Abuse at Long Term Care Facilities is Common
The reality is that we are faced with aging every day. Placing an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is a tough and heart wrenching decision. Thousands of Florida families each year are faced with having to consider placing a loved one in a facility where their medical needs and daily living can be met. We hope that the people we entrust give the same standard of loving care to our family members that we do, but often this is not the case. It is unfortunate, but across the country nursing home abuse and neglect runs rampant.
The influx of people in our next generation moving into long term care treatment facilities is putting stress on an already fragile system. Nursing homes are understaffed and underfunded, unfortunately the consequences fall on to elderly loved ones. It is widely believed that the statistics do not accurately portray the real number of individuals that suffer from elder abuse. Many victims are afraid of retaliation from caretakers or are medically unable to communicate the wrongdoings.
Each year in the U.S., an estimated 2.1 million seniors are the victim of some form of abuse. Even more shocking is that for every case of nursing home abuse and neglect that is reported, there may be as many as five more cases that go unreported. Research suggests that abused elders tend to die earlier than seniors who are well cared for, even in the absence of life-threatening and chronic conditions.
Choosing the Right Home
Visit the nursing home of your choice and assess the:
- Appearance of the facility and its residents
- Investigate the experience and training of the staff
- Investigate the employee prerequisites
- Friendliness of the staff
- Sleeping accommodations
- Daily activities
- Dining facilities and menus
- Health-care issues
- Overall operation of the facilities
With nursing home abuse and neglect at such high rates, choosing the right home becomes a daunting task. It is important to select a home that meets the health, safety, and emotional needs of the individual. When selecting a nursing home or long-term care facility, visit more than once. Observe the overall appearance and condition of the environment and pay particular attention to how the staff and residents interact. Use these context clues to make the best informed decision you can.
Sadly, even when you carefully choose a home, there is no guarantee against mistreatment. Regular visits, drop-ins, and self-inspections are encouraged, not only to visit with your loved one, but to view the environment they reside in. Frequent visits allow signs of abuse or neglect to be noticed immediately.
Types of Elder Abuse
Abusing elderly people can come in many forms; even neglect. These are things to look for:
- Physical abuse – unexplained bruises and cuts, torn or bloody clothing, broken bones
- Emotional abuse – humiliation, intimidating threats and yelling, ignoring the resident, isolating resident from others or activities, mocking or terrorizing
- Neglect – soiled clothing or bed linens, unsanitary living conditions, medications not being administered or administered improperly, malnourishment or dehydration, bed sores, bruises, lacerations,
- Sexual harassment – presence of STI, bloody undergarments, bruises around breasts and genitals, forced performance of sexual acts, photos being taken of loved ones
- Financial exploitation – misuse of elder’s finances, theft of money, checks or belongings, forged signatures, unauthorized withdrawals or transfer of monies; identification theft
North Florida Nursing Home Attorneys
Under Florida Law, a nursing home or assisted living facility resident is guaranteed certain rights when residing in a home. Rights include access to reside in a safe and clean environment, the right to direct their own care or have a loved one do so, the right to proper medical care and privacy, and the right to be free of chemical and physical restraints. If you or a loved on has been injured because of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be able to collect compensation for damages.
Additionally, nursing home operators can fail to properly maintain their facility. Many residents needlessly suffer injuries from slip and falls, falling objects, broken stairs or inadequate security. If this happens to you or someone you love, contact an experience attorney at Massey & Duffy, PLLC.
As part of our commitment to our clients, we always provide personalized and caring service. At the law firm of Massey & Duffy, we have a philosophy of respect and integrity coupled with an uncompromising pursuit of justice. These values are demonstrated every day in the way we practice law. Our clients can rest assured that we will represent them aggressively and with the compassion that they deserve. If you have a legal issue, please contact our Gainesville Florida lawyers today. Our lawyers represent people with all degrees of injury, from soft-tissue to serious and catastrophic injuries, as well as wrongful death.
Our attorneys understand that there is no amount of money that can compensate a family for the loss of a loved one. In a wrongful death claim, these damages can be substantial. They can include not merely reimbursement for medical and hospital bills to care for the deceased victim before his or her death, but also damages for the loss of future income or financial support that the deceased victim would have provided to his or her family if the victim had not died. Additionally, damages for the loss of companionship suffered by a surviving spouse and/or children are also factored in.
Committed To Improving Lives
Our firm is founded on a sincere commitment to improving clients’ lives. We understand that in the wake of an accident, life as you know it has been shattered. Our goal is to help you put the pieces back together.
We are not a personal injury mill that emphasizes quantity over quality. Rather, we provide personal attention and superior service for each and every client. When you walk into our office, you will be meeting face to face with an attorney. We will walk you through the process and keep you informed at every step of the way.
Contact our Lawyers
We are experienced in handling all types of serious injuries, including head and back injuries. Our lawyers understand what judges and juries look for in these cases, and we have a thorough grasp of effective strategies for maximizing your compensation. Whether your case goes to trial or is resolved through settlement, you can rely on us to place your needs and goals first.