Nursing home abuse is a pressing problem in Cape Coral, thanks to our large senior population. If you have a loved one who lives in a residential care facility or has a live-in caregiver, this is a problem you need to be aware of.
If you suspect a live-in caregiver or care facility may be abusing an elderly family member, contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine immediately. Our Cape Coral personal injury lawyers can protect your loved one’s well-being and their legal rights. Call us today to set up a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Cape Coral.
How common is nursing home abuse?
Between 2015 and 2016, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs reported that local law enforcement investigated almost 54,000 incidents of caregiver and nursing home abuse in the state.
Of these incidents, most fell into one of the following categories:
- Illegal confinement;
- Broken bones;
- Sexual abuse;
- Cuts and bruises;
- Emotional and mental abuse;
- Lack of supervision; and
Although you may believe that spotting abuse would be easy, many of the most egregious cases of abuse do not leave obvious visual scars or bruises on the victim.
How can I recognize nursing home abuse?
Elder abuse in a care home setting can take many forms. By learning about the most common types of abuse, you will better prepare yourself to detect any potential problems as early as possible.
Emotional or Mental Abuse
Caregivers may use fear or humiliation to subject elders to emotional abuse. Seniors experiencing this type of mistreatment may show the following signs:
- Fearfulness, especially upon visitor departure;
- Depression or anxiety; and
- Inhibited speech.
Any type of physical assault can constitute physical abuse. Look for these symptoms as warning signs that physical abuse may be occurring:
- Bruises, cuts, and abrasions;
- Head Injuries;
- Medication problems;
- Broken bones;
- Burns and scalds; and
- Repeated falls.
Elder care facilities must provide their residents with adequate care at all times. If a facility is understaffed or if employees regularly shirk their duties, residents can become victims of neglect. Signs of neglect include:
- An unbathed or unclean appearance;
- Dirty clothing; and
- Dirty bedding.
Sexual abuse does occur in residential care centers. Watch for these warning signs:
- Social withdrawal;
- Difficulty walking;
- Pelvic pain;
- Fearfulness or panic;
- Bruising on the thighs, buttocks, or genitals;
- Recurring urinary tract infections;
- Unwillingness to sit down; and
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
Financial abuse may be the hardest type of mistreatment to spot. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, periodically monitor their financial records for anomalies or unexplained activity, such as:
- Fraudulent billing for services;
- Credit card purchases;
- Bank withdrawals; and
- Identify theft.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse is occurring?
Florida law establishes statutory standards for nursing homes to protect residents from neglect and abuse.
Unfortunately, whether by oversight or intentional neglect, residential facilities frequently violate these laws. If you suspect that abuse is happening in a care home setting, or if a live-in caregiver is mistreating a family member, you must notify the proper authorities.
Call 911 immediately if you suspect a sexual or physical assault occurred or if your loved one has suffered significant neglect. This will get your family member away from their abuser and into a doctor’s care. Be sure to request that the attending doctors and nurses document all medical conditions thoroughly, and speak with local police to document the abuse.
If you believe the abuse is coming from one specific caregiver at a facility, you should immediately notify the nursing home administrator so they can take action. You should also file a report with the Department of Elder Affairs. You can call the elder abuse hotline at 800-962-2873 or file a report online.
After your loved one is safe, contact us to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer. We can guide you through the next steps of the process and begin collecting evidence to support your claim.
Can a nursing home abuse lawyer help my family?
You do not have to deal with the horrors of this situation alone. Our lawyers can immediately mobilize resources to get your loved one to a safe place for evaluation and any necessary medical care. We can also protect your loved one’s legal rights and explain your options for seeking financial compensation.
No amount of money will offset the pain and suffering that neglect and abuse cause. However, your loved one may require long-term treatment or care as a result of what happened. A financial settlement will help with current and future medical bills and cover the cost of relocating your loved one to a different nursing home or care center.
We can help you pursue the appropriate legal action against those who have harmed your family member and prevent them from ever harming another innocent senior.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we can help.
The attorneys of the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine are familiar with nursing home abuse cases and their complications. These types of cases can violate a variety of laws, including medical malpractice statutes, criminal statutes, personal injury statutes, or wrongful death laws.
We can help you decide whether to pursue a claim against an individual caregiver, the nursing home’s administrators or employees, owners of the nursing home, or individual doctors and nurses.
Our lawyers will work hard to protect the rights of your loved one and earn them the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
We Can Help.