When families turn to nursing homes to care for their loved ones, they trust that the nursing homes are well-equipped to handle and treat their family member’s medical conditions.
Nursing Home Neglect
Unfortunately, residents can and do experience abuse in those same nursing homes designed to provide care. The most common form of abuse is neglect, where a caregiver does not provide the proper care to an elder nursing home resident needed such as food, water, hygiene and medication.
While on the surface, this might sound cruel, a lot of nursing home neglect is unintentional due to underfunding or simply a lack of properly trained staff. Whether intentional or not, neglect can cause serious harm and may cause a chronic illness in a resident to worsen.
Other Forms of Abuse In Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse can also manifest as physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual assault. If you suspect your relative has experienced any kind of abuse, your first step is to speak to the nursing home administrator about your concerns. If you see the issue is not resolved after that, it may be time to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to protect your family.
When To Take Legal Action Against a Nursing Home in Florida
Whether the nursing home abuse problem concerns a staff member or whether it is related to a breakdown in the system, the first course of legal action is to file a complaint with the State of Florida. Here in Florida, you can contact the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
in order to file a complaint of nursing home abuse. Their phone number is (888) 419-3456 or you can visit their website
to file a complaint online.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, a lawsuit may also be filed to recover damages for injury sustained or mental and emotional suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney, such as Teresa P. Williams can help you navigate your case and provide the best course of action. To speak to a team member, contact our office today
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
In 2001, a congressional report was prepared for Representative Henry A. Waxman whereby nursing home abuse was researched for physical, verbal and emotional abuse along with sexual assault cases. It was discovered that 5,283 nursing homes were cited between 1999 through 2001 for abuse violations. All violations cited had the ability to cause the residents potential harm. Of those violations 1,600 complaints were serious enough to cause physical harm that placed the resident in question in serious condition or even death.
Signs To Looks For
Signs of nursing home abuse can include things like dirty sheets, foul odors, bruising or something as simple as keeping a water glass out of a resident’s reach as dehydration can cause serious harm.
Other signs of abuse may include:
- Sudden emotional withdrawl
- Unsafe environmental conditions such as a slippery floor
- Improperly sized bed mattresses
If you suspect abuse has occurred, document everything including photos of what you see, the date abuse started and any response provided by the administration. Your records of the events will help further your case should you decide to persue legal action.