Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a big decision. Some of the most important issues include the level of care, attention, and safety that each resident will receive. Nursing homes are required to be staffed by qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable employees. Additionally, federal and state laws have strict requirements regarding the level of care that nursing home residents are entitled – and required – to receive. Elder Law is different from nursing home abuse, but also something our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys handle.
However, alarmingly high reports of nursing home abuse are still reported in U.S. nursing homes each year. Residents and their loved ones who experience or suspect abuse should seek a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse attorney can help victims and their families move forward with filing a lawsuit and the complex legal process that results.
Types of Florida Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take form of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial misconduct from nursing home staff members. Nursing home abuse may be extreme, such as assault or rape. These forms of physical abuse are typically evident to friends and family of the victim. However, nursing home abuse may also include threatening or frightening the resident. Emotional abuse such as this is more difficult to determine.
Physical nursing home abuse occurs when an individual exerts intentional physical force against a resident. This force can result in injury, impairment, or pain in the victim. Physical abuse includes hitting, shoving, and other forms of battery. Physical abuse also includes the inappropriate use of confinement and physical or chemical restraints.
Emotional nursing home abuse can take the form of verbal or non-verbal abuse that causes emotional or psychological distress in victims. Verbal abuse includes insulting, humiliating, and screaming at nursing home residents. Non-verbal emotional abuse occurs when a resident is purposely isolated, ignored, or terrorized.
Sexual nursing home abuse occurs when an individual engages in non-consensual sexual contact with a resident. Sexual abuse can include physical sexual acts, as well as forcing a resident to undress or to view sexual acts or pornographic materials against his or her will.
In most cases, nursing home residents are entitled to their own belongings and personal funds. Financial abuse occurs when nursing home staff members or family members manipulate the resident’s financial assets for personal gain.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
In many cases, victims of nursing home abuse are unable or unwilling to file a complaint. For this reason, it is crucial for loved ones to stay alert and aware of what takes place in the nursing facility. Friends and family members of nursing home residents should be aware of warning signs of nursing home abuse.
Physical signs of nursing home abuse can include:
- Unusual cuts, bruising, or bleeding
- Open wounds, infections, or bed sores
- Stained, torn, or bloody bedding or clothing
- Sudden weight change
- Poor hygiene
- Hair loss
Less obvious nursing home abuse signs may include:
- Emotional or physical withdrawal
- Infantile or other unusual and strange behaviors
- Unusual or unexplained financial transactions
Seeking Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys?
A nursing home abuse attorney should be sought immediately after the resident is removed from the risk of further abuse. After the resident is safe, a nursing home abuse attorney can help the resident or family members of the resident to receive financial compensation for the harm caused. Financial compensation can help to cover costs of medical bills, as well as pain and suffering caused by the abuse.
Our Orlando based Florida nursing home abuse attorneys will guide the resident and family members through the process of filing a lawsuit against the parties responsible for harm. The nursing home abuse attorney will conduct research, collect the necessary information, and handle legal matters pertaining to the lawsuit. the nursing home abuse attorney will also help the plaintiffs to navigate nursing home laws and regulations, which differ from state to state.