Nursing home abuse and neglect is very much a reality in Florida today as it is in the rest of the nation. Failure to adequately care for elderly residents is a common occurrence in nursing facilities across the country. In addition, nursing home residents are also subject to physical, emotional and even sexual abuse. If you believe a family member has been abused or neglected at a nursing home, it is in your best interest to call an experienced personal injury attorney to examine your legal rights and options.
Detecting Nursing Home Abuse
Many incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect are not reported because they go undetected. Some families are embarrassed to report it and others fear retaliation. There are several telltale signs of abuse and neglect and it is important to be aware of them:
- Unexplained Injuries: Whenever an injury occurs at a nursing home, there should be an extensive report. When injuries are noticeable and you are not given a clear explanation, there may be a problem.
- Bruises: Many elderly people are vulnerable to bruises, but people under full-time care should be protected from most bruises and injuries. A bruise on someone’s elbow may be a sign of rough handling on the part of nursing home staff. Bruises on someone’s legs may be signs of unnecessary restraint.
- Pressure Sores / Bedsores: Bedridden patients need to be moved every couple of hours. When an elderly person has multiple bedsores that are not getting better, it could be a sign of neglect.
- Weight Loss: Nursing care facilities are supposed to provide adequate nutrition to residents. When a patient is suffering from weight loss and malnutrition, it could be a sign of serious neglect.
- Lack of Hygiene: When a resident’s room or clothes are dirty, it may mean the patient is being neglected.
- Bloody Clothes and Bleeding: Sexual abuse is a rare but a traumatic reality for some nursing home residents.
- Slip and Fall Incidents: Falling is a common problem for many seniors, but care facilities should provide adequate walking assistance, rails and ramps.
- Chemical restraint: Nursing homes tend to excessively drug patients, especially those suffering some dementia. Chemical restraint is a way for nursing facilities to subdue dementia patients who may become hostile or aggressive with staff. However, these drugs have the potential to harm patients as they have significant side effects.
What to do if you Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should file a report with nursing home administrators right away. You can also file a report with the state's ombudsman. If you fail to get any type of response from nursing home administrators or your state's ombudsman, please seek the counsel of an experienced Miami nursing home abuse lawyer at the law offices of Ruth E. Johnson. We have the knowledge, skill and a successful track record of obtaining fair compensation for victims of nursing home abuse in Florida. Call us today to schedule your free, comprehensive and completely confidential consultation.