Many nursing homes are safe, nurturing environments, but if your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse in Titusville, Florida, you need the help of a law firm that has experience in handling these complicated cases.
Nursing home abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and violation of basic rights. If you believe that your loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home, a personal injury lawyer in Titusville, FL can help you go after compensation. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Since there are many different forms of abuse that a nursing home resident can suffer, there are multiple situations that deserve your attention when they happen. Depending on the facts of your case, you should explore the incident, notify the nursing home, get medical or psychological help for your loved one, contact law enforcement, or talk with a lawyer about taking action.
Here are some of the common red flags of abuse in a nursing home:
- Physical abuse can present itself through things like scratches, cuts, fractures, or any unexplained or repeated injuries. If your loved one has weight loss or dehydration without a known cause, he might not be getting enough to eat or drink, which can be physical abuse.
- Nursing home residents are frequent victims of financial abuse. Look for unusually high credit card balances, lower than expected banking and investment account balances, and unpaid bills. If your loved one exhibits more worry than usual about having enough money or stops wanting to go on excursions like eating out at restaurants, someone might be misappropriating her finances. Also, you should investigate if her wallet, purse, checkbook, credit cards, or items from her room go missing.
- Emotional abuse can leave your loved one appearing more anxious, depressed, or fearful than usual. Psychological mistreatment can lead to hypervigilance, evasiveness, shame, or increased confusion. Also, these symptoms can appear if your loved one is the victim of other forms of abuse.
- Sexual abuse can be forcible, or it can happen when your loved one cannot give consent due to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive issues, being in a comatose state, or other reasons. If your relative develops a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection or has a genital area injury, you need to find out if sexual abuse was the cause.
- If someone at the nursing home is violating your loved one’s fundamental rights, he might react to that person with anger, fear, or other changes in mood. Pay attention to how he interacts with the staff members and other residents at the facility.
The Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights
If a nursing home receives Medicare or Medicaid funds or certification, the facility must comply with the protections granted in the Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights. It doesn’t matter if your loved one receives Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
The Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights guarantees every resident the right to:
- Receive respectful treatment
- Participate in activities
- Manage her finances
- Make her medical decisions
- Enjoy appropriate privacy
- Spend time with visitors
- Keep personal property in her room.
- Have a designated contact person notified
- Make complaints
- Form or participate in resident groups
- Contact the long-term care ombudsman
The nursing home is not allowed to:
- Discriminate against any resident
- Withhold nutrition or hydration
- Withhold medical treatment, including medication
- Use chemical restraints (sedation or other drugs) or physical restraints on the residents
- Prevent a resident from exercising his rights as U.S. citizen, such as voting
- Improperly transfer or discharge a resident
The facility must provide all residents with detailed information about the home’s services and fees.
What Constitutes Abuse in a Nursing Home
Abuse can take many forms, including these examples:
- Physical abuse is when someone harms a nursing home resident physically through hitting, slapping, pushing, or some other action. Withholding food, hydration or medication can also be physical abuse. Failing to follow the medical protocols for preventing bedsores or intentionally leaving a person to lie in his own waste is physical abuse.
- Financial abuse is when someone steals your loved one’s personal items, cash, other assets, or identity. Crooks and con artists love to target vulnerable older adults. Additional examples of financial abuse are when someone forces or tricks a nursing home resident into signing a power of attorney that the fraudster then uses to take over the person’s investments, bank accounts, Social Security benefits, real estate, car, or credit cards.
- Emotional abuse is when someone inflicts psychological harm on your loved one. It is emotional abuse if someone threatens, harasses, or humiliates a nursing home resident. Ridiculing a person because of gender, sexual orientation or identity, intelligence, religion, ethnic origin, medical condition, or impairments are all examples of emotional abuse.
- Sexual abuse can come from the nursing home’s employees or other residents. Nursing homes have a duty to investigate and take corrective and preventative action as soon as someone makes an allegation of unwanted sexual behavior. Sexual abuse in a nursing home can include both sexual assault and engaging in sexual activity with a person who cannot give consent.
- Basic rights violations happen when a resident does not receive the treatment guaranteed in the Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights. Like all the other forms of nursing home abuse, the perpetrator of a basic rights violation can be a member of the facility’s staff, another resident, or a visitor.
How We Can Help Victims of Nursing Home Abuse in Titusville, Florida
We can investigate the incident to find out as much as we can about what happened to your loved one at the nursing home. We can collect records from the long-term care facility as evidence of medical treatment, doctors’ orders, medication schedule, and reported incidents. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Titusville, FL can stop the pain and suffering your loved one is going through.
When appropriate, we can report abuse to law enforcement and government agencies. The state of Florida takes elder abuse seriously. There are several agencies we can notify, depending on the facts of the case.
Sometimes it is appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit against an individual or nursing home to make them stop mistreating your loved one and make them pay for the harm they have done. You can call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Titusville, FL can go to work for you and your loved one’s recovery.
We Can Help.