Worldwide, our population is aging, and many older adults will need nursing home care at some point during their lives. In the United States alone, more than 1.5 million people live in one of nearly 17,000 licensed nursing homes every day.
Sadly, elder abuse is a growing problem in our society, and nursing home residents are more likely to experience abuse than seniors who live at home. It is horrible to think that the facilities and staff we trust with our loved one’s care may harm them, but that is the reality for far too many families.
Many residents have chronic illnesses and cognitive impairments, which is why they require nursing home care. These same conditions also make them particularly vulnerable to abuse. Because they are entirely reliant on their caregivers, they may be afraid or unable to report abuse.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, factors that increase the risk of abuse include:
- Functional impairment
- Poor physical health
- Low social support
- Low income or poverty
- No spouse or partner
Abuse of any type is never acceptable. If you suspect your loved one has been abused in their nursing home, it is not your fault. A North Miami nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you hold the nursing home and its staff accountable. For more information, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 959-1444.
Nursing Home Abuse Facts
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as “an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” Common types of elder abuse include:
This is the use of physical force against a resident, including hitting, shoving, pinching, force-feeding, or any other physical violence.
Also referred to as mental or psychological abuse, emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. Examples include yelling, threatening, belittling, humiliating, isolating, or ignoring a resident.
This is any type of unwanted touching or sexual contact, including sexual harassment.
Financial abuse is the improper and unauthorized use of a resident’s money, property, belongings, retirement benefits, or other assets.
Neglect is the failure to provide for a resident’s basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and medical care. Neglect can be intentional, or it can happen when nursing home staff is overworked or poorly trained.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Florida has the oldest population in the United States and nearly 700 licensed nursing homes, with more to come. When you go to a nursing home to visit your loved one, stay alert for any signs there may be problems with their care.
Indications that the facility may not be understaffed include constantly ringing phones, unanswered call lights, and workers who seem frantic or disorganized. A lack of improvements in the facility and high staff turnover also are concerning signs.
Changes in your loved one’s behavior can be warning signs of nursing home abuse. Watch for any signs of depression, trauma, trouble sleeping, aggressive or violent behavior, acting withdrawn, or losing interest in activities. You should also be aware of any physical warning signs, including:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, or other injuries
- Soiled clothing or diapers
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Excessive falls and accidents
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer, call (844) 638-1822
Ways to Report Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, you should report it immediately. Make a detailed written report, date it, and file it with nursing home administration. You also can report abuse to local law enforcement, adult protective services, or an agency that advocates against elder abuse.
Florida nursing home residents are protected by a special Resident Bill of Rights. If you believe your loved one’s rights have been violated or they have been abused, you can report it online to the Agency for Health Care Administration or call 1-888-419-3456.
If the situation is an emergency, or if you witness abuse as it is happening, contact 911.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (844) 638-1822
What Can Be Recovered in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
A North Miami nursing home abuse lawyer can help you seek awards for:
- Medical costs. You may be entitled to awards for your loved one’s medical expenses, including medications, surgery, physical therapy, hospital stays, and any other health care bills resulting from their illness or injury.
- Pain and suffering. Your loved one may be compensated for their stress, anxiety, mental anguish, permanent physical impairment, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Personal property. You may be able to seek awards for your loved one’s stolen or misused assets.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one died because of nursing home abuse, you may be able to seek damages on their behalf, as well as awards for wrongful death.
If you want to pursue a civil lawsuit, Florida Statute § 400.0236 allows a two-year statute of limitations on actions for nursing home abuse, so be sure to seek the help of an attorney before the statute expires. To learn more, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today.
How We Can Help
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we believe in giving a voice to the voiceless. Our legal team has helped thousands of clients across the country fight for justice in personal injury cases, civil rights cases, environmental cases, and class action lawsuits. We have achieved millions of dollars in settlements for our clients, and we may be able to help you, too.
No one should be allowed to get away with abusing the elderly. When you put your parent, spouse, or loved one into a nursing home, you expect them to be treated with the utmost care. Having your trust violated and learning that your loved one was harmed can be devastating.
A North Miami nursing home abuse lawyer can help you hold those who harmed your loved one responsible. An attorney can help you through every step of your case, from investigating claims of abuse to gathering evidence that supports your case. The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC will work to seek the best possible settlement for you, so that you can focus on helping your loved one heal.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. To learn more and schedule a risk-free consultation, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 959-1444.