Abuse or neglect of a senior—especially by their caregivers in a nursing home—is difficult to think about, but happens more frequently than most people realize. If you have a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent who lives in a nursing home, it is important you know the signs of abuse and how to report them.
If you or your loved one suffered neglect or abuse at the hands of a nursing home employee or other caregiver, you need to discuss your legal options with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our skilled attorneys understand how devastating it can be to experience abuse at the hands of a caregiver. That is why we fight for compensation for the victims of South Florida nursing home abuse.
How does nursing home abuse occur?
Nursing home abuse and neglect happens in many different ways. Any time a caregiver’s intentional act or negligent behavior causes harm to a resident, it may be a case of nursing home abuse. All 50 states, including Florida, have laws in place to protect these vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. If you suspect any of these types of nursing home abuse, act quickly to protect your loved one from harm.
This includes hitting, pushing, or physically restraining a resident, or otherwise intentionally inflicting physical pain.
This includes intimidating, threatening, or otherwise causing the resident undue stress or mental anguish.
This includes an intentional or unintentional failure to feed, clothe, and care for residents adequately. Abandonment and issues with cleanliness or other self-care tasks may also fall into this category.
This includes any unwanted sexual contact and/or unwarranted nudity.
This includes stealing, illegal use of assets, and even billing residents for services they did not receive.
How can I spot signs of nursing home abuse and neglect?
Most nursing home residents do not have the cognitive ability or awareness to report abuse or neglect. For this reason, it is important that their family members and other trusted visitors watch for any signs of abuse. While one of these signs does not necessarily mean your loved one has an abusive caregiver, they should prompt you to take action. Keep an eye out for:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts and burns;
- Unexpected broken bones;
- A change in alertness not due to other factors;
- A sudden change in personality;
- Bruising in the genital area or other signs of sexual abuse;
- Unexpected bedsores;
- Poor hygiene, such as soiled bedsheets or unchanged clothes;
- Missed doses of medicine;
- Unnecessary medications;
- Changes in financial accounts;
- Strained relationship with a particular caregiver;
- Overhearing threats or bullying behaviors; or
- A senior who reports abuse or neglect.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse in Fort Lauderdale?
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Fort Lauderdale, you should take action to report your suspicions immediately. There is no reason to wait to verify what you saw. Instead, you should pass any signs you have along to the proper authorities and let them confirm whether or not abuse is occurring.
If the nursing home resident is in immediate danger from a physically or sexually abusive caregiver, or if they are living in severely neglected conditions, call 911 right away to ensure they receive the emergency care they need.
If there is no immediate, life-threatening danger, you can report it directly to Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs. This requires you to file a report online or contact them by phone at 800-962-2873. You may also want to notify the administration of the nursing home, because they can often take the most immediate action to put an end to the abuse.
How can a lawyer help us after nursing home abuse or neglect?
Even once you know your loved one is safe from their abusers, there is little that can repair the damage done. While a financial settlement will not reverse their pain and suffering or lessen their emotional upset, it can pay for medical treatment, therapy, and other tools to aid recovery. A Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can advise you on your legal options for filing for damages.
The legal landscape for nursing home abuse law is diverse. When an elderly person suffers abuse, many facets of the law can apply to their case. This includes statutes, contract law, personal injury law, medical malpractice law, and even criminal law. A good elder abuse attorney can navigate through each of these legal practice areas with ease and understand the role each plays in your case.
If you suspect that an elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a South Florida nursing home, call us. Legal action could help stop a facility’s abusive practices and many nursing home abuse victims are eligible for compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial damages. If your family member died as a direct result of medical malpractice, abuse, or neglect, your family may be eligible to collect wrongful death damages.
How can I speak with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Fort Lauderdale?
To speak with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney, call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 for a free initial consultation. Our personal injury and criminal lawyers stand ready to help victims of abuse.