Nearly one in six people age 60 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in their lifetime if they are in a group or communal scenario, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Sadly, senior adults living in nursing homes are much more at risk for abuse than those who live at home.
When you put a loved one into a nursing home, you expect staff members to treat them with kindness, dignity, and respect. To learn they have been harmed can be horrible and heartbreaking, but it is not your fault.
Nursing home abuse is legally and morally wrong, and those who prey on the elderly should face justice. A Tallahassee nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you if you wish to pursue awards in court. For more information about how an attorney might assist you with your case, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444.
About Nursing Home Abuse
The problem of nursing home abuse is likely only to worsen as our population rapidly ages. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, by the year 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to nearly double, while the number of people aged 85 and older will more than triple.
All residents in a nursing home can be vulnerable to abuse, but those with cognitive disorders, physical disabilities, or the inability to communicate are at higher risk for abuse. Even fear alone can keep residents from reporting abuse or neglect.
Types of elder abuse include:
- Financial abuse. Staff members, caretakers, or even other nursing home residents may exploit an elderly loved one’s finances. Staff members or others in the facility may force or manipulate residents into giving them money, or these individuals may steal from the resident, among other actions.
- Physical abuse. This includes kicking, hitting, or rough handling. Physical abuse is not limited to these actions, so watch out for physical signs of abuse or for a loved one’s fear of someone in the nursing home.
- Neglect. Staff or caretakers who do not take care of resident’s medical needs, feed the resident, or do not help the resident stay clean are considered neglectful. These are not the only examples of neglect that a resident may face. is the failure to meet a resident’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and medical care. Neglect can come from intentional abuse, but staff without proper training or a reasonable patient-to-caretaker ratio can neglect someone without meaning to.
- Sexual abuse. Unwelcome or forced sexual contact is another type of abuse that seniors can face. Sexual abuse does not have to be a physical assault, it can include language, gestures, or other actions.
- Psychological abuse. This type of abuse does not leave physical marks, but it is just as harmful as other forms of abuse. Staff may humiliate, yell at, insult, or even isolate residents. This can cause your loved one extreme distress and cause serious mental health problems. This form of mistreatment is sometimes called emotional abuse.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Family members should know the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. It is important to pay attention to the conditions of the nursing home itself. The environment should be clean and welcoming, and facility staff should be competent and friendly.
High staff turnover, frantic or disorganized staff, phones that ring off the hook, unanswered call bells, and a lack of facility improvements all indicate possible problems.
Other signs of abuse may include:
- Physical marks on the skin
- Excessive falls and accidents
- Body odor, poor dental health, or other personal hygiene matters
- Lack of assistance with toileting or failure to change soiled diapers
- Unexplained or rapid weight loss
- Changes in behavior, like acting violent or aggressive, showing signs of depression, or becoming withdrawn.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Tallahassee, call 800-712-9119
What to Do if You Suspect Abuse
In Florida, Florida Statute § 429.28 guarantees the rights of those living in nursing homes. If you know of or suspect the abuse of a loved one in a nursing home facility, the Agency for Health Care Administration offers an online report.
You should also make a record of your complaints by submitting a report with the nursing home’s administration and Adult Protective Services, or a similar agency. Make sure to include as many details as possible when you submit the report in writing.
Elder abuse is illegal, so you may report any incidents to police in the area. You may also want to seek the help of an attorney. A Tallahassee nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you take legal action and seek awards in court. For more information, get in touch with Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
What You May Recover
- Medical bills. Some forms of abuse may cause a loved one to seek medical treatment. You or a lawyer can fight on behalf of your loved one to have the liable party pay for these expenses.
- Pain and suffering. You or an attorney can seek compensation for the mental impacts of nursing home abuse. Many factors go into calculating the value of this concept, and a lawyer can help figure this out.
- Personal property, such as stolen money.
- Wrongful death. In the event that a loved one passes away due to the abuse or the effects of abuse, you may be able to seek damages on behalf of your loved one.
Florida Statute § 400.0236 permits a two-year deadline for addressing abuse in a civil court, although there may be exceptions to this timeframe. If the statute expires, you may not be able to pursue awards in court.
Tallahassee Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me 800-712-9119
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Can Help You Seek Justice
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC will fight for your love one’s rights and dignity. Those who harm the elderly should not be allowed to get away with their wrongdoing. We are here to help you fight for your loved one.
If you are unsure of how to negotiate with insurers or pursue a case in court, a Tallahassee nursing home abuse lawyer can take the lead so you can focus on caring for your loved one. Our goal is to achieve the best possible settlement for you. We do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 for a consultation about your abuse case against a Tallahassee nursing home.