Is Your Loved One Being Cared for The Way They Deserve?
It’s never easy to place your loved one in a nursing home, but when we have no choice, we search for the place that they will receive the loving care that they deserve. We want our family to be cared for and safe, but unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is more common than you might realize.
These facilities are regulated by the state, but not all of them follow the rules that they are supposed to. They may not be clean or provide the quality of care that they should, or worse yet, your loved one could be the victim of abuse or neglect. Such mistreatment may result in illness, injury, or even death, making you and/or your loved one eligible for compensation.
Types of Neglect and Abuse
Unfortunately, there are multiple ways that your loved one could be being mistreated. This includes both neglect and abuse. Abuse is actively hurting a patient, but neglect means that the elderly person is harmed because they didn’t get adequate care.
Abuse can come in a wide variety of forms, and includes physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse. Physical abuse can include slapping, hitting, improperly restraining, shaking, shoving, or other acts that may cause physical harm. It is the easiest type of abuse to prove. Emotional abuse is more difficult to prove, but can be just as devastating to the victim. It includes verbally harassing, intimidating, berating, or threatening an individual. Financial abuse is improper handling of an elderly person’s assets, property, or funds and includes things like cashing checks without permission and forging signatures. Sexual abuse consists of any form of nonconsensual sexual contact, and while this may not be as common in a nursing home setting, it does still occur on a routine basis.
It is important to recognize the signs of abuse. Depending on the type of abuse that has occurred, signs can include fear, anxiety, isolation, depression, withdrawal, confusion, hesitation to talk openly, broken bones, bruising, welts, bed sores, dehydration, unexplained weight loss, lack of cleanliness and many more.
Not all elderly victims of abuse show that they are being abused or neglected, but it is important to take precautions to ensure that your loved one is safe, and, if you suspect that they are not being treated appropriately, know what their rights are and take immediate steps to protect them.
If Abuse or Neglect is Suspected
If you believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected, take immediate steps to protect them. Notify the nursing home and if they don’t take steps to protect your loved one, don’t hesitate to remove your loved one from the situation. Obtain evidence by taking pictures, talking to other residents and their families, and making copies of medical records. If possible, do this before removing your loved one, but never put your loved one in further danger.
Reassure your loved on that none of this is their fault and let them know that they are safe and won’t be hurt any longer. File a formal complaint with the police department and social services so that the neglect or abuse is documented. Next, contact an attorney that has experience with elder care laws who can guide you in your rights and be sure that your loved one is compensated for their experiences.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney
The Boca Raton attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez have over 25 years of combined experience handling elder care law and can be sure that your loved one is protected from further neglect or abuse and make sure that they get the compensation they deserved for their poor treatment. Elder care law can be complex, so contact us at one of our convenient Florida locations for a consult today.