All too often, elderly people are taken advantage of in a nursing home. Many Florida residents are subject to nursing home abuse and often the signs go ignored. Nursing home abuse can take many forms and the result can hurt an elderly person emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Understanding what nursing home abuse is and what you can do if it happens to a family member can help keep your loved one safe and prevent the abuse from occurring long-term. When a senior is a resident of a nursing home, under Florida law they have the right to quality care and respect. It is often at the hands of the very people that are supposed to care for your family member that Florida nursing home abuse occurs.
Is There a Time Limit to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
When you see signs of nursing home abuse in Florida, you need to report the abuse to the authorities as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations for abuse reporting that you need to adhere to in order to fight these crimes. You have two years from the date of the abuse incident to report the crime to the correct officials.
It is also important that you remove your family member from the facility where the abuse was occurring to ensure it has stopped. While it can be difficult for an elderly person to move from a place that they consider their home and where their friends are, it is the best way to ensure that the abuse stops. You want to make sure your family member is safe and a new nursing home facility can provide this security away from the offending caregiver that was causing the nursing home abuse in Florida.
What Are the Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
Nursing home abuse in Florida can occur in many different ways. Not all abuse is physical with easily viewable signs. You need to be aware of sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior and watch for signs that something is not quite right with their current living arrangement. Some common types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: The signs of physical abuse may be easy to see. Your family member may have bruises, cuts or scratches. Physical abuse can take many forms as a caregiver can become aggressive with a resident and push, hit, pull, or use force on them in a physical way. Watch for signs of injury that seem to have no explanation for why they occurred. This could be signs that physical abuse is occurring by a caregiver to your family member.
- Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse can be devastating for an elderly person. A caregiver tells them they are worthless, puts them down or emotionally scars them by the things that they say to them. Your loved one deserves respect while living in an elder care facility. This type of bullying is illegal and a report needs to be made with the nursing home at the first sign of abuse. If you notice that your loved one is sullen or seems sad, quiet or uncommunicative, there may be emotional abuse happening when you are not around.
- Financial abuse: When your loved one is in a nursing home, the last thing you think could be at risk is their finances, but financial abuse is a common occurrence. A caregiver may dupe your family member or guilt them into giving them money. If you notice that your loved one’s finances have suddenly changed without explanation, you need to consider that a caregiver may be the root cause of this disappearance of money. Have these allegations investigated and report your family member’s caregiver for suspicious activity.
- Sexual abuse: While we never want to see our loved ones hurt by another, sexual abuse can and does occur in a nursing home. Caregivers can take advantage of your family member in a sexual way without their consent. This is an act of nursing home abuse in Florida and is a serious offense. Report this abuse immediately and have an investigation of the events.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
Being watchful and aware of nursing home abuse in Florida can help keep your loved one safe. You need to look out for the signs of nursing home abuse so you can put an end to it as soon as possible. Keep in mind that your loved one may not be able to tell you about the abuse or may be too embarrassed to let you know. Look for these signs the next time you visit your elderly family member at their Florida nursing home:
- Your Loved One Being Withdrawn or Abnormally Quiet
- Behavior Changes
- Unexplained Illnesses
- Physical Discomfort
- Bite marks
- Mood Swings
- Low Self-esteem
- Lack of Eye Contact
What Should I Do If My Loved One is Dealing with Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
If you see any signs that your loved one is abused, you need to notify the nursing home immediately. An investigation needs to occur, and you should seek the help of a nursing home abuse attorney in Florida to discuss your legal rights and options.
Florida nursing home abuse is a crime, and an attorney can help you understand your legal rights as a family member. You can file a lawsuit against the caregiver for their abusive actions and the harm they caused your loved one. Seeking the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida can ensure that the abuse stops and that your family member is safe again.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse in Florida, a lawyer can help. Contact the attorneys of John Fagan Accident Lawyers to get justice for your loved one. They can help you report the abuse and take legal action against the caregiver that committed the crime. Do not let your loved one suffer alone. Get them the help they deserve with the assistance of an attorney from John Fagan Accident Lawyers. Contact us today to set up a consultation.