Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Orlando
Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem in retirement homes today, and one that is all too often concealed until it is too late. In Central Florida, we have one of the largest elderly populations in the country, and many of our aging loved ones live within nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the area. Sadly, it is estimated that roughly 85% of nursing home abuse cases go unreported. This is because the abuse normally occurs between the elderly person and someone who has been entrusted to look after them.
When the abuse occurs, it is often difficult for outsiders to recognize. In addition, victims often fail to report it for fear of retribution. If you suspect that your senior family member has been a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, contact the law firm of Todd E. Copeland & Associates today. We are experienced nursing home abuse lawyers, and we can give you the proper guidance to ensure that you gain justice for your aging loved one.
What Types Of Nursing Home Abuse Are There?
Nursing home abuse can come in several different forms. Some of the most common include:
- Physical Abuse: Inflicting physical harm or injury upon the elderly nursing home resident. This may also include sexual abuse.
- Physical/Medical Neglect: Neglecting basic physical health needs of the client, such as deprivation of food, water, baths, and necessary medications. This may include failure to notify the doctor if additional treatment/care is needed.
- Isolation: Blatant disregard for the patient’s wishes, particularly pertaining to their requests to contact family members and friends.
- Emotional Abuse: Harassing, threatening, humiliating, or intimidating the patient. This is often done to keep them in fear of speaking out about the other kinds of abuse that are occurring.
- Personal Property Abuse: Disrespecting the client’s personal belongings, stealing or the wrongful taking of property. This may also include theft of financial assets.
- Resident on Resident Abuse: Elderly abuse in a nursing home may not always be between a staff member and a patient. Sometimes, the abuse occurs between 2 patients in the same home.
What Are The Warning Signs That Abuse Is Occuring?
One surefire way to ensure that your senior loved one is not being taken advantage of inside a nursing home is to visit them on a regular basis. Try to stop in at least once a week if possible. And always ask lots of questions of the staff and your loved one about how they are being treated, and pay careful attention to the answers. Beyond that, here are some other signs to look for:
- Look for Signs of Physical Abuse or Neglect: Look for bruises, abrasions, bedsores, and other physical signs, especially those that have not been reported to you and appear to have been concealed.
- Pay Attention to Their Demeanor: If your aging loved one is acting out of character, this could be a sign that something is wrong.
- Make Sure They Are Living in Sanitary Conditions: Look for signs that they are not being bathed regularly, or not having their clothes cleaned, etc. If you find any such signs, report them immediately.
How Can A Nursing Home Be Held Liable For Abuse?
The average staff to patient radio in a U.S. nursing home is 1 to 1.64 according to a Center for Disease Control report. When this ratio becomes distorted and staff members need to care for more patients than they should be, neglect can occur. With over 16,000 nursing homes in the U.S. hosting nearly 2 million beds, this can lead to widespread abuse especially considering that the average time of admission is 835 days.
- Poor Training
What the statistics often fail to point out is that nursing home patients are people just like anyone else. These are people who have had careers, families, successes and failures. Being that they are living at the facility providing their care for an extended period of time, staff members often need to go above and beyond standard medical care and get to know these patients on a deeper level. When new staff is not properly trained to handle residents who may be disabled, unruly or display a bad temperment due to medications, abuse can occur.
- Negligent Hiring
More than nearly any other career in the medical field, nursing home staffing professionals need to perform thorough background checks on the employees they hire. A missed criminal record, history of abuse or other complaints, when overlooked, can lead to serious problems. Add to this the necessary credentials and academic degrees for the position and it is clear how thorough hiring managers need to be.
- Breach of Rights
Like any other U.S. citizen nursing home residents are entitled to dignity, privacy and autonomy. When an employee of a nursing home has violated one of these rights the facility can be held liable.
- Third Party
The actions of anyone coming in or out of the facility are ultimately the responsibility of the nursing home. Other residents, visitors, vendors and cleaning crews, everyone who can potentially have contact with your loved one falls under this group.
Todd Copeland & Associates proudly serves clients throughout Florida including the cities of Sanford, Lakeland, Haines City, Clermont, Kissimmee, Tavares, Haines City, Leesburg, St. Cloud, Eustis, Lady Lake, Apopka, and Winter Haven.
If you suspect anything at all is wrong, it is important for you to understand your legal rights. Get in touch with our Orlando nursing home abuse attorneys today for a FREE consultation. We will give you guidance on how to know for sure if abuse is happening to your elderly loved one. And if we do need to pursue litigation, there is no upfront cost to you. You only pay if we secure damages for your senior family member. Call our office today at (407) 999-8995 or toll free at (888) 999-9149.