Nursing Home Warning Signs of Elder Abuse: Minneapolis Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyer Explains

Nursing Home Abuse in Minnesota: Types of Abuse You Need to Know About


When most people think of misconduct in nursing homes, they generally think of nursing home abuse and neglect.  These are two very common areas of nursing home litigation, but not everyone understands what they mean and how they work.  This is why I am hosting week two of nursing home malpractice articles to help inform potential victims and their families of their rights.  Today’s topic is one of the most difficult types to prove without proper evidence or without the help of a Minneapolis nursing home abuse lawyer.


What is Nursing Home Abuse?


Nursing home abuse is a broad spectrum of misconduct performed to a resident of a nursing home.  Most people think of abuse as something physical such as striking, burning, or cutting.  But psychological abuse can be even more damaging to a nursing home resident and can be just as common.  There are also ways to financially abuse a resident, which is equally troubling but less related to medical malpractice and nursing home malpractice.  But when it relates to negligence cases, a nursing home’s physical or emotional abuse on a resident can give raise to a lawsuit where the victim may be entitled to compensation.


Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is just what it sounds like.  This is when there is a direct or indirect physical contact with a patient.  Some signs of physical abuse that is nursing home malpractice or negligence includes the following:


  • Spiral fractures – a spiral fracture is when the bone breaks in a spiral pattern up and down.  This is due to a twisting, like when a foot gets caught in a hole and the body falls to one or the other side.  The bone will break vertically in a corkscrew pattern.  But if a nursing home resident has a spiral fracture, it is commonly due to a grabbing and pulling action.  Warning spots of nursing home abuse are a spiral fracture of the arm or leg, which indicates the resident was being forcefully pulled in a direction that the resident was resisting;
  • “Sock Burns” – a “sock burn” is when a burn coats an entire extremity and looks like an article of clothing, such as a sock, was put on the extremity.  These could also be called glove burns.  How is happens is when the victim’s extremity is dipped into scalding how water.  There will be a continuous burn from the farthest point proximally (or towards the center of the body).  Sock burns can be a sign of intentional burning, or of gross malpractice in a nursing home employee placing a resident in too hot water;
  • Unexplained bruises, lacerations, and other injuries – most patients in nursing homes are not moving or engaging in activities which will result in bruises or cuts, particularly reoccurring ones.  Any unexplained injuries may be a sign of nursing home abuse;
  • Chemical or fire burns;
  • Injuries to areas of the body typically covered with clothing, such as the back, stomach, and inside the thighs; and
  • Other injuries.


Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is when a caretaker verbally or psychologically abuses a resident.  This could be through manipulation or derogatory statements and about resident or the resident’s family or friends.  A caretaker could continue to verbally attack or threaten a victim to the point where the victim may be afraid to ask for assistance or help.  A common example is threatening a patient who needs to use the restroom often to stop doing so or they will get hit.  Other forms of emotional abuse could be degrading the resident due to his or her current predicament.


Emotional abuse can be devastating because many residents are physically injured or weak, and their minds may be the last thing unblemished.  Emotional abuse can tarnish that in a way that could really cause a resident to go downhill fast or even do harm to himself or herself.  This conduct of a nursing home staff can be nursing home malpractice.


Do You Believe You or a Loved One Has Been the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?  Call Me to Learn Your Rights


Nursing home abuse is a worst case, nightmare scenario.  There will be a lot of questions how to proceed and what to do next, and whether the conduct even is abuse.  But do not handle this yourself or make the decisions yourself.  If you or a loved one have been injured due to the nursing home abuse or medical malpractice of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care service professional, call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a FREE consultation by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.

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