Many nursing home residents are placed in care because they need round-the-clock assistance and medical attention. Unfortunately, the vulnerability of these residents often makes them targets of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as one in 10 people over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. It is believed instances of abuse are under-reported, and as many as 5 million seniors are harmed by abuse every year. This is concerning not only for the victims, but for the millions of American families who have trusted a nursing home to care for their elderly relatives.
Many families rely on nursing homes to care for loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer’s, other mental impairments, and physical disabilities. The NCOA has found these conditions, which may have led to the decision to seek assistance from a nursing home, also make residents more likely to suffer abuse.
When nursing home residents are abused, the result can be injuries or death. Elders who are being abused may suffer:
- Pressure ulcers
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Weight loss
All of these conditions can lead to a swift downward decline in health, not to mention the mental and emotional toll abuse inflicts. If your family member has been the victim of nursing home abuse, an Orlando nursing home abuse lawyer can help you fight for justice. Call (800) 712-9119 to discuss your case with a member of the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
Abuse Is More Than Physical Harm
When you think about elder abuse, physical violence probably comes to mind. Hitting, scratching, kicking, and pushing are all forms of physical abuse. Physical abuse is painful and scary for victims and can lead to bodily injury. However, it is just one form of harm inflicted upon the elderly.
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), abuse can include:
- Sexual abuse – which is any form of forced or coerced sexual contact, including verbal sexual harassment.
- Neglect – which is the failure to provide basic needs like food, medical care, protection, and shelter.
- Financial exploitation – which is the misuse of funds, including property, benefits, and assets.
- Emotional abuse – which is the infliction of mental harm. This may include threats, humiliation, and intimidation.
Some forms of abuse do not leave physical injuries, but there are changes in your loved one’s behavior that could be warning signs they are experiencing non-physical forms of harm. Depression, insomnia, and lack of interest in activities could be indications of emotional abuse. Missing funds or unpaid bills could be signs of financial exploitation.
When you visit your loved one, you should get a good feeling about the nursing home facility and its staff. If the home does not appear well-maintained, the staff is harried, or there does not seem to be enough employees to give each resident the attention they deserve, there could be a problem.
If you believe your loved one has experienced any type of abuse, get help right away. You can report abuse to the Florida Department of Children and Families, or your state or local ombudsman program as noted by the National Consumer Voice. Because elder abuse is a crime, you can make a complaint with local law enforcement. Additionally, you may wish to enlist the services of an Orlando nursing home abuse lawyer to represent you in civil court.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyers lawyer serving Orlando, call (800) 712-9119
There Are Laws to Protect Your Loved One’s Rights
In 1987, Congress passed 42 USC § 1395i-3, better known as the Nursing Home Bill of Rights, or Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA). Among other things, this act:
- Establishes a system to assess, regulate, and penalize nursing homes.
- Requires nursing homes to care for residents in a way that will maintain or enhance their quality of life.
- Guarantees residents freedom from abuse, isolation, physical punishment, or the use of restraints for convenience or discipline.
- Guarantees access to rehabilitation services, social services, proper nutrition, and medications.
In Florida, nursing home residents also are protected at the state level by Florida Statutes § 429.28, the Resident Bill of Rights. Like the OBRA, it guarantees the right to live free from abuse. It also states that residents should be treated with respect, have access to community services and activities, and manage their own finances if they are able.
If your loved one’s rights were violated, and they suffered from any type of abuse, a lawyer can help you seek compensation. If your loved one was injured, you can fight for the costs of their medical treatment. You can also seek awards for their suffering and pain. If your family member’s injuries caused their death, you could be owed compensation for the costs of their medical care, funeral expenses, and other benefits.
The statute of limitations for nursing home abuse, Florida Statutes § 400.0236, is two years from when the incident occurred. A lawyer can help you file your case before your window of time closes. If the abuse was concealed from you, you have two years from the time harm was discovered, but no more than four years from the time of injury.
Orlando Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Lawyer Near Me (800) 712-9119
Handling Your Case With Compassion
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC we realize that this is a difficult time for you and your family. You may be grieving the loss of your loved one. You may be experiencing feelings of guilt that they suffered in the nursing home meant to protect them. You should know, their injuries are not your fault. You were betrayed by caregivers you should have been able to trust.
We can help you hold the people who hurt your family member responsible for the abuse they inflicted. We can provide you with a voice you can use to fight back against those who harm the elderly.
We can take on your case at no upfront cost to you, and we will not collect a fee unless we win a settlement. Reach out to Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to find out what an Orlando nursing home abuse lawyer can do for you. Call our offices at (800) 712-9119 to learn more.