There are few people more vulnerable among us than those who require nursing home care. Once your loved one is in the facility you chose together, you likely breathed a sigh of relief – knowing that they were receiving the care and attention they needed to continue living a full life.
If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, it’s time to hold the facility accountable while ensuring that your relative receives the high-quality care they deserve. A Plantation nursing home abuse lawyer at Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys is standing by to help. Call us at 754-465-0874 or contact us line today.
Florida’s Laws on Nursing Home Abuse
Florida has important laws in place that are designed to protect the residents of nursing homes. While this does not stop nursing home abuse from happening altogether, it can help you take action if your relative is harmed.
Florida makes it clear that each of the following is a form of elder abuse:
- Intentionally causing a nursing home resident to suffer physical or emotional harm
- Engaging in an act that is expected to cause a nursing home resident to suffer physical or emotional harm
- Encouraging someone else to engage in an act that causes – or is expected to cause – a nursing home resident to suffer physical or emotional harm
- Intentionally isolating or restricting access to a nursing home resident – unless doing so is necessary for the resident’s own protection and well-being
The Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The most important point to keep in mind when it comes to protecting your loved one from nursing home abuse is that you should trust your instincts. If your aging relative expresses a concern, it is time to take action.
There are also tell-tale signs of abuse that you and your family members should be on the lookout for.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Bedsores are skin injuries caused by unabated pressure on the affected area, which is indicative of a failure to move and reposition oneself frequently enough.
Many nursing home residents depend on staff members to avoid developing these painful and potentially serious sores, and failure to provide adequate assistance can be indicative of neglect that borders on abuse.
A shift in personal appearance
If your loved one used to take considerable pride in their appearance but no longer looks tidy and clean, take notice. Nursing homes are charged with providing care, including personal care, and failing to do so signifies that your relative’s well-being is not the facility’s primary concern.
Further, if their new normal is looking bedraggled often or being perpetually disheveled, the nursing home may be singling them out, which is a form of abuse.
A shift in personality
If your loved one’s usually upbeat personality has become glum and morose – or they exhibit any pronounced shift in personality – consider it a wake-up call. Abuse takes its toll on the abused, and while your elderly relative may not have the words or the strength to tell you they’re being abused, an unexplained shift of this kind may be their way of letting you know.
If your loved one exhibits unexplained physical injuries, it’s time to take action. A physical injury is a glaring sign of abuse. The matter is even more dire if the nursing home has no plausible explanation regarding the injury-causing incident.
If you are not immediately notified about the injury, it’s still serious. Physical injuries can quickly escalate into life-threatening conditions.
Unexplained weight loss
If you notice that your relative is losing weight for no apparent reason, it can be a sign of neglect, an absence of care, or abuse – such as by withholding food. Both are incredibly dangerous, but when intention is involved, the matter is much more egregious.
If your loved one is losing weight, it’s time to get to the bottom of the matter, and the same is true about dehydration, which can lead to lethargy and constant thirst. Food and water are primary needs, and when a nursing home shirks its responsibility at this level, turning a blind eye can prove disastrous.
Visible anxiety or fear
If your relative exhibits noticeable fear or anxiety around a specific staff member or voices their desire not to be alone with a specific staff member, it is a clear sign that you should be concerned.
It is natural to be cautious of one’s abuser, and this manifestation of your loved one’s fear may be the clearest signal that they’re being abused. Taking immediate action is advised.
A Note About Nursing Home Negligence
While nursing home negligence lacks the intention of abuse, it is more likely to stay below the radar, allowing it the time and space to develop into something more dangerous before it’s rooted out.
In other words, both nursing home neglect and abuse are serious concerns that can do serious harm. Further, neglect can evolve into outright abuse over time. If you see something that gives you pause, it’s time to reach out for the professional legal guidance of an experienced Plantation nursing home abuse attorney.
Get Guidance From a Plantation Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Both nursing home neglect and abuse are abhorrent and dangerous, and your loved one naturally deserves better.
Rocco Scarfone is a trusted Plantation, Florida, nursing home abuse attorney who understands the gravity of your situation. At Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys, we’re committed to helping you protect your loved one – while zealously advocating for all the compensation that’s deserved. Our knowledgeable legal team is on your side and here to help.