You trust the nurses, caregivers, and other staff at your loved one’s nursing home to keep them safe and provide them with the care they need. All too often, seniors suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of those they trust. Because many nursing home residents cannot fight off the abuse or report neglect on their own, it is important that you understand what to do if you suspect your loved one or another resident is a victim of abuse.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys understand the outrage you experience in this situation. We can help you prove the abuse occurred and recover compensation to help your loved one overcome their physical and emotional injuries. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a complimentary consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Hialeah.
How can I tell if abuse is occurring?
Many people mistakenly think there is a single definition of abuse, and it involves physical assault. However, there are a number of ways seniors can suffer abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Any time someone intentionally causes physical, emotional, or financial harm to a resident, it is abuse. In addition, neglect is also a type of abuse and it does not always occur intentionally. If your loved one suffered from any of the following, we can help you hold the abusers and their employers liable.
Physical abuse is not limited to simply hitting. Inappropriate restraining, pushing, or any other contact that causes fear or harm is abuse.
Neglect is one of the most common types of nursing home abuse, particularly in understaffed facilities. Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide adequate care for residents. This often includes issues with necessary medical care, self-care, feeding, and cleanliness.
Sometimes abuse leaves no physical signs. Emotional abuse causes fear, embarrassment, and other undue negative feelings and stress. Often, emotional abuse tactics include threats, intimidation, and humiliation.
While it is difficult to think about, sexual abuse of nursing home residents does occur. This can include rape, unwanted touching, and unnecessary invasion of privacy during bathing or toileting.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes take advantage of seniors by billing them for services they do not need or will not receive. In other cases, caregivers may misappropriate funds from a senior’s account or even steal assets from their room.
If you suspect abuse, your first action should be to report your suspicions to someone who can protect your senior and investigate the facts of the case.
After your loved one is safe, our attorneys can begin collecting evidence showing abuse occurred. That may include medical records showing evidence of physical injuries or neglect, financial statements proving theft, or testimony from other residents or staff that corroborates what happened.
What are the signs my loved one is suffering abuse?
Understanding the ways nursing home abuse occurs is only the first step to being able to spot the signs and ensure your loved one remains safe and healthy. Possible signs of abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, cuts, and broken bones;
- Bruising or injuries in the genital area or on the breasts;
- Untreated bedsores or other ignored injuries;
- Signs of poor hygiene, including soiled clothes or sheets;
- Unnecessary use of restraints or medications that cause a change in alertness;
- Too much medication or missed doses;
- A change in personality or alertness that you cannot link to another factor;
- Reports of threats or bullying from a caregiver;
- Fear of or refusal to be alone with a particular caregiver; and
- Unexplained changes in billing or bank account totals.
Many of these signs may indicate other issues besides abuse. However, if you do notice any of these signs, it is a good idea to make note of what you observed and when. If possible, take pictures of bruises or other injuries. If it does turn out to be abuse, this may prove to be vital evidence in our case against the caregiver.
How can I take action if I suspect nursing home abuse is occurring in Hialeah?
The best thing you can do to protect your loved one is to report suspected nursing home abuse as soon as possible. Do not doubt yourself or worry about whether you are overreacting. You do not have an obligation to verify your suspicions when you make your report. Simply describe what you witnessed to the facility’s administrators and to Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs at 1-800-962-2873.
If you believe your loved one or another nursing home resident is in immediate danger due to abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to call the local police or dial 911. The police will ensure all affected residents get the medical care they need and contact the agencies who investigate these claims.
Do I need to talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer?
Once you feel certain of your loved one’s well-being, your attention turns to holding the responsible parties liable for their actions. This is where we come in.
We can help you recover a financial settlement for your loved one, allowing them to receive the medical care, counseling, and other treatment they need to overcome this stressful ordeal. Money will not erase the pain and suffering, but it can provide a peace of mind and a higher quality of life.
Give us a call today and we can help you understand your options for recovering compensation for your loved one. We are knowledgeable about all aspects of nursing home abuse cases. We can explain how personal injury statutes, contract law, medical malpractice laws, and even the criminal justice process can impact your case.
Once we evaluate your claim and begin to collect evidence to support your case, we can give you a better idea of how much money your senior may be eligible to recover in their claim.
Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today for help.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine are ready to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your situation today. Call us at 800-747-3733 to get started.