Neglect is a Serious Issue in Many Nursing Homes
It is no secret that many nursing homes are critically understaffed across the country. Florida is no different. On top of staffing shortages, many nursing homes focus on the bottom line at the expense of the quality of care that their residents receive. Resources are mismanaged, employees are under-qualified and unsupervised, and the end result is that the residents do not receive the care and services they deserve.
Neglect is unfortunately very common in nursing homes and can take on many forms. You should immediately contact a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney if your loved one appears to be suffering from any of the following:
- Rapid weight loss
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Unkempt appearance – they are unwashed or wearing dirty clothes
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Not receiving medications
- Lack of heat or other environmental issues
Wandering about the premises without supervision can also be a sign of neglect if your loved one has mobility issues or cognitive impairments. The elderly can easily fall or otherwise injure themselves and then not be able to get help quickly. In more extreme cases, residents may leave the facility altogether, often referred to as “elopement.” They can suffer exposure, get lost, get hit by a car, or suffer some other serious, life-threatening injury. Wandering and elopement are usually strong indicators that the facility is not providing the level of care they are obligated to.
Neglect can sometimes be subtle, and the elderly are often unable to advocate for themselves. As a result, you should trust your instincts if you suspect your loved one is not getting the care they deserve and contact a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible.
More Than Just Neglect: Nursing Home Abuse
As hard as it is to believe, nursing home abuse is just as common as neglect. Abuse can come at the hands of caregivers but also other nursing home employees or even visiting family members. The same conditions that lead to neglect – inadequate supervision, poor management, understaffing, and unqualified or unscreened employees – make nursing homes an environment ripe for abuse. If you believe your loved one has been abused in some way, a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney can hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Physical Abuse in Boca Raton Nursing Homes
Tragically, the media is full of stories about elders suffering physical abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Kicking, hitting, shoving, slapping, and other forms of physical violence can result in severe injuries due to their frailty. Other common forms of physical abuse tragically involve the following:
- Violent shaking
- Being knocked down
These injuries can take a very long time to heal, and in some situations, can result in permanent disabilities and even death.
This type of abuse typically occurs in nursing homes with inadequate supervision or where they fail to sufficiently screen their employees. In some cases, the facility may simply ignore clear signs that physical abuse is taking place within the facilities. In these situations, a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney can hold them accountable for their failure to keep your loved one safe and make sure that others do not suffer the same treatment.
Confinement and Restraint Concerns in Nursing Homes
Arguably, confinement and restraint may be considered a form of physical abuse. These actions are often justified as an attempt to keep a resident safe from harm. While it may be justified in extreme cases, the reality is that it is often used as a way to deal with staffing shortages, inadequate supervision, or poor management. In many cases, it is the result of a callous disregard for the residents’ well-being, as it often leads to serious physical and emotional harm.
Boca Raton Nursing Home Psychological Abuse
Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is not limited to abuse of a physical nature. There are many, many elderly who are the victims of psychological abuse. This type of abuse can take on the following forms:
- Threatening the victim with physical harm
- Verbal abuse such as berating them or engaging in name-calling
- Scaring or terrorizing them
Psychological abuse is sometimes done purely for sadistic reasons but is often used as a tool to manipulate the elderly in order to take advantage of them. Whatever the case may be, psychological abuse can lead to severe mental and emotional trauma. A Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney can take the steps needed to protect them from further abuse so that they can enjoy their golden years in peace.
Nursing Home Financial Abuse in South Florida
People residing in nursing homes are vulnerable for a number of reasons. They may feel lonely or are easily confused. As a result, they can be preyed upon by those who want to manipulate them for their own financial gain. Shockingly, these manipulators are often friends or family members of the victim.
Financial abuse can often be difficult to detect. The victim may be bullied into giving the manipulator what they want, but it is often achieved through subtle manipulation. This can be done through lying to the victim or simply by preying on their loneliness. The following may be signs that your loved one is the victim of financial abuse:
- Sudden, unexplained bank withdrawals
- Unpaid bills and delinquent accounts
- Significant changes in their financial or investment plans
- Valuable items or cash that have suddenly gone missing
- Substantial changes to their will, trust, or other estate planning documents
If you suspect that your loved one is being financially abused, a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney can investigate the situation and take action to hold the abusers accountable.
Sexual Abuse in Boca Raton Nursing Homes
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is shockingly more common than you might think. Many instances of sexual abuse in nursing homes involve residents being manipulated, tricked, coerced, or forced into performing sexual acts with a staff member, caregiver, or another resident. This behavior can range from offensive touching to outright rape. Tragically, many of the victims are in cognitive decline, leaving them unable to clearly understand or remember what happened. Regardless, sexual abuse can lead to serious physical harm, illnesses (including sexually transmitted infections), and emotional and psychological trauma. If you suspect that your loved one is being sexually abused, contact a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible.
Third Party Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are frequently visited by family members, vendors, and other contractors. The fact that a third party has committed an act of abuse does not relieve the nursing home of its responsibility to provide a safe environment for its residents. Contractors and other third parties should be supervised, and residents deserve to be protected from anyone who would wish them harm or take advantage of them.
Sadly, many instances of elder abuse occur at the hands of family members or other loved ones. Nursing homes have an obligation to report suspected abuse and take steps to ensure that your loved one is safe.
Of course, these situations are complex, and there may be more than one party at fault. A Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney can ensure that the right parties are held accountable.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
The elderly often feel powerless and are afraid to speak up when they are being abused or neglected for fear of retribution. They may even feel embarrassed. Again, you must trust your instincts if you believe your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect. Some common signs that your loved one is being victimized include the following:
- Sudden withdrawal
- Sadness or depression
- Extreme fatigue due to the inability to sleep
- They are unable to explain or seem confused about obvious injuries
- They seem anxious, afraid, angry, or resentful, especially towards their caregivers
- Physical markings like bruises and bed sores
Do not risk your loved one suffering further neglect or abuse – contact a Boca Raton nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible.
Turn To A Boca Raton Nursing Home Negligence Attorney At The Grife Law Firm
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