medical professionals, licensed psychologists, therapists, social workers, case managers, law enforcement officers, and others—to report elder abuse. But even if you are not a mandated reporter, you should report known or suspected abuse right away to protect the safety of the possible victim.
Here are the steps you should take:
- Ensure the resident's safety: If the situation is ongoing and poses an immediate threat to the resident, call 911 or your local emergency number to request immediate assistance. If the resident is not in immediate danger, but you suspect abuse, ensure they are in a safe and comfortable environment away from the alleged abuser.
- Document the evidence: If it is safe to do so, document any visible injuries, bruises, cuts, or other signs of abuse with photographs or written notes. Include details such as the date, time, location, and any statements made by the resident.
- Contact the nursing home staff: Inform the nursing home staff about your concerns and observations. Approach the situation calmly and objectively, expressing your worry for the resident's well-being.
- Report to the appropriate authorities: In Kansas, you can report physical elder abuse by calling the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ abuse, neglect, or exploitation hotline at 1-800-842-0078, or fling a complaint with the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, either online or by calling 1-877-662-8362 (toll-free) or (785) 296-3017. In Missouri, you can report physical elder abuse by calling the adult abuse and neglect hotline at 1-800-392-0210, and notifying the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling (573) 526-0727 (in-state) or 1-800-309-3282 (out-of-state)
- Notify the resident's family: If the resident's family is not already aware of the situation, contact them to inform them of your concerns. They may need to be involved in making decisions about their loved one's care and legal actions.
- Call the police: If you believe someone is in imminent danger, call 911. Remember, it is always better to follow your instincts; if you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused by nursing home staff or a private caregiver, contact the proper authorities right away.
- Seek legal advice: If you are directly involved as a family member or concerned individual, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in elder abuse or nursing home neglect cases. They can guide you on legal actions and remedies available to you.
- Follow-up: Continue to monitor the situation and follow up with the nursing home and authorities to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the abuse and protect the resident.
Why Choose The Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr.?
For more than 25 years, Attorney Tom Wagstaff has dedicated his legal practice to standing up for the rights of the elderly, the injured, and society’s most vulnerable individuals. He and his team of experienced nursing home physical abuse attorneys understand how to navigate these complex cases. Our firm utilizes extensive resources and innovative strategies to build powerful, persuasive claims for our clients.
Perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about the people we serve. We know that this is likely one of the most challenging times in your life. When you trust your recovery to the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. team, you can trust that you will receive the personal attention and compassionate counsel you deserve.
We do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case. There is no cost in speaking to a member of our team about your potential case, and we only get paid if you do.