What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Loved One Has Been the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?

Deciding to move your loved one into a nursing home is a very difficult thing to do. You may grapple with the decision for years before you finally decide it’s the right time. You work hard to find a nursing home that you think is a good fit for your elderly parent. You meet with the staff and talk to other residents. You do everything possible to make sure your loved one will be in good hands.

Sadly, there are times when, no matter how much research you do, it’s not enough. All it takes is one bad apple to ruin a nursing home’s reputation. If someone is in the nursing industry for the wrong reasons, they’re liable to harm or neglect their charges. If this happens to your loved one, it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Crestview, Florida.

Florida is where people go to retire. It has mild weather and plenty of things for older people to do. At some point, your loved one may no longer be able to take care of themselves. If this happens, you may have to look for a nursing home in Crestview, Florida. Sometimes, we have to admit that we are no longer able to take care of our elderly parents.

When you do move your loved one into a nursing home, you pray that they’ll be taken care of. If you suspect, for any reason, that your loved one has become the victim of abuse, you need help. There are certain things you need to do to protect your loved one. One of these is to move your loved one to a different facility right away. However, that doesn’t mean the nursing home is off the hook. You may have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit against the home and their staff.

What are the Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse?

There are five (5) major types of nursing home abuse. Your loved one could be subjected to any of these. If that’s the case, you need to do the right thing and report the abuse. You also need to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Crestview. They’ll review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim for abuse or neglect.

The main types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical – This is the most obvious type of abuse that your loved one could suffer. Some of the signs and symptoms of physical abuse include:
    • Broken bones
    • Dislocation
    • Sprains
    • Bruising and welts
    • Signs of restraint
    • Broken eyeglasses
  • Emotional – Your loved one should expect to be treated with kindness and compassion. When the employees either treat your loved one unfairly or allow other residents to do so, you may have a legal claim.
  • Sexual – It's hard to even think about someone sexually abusing an elderly person. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Sometimes this take the form of employees engaging in sexual acts in front of your loved one. Or it could simply be a matter of someone forcing your loved one to watch pornography or listen to lewd comments.
  • Neglect - If your loved one is being neglected, it can be a bit harder to detect. You won’t see physical signs. However, there are certain telltale signs that your mom or dad are being neglected by the nursing home staff. Some of these include:
    • They're left alone in a public place
    • They're not clean and don’t smell very pleasant
    • They're left to sit and lie in their own waste
    • Their clothes aren’t clean and are soiled
    • They seem withdrawn and sad
    • They have unexplained weight loss
    • They have bedsores
  • Financial Abuse – This is when employees of the nursing home steal from your loved one. There are many ways they can do this. We’ll talk about this type of abuse in detail later on.

Not All Elder Abuse is Physical

When people think of nursing home or elder abuse, they tend to think of physical abuse. However, there are many ways in which a staff member can abuse your loved one without ever physically assaulting them. Financial abuse is one of the hardest types of abuse to neglect. This is because you won’t see the scars on your loved one. But this is a very common type of abuse and you need to be on the lookout for it.

Some of the more common types of financial abuse we see in nursing homes include:

  • Credit Card Fraud – Some employees take a resident’s private information and open up credit cards and loans in their name. They simply use their own address or, they use the resident’s home address and intercept the mail. They run these credit cards up and the resident is none the wiser. Since banks don’t typically take aggressive collection action against the elderly, it may not be discovered until your loved one passes away.
  • Bank Withdrawals – A lot of nursing assistants will befriend a resident and convince them to give them their bank information. They may even claim they’re going to run errands for the resident. Once they have their information, they make a number of withdrawals and may even drain the account.
  • Stealing Cash – Never leave cash with your loved one. This is the number one way other residents and employees can rob your loved one.
  • Access to the Debit Cards – If an employee is able to get the pin number from a resident, they can take small withdrawals that go unnoticed for months. They can also use their
  • debit card information to order things online or pay their bills. By the time you notice anything’s going on, the money may be long gone.

What Should You Do Immediately After Discovering the Abuse?

Most people like to visit their loved ones in their nursing homes quite often. If you happen to notice that your loved one may be the victim of abuse, alert the administrator immediately. The nursing home will be liable for the actions of their employees, even if these employees are members of a union.

By letting the nursing home administrator know that you suspect abuse, you put them on notice. You also increase your chances of recovering damages for your loved one. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The company is legally responsible for their employees’ actions
  • You have a much better shot at collecting damages from a company than an individual employee
  • The nursing home has insurance to cover injuries sustained as a result of abuse or neglect
  • It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly who and how many employees are responsible for your loved one’s injuries

If you suspect the administrator isn’t taking your complaints seriously, call and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Crestview immediately. Your loved one shouldn’t be subjected to this kind of treatment a minute longer than they already have.

Your Loved One is Protected by the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights

One would think that nursing home employees would want to take good care of their residents. You shouldn’t work in the medical field if you aren’t compassionate and caring. Sadly, the government understand that not all people have the best of intentions. Therefore, they passed the Nursing Home Reform Act which helps protects the elderly from nursing home abuse.

The Nursing Home Reform Act includes a very detailed list of rights that nursing home residents enjoy. It is the nursing home administrator’s responsibility and duty to abide by this Bill of Rights. If these rights are violated, the resident will be entitled to file a complaint against the nursing home.

The following rights are just some of those outlined in the Residents’ Bill of Rights:

  • Privacy
  • Have all their physical, mental and psychosocial needs met on a daily basis
  • Have the ability to freely communicate about their care and quality of life
  • Dignity
  • Self-determination
  • Free from any mistreatment, abuse and neglect
  • File grievances without fear of retaliation or discrimination
  • Be free from any physical restraints
  • Take an active part in their care plan
  • Be allowed to participate in family and residential groups and gatherings

If you believe that your loved one is being treated unfairly, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Crestview right away. They can advise you what steps you need to take to protect your loved one. You also need to take action against the nursing home so your loved one can get the compensation they deserve.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Crestview, Florida Right Away

If you’ve done your research and think you’ve found a good nursing home, there’s one more thing you need to do. Call and speak with an experienced nursing home lawyer in Crestview, Florida. They can give you an idea of whether the home has a good reputation or not. They can even let you know of any recent lawsuits or grievances filed against the nursing home.

Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and your lawyer can answer any questions you may have. They can also give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve chosen a clean and safe place for your loved one.

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