Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Longwood, FL
What Do I Do If I Suspect My Elderly Loved One Is Being Abused or Neglected?
Nursing home abuse is unfortunately a tragic reality that many senior residents and their families face. It is important that you schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer at David & Philpot, P.L., if you believe your loved one has sustained abuse or neglect while at a nursing home. We can imagine the sheer anguish and anger you may feel knowing that your relative has been taken advantage of in some way. The weight of such news can be enough to shock your entire family. We are here to help.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
It is estimated that around one out of every three nursing home facilities across America have received a citation for abuse violations and infractions. A percentage of these elderly victims were not able to defend or speak up for themselves after such harm was inflicted. Elderly residents with dementia, alzheimer’s, or other cognitive diagnosis may be at an increased risk of suffering mistreatment. When you consult with a Longwood, Florida nursing home abuse attorney, you can have confidence in the fact that we believe in doing whatever is within our legal power to seek justice for these senior residents.
Why Abuse and Neglect Occurs
It is a common thread among nursing home facilities that staff are overworked, under-trained, and hired on out of desperation for more caregivers rather than based on experience. Many nursing home structures are designed in a way to make profit, instead of focusing on the well being of residents who require care. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Longwood, FL can help you identify warning signs that may mean your loved one is enduring abuse or neglect. If you see that your loved one has physical marks, staff are inattentive or refuse to let you see your loved one, it may be time for legal intervention.
Why Incidents May Go Unreported
Due to lack of awareness, many incidents of abuse or neglect go unreported. For the small percentage of reports that are filed against a nursing home facility, there are probably many more who remained silent. One way to keep an eye on your loved in is to visit him or her frequently and to ask plenty of questions about care. You may want to visit unpredictably (at least to staff), so you can witness for yourself how the facility runs when they think no one is looking.
Sadly, family members of residents who have cognitive impairments may not believe stories about mistreatment, and assume their relative is only acting out or being dramatic. We highly encourage you to take these accusations seriously and consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Longwood, FL for advice on how to proceed.
If you are worried about your senior relative in a nursing home facility, do not hesitate to reach out to a Longwood, FL nursing home abuse lawyer for more information. We are happy to talk with you either over the phone or in-person to answer any questions you have. We are here to help protect your loved one from nursing home abuse, neglect or exploitation.
What Do I Do If I Suspect My Elderly Loved One Is Being Abused or Neglected?
Elder abuse is a real problem that often goes unnoticed by friends and family because they could never imagine someone harming their vulnerable loved one. Often times, the signs of elder abuse or neglect are also written off as part of the aging process. Tragically, as a nursing home abuse lawyer in Longwood, Florida can attest, cases of elderly abuse and neglect are becoming more and more common.
Elder abuse is used to describe any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or person that causes hard or a risk of harm to someone over 65. This can occur in nursing homes or even with family members, friends or caretakers who are caring for an elderly person in their own home. Each state has their own laws pertaining to elder abuse, but it is generally understood that elder abuse encompasses the following:
Sexual Abuse: Any kind of non-consensual sexual touching or contact of any kind.
Physical Abuse: Depriving an elderly person of a basic human need (like water, food, medication, shelter), inflicting or threatening to inflict physical pain to an elderly person.
Neglect: Failing to provide or refusing to provide basic necessities like food, water, medication, or shelter to an elderly person.
Emotional Abuse: Creating an emotionally hostile environment in which mental pain or anguish is inflicted on an elderly person.
Abandonment: When a caretaker abandons an elderly person even though they have been charged to care for them.
Financial Exploitation: The misuse of personal funds, bank accounts, and assets of an elderly person.
Here are some warning signs from a Longwood, FL nursing home abuse lawyer that could indicate your loved ones may be experiencing neglect or abuse:
- Physical manifestations of abuse such as cuts, fractures, bruises, or burns
- Bedsores, poor hygiene, or basic medical needs being ignored.
- Inexplicable or unusual weight loss
- Mental manifestations such as grogginess, depression, or becoming withdrawn
- Threats of abuse towards others and lashing out
- Sudden changes in financial situation/change in their will or power of attorney that were not approved or should not have been approved by the elder
It is important to remember that one sign does not necessarily mean that the elder is being abused, but if you can identify multiple signs it may be necessary to investigate further. If you see or experience any of these signs, it is important that you contact the authorities right away.
What you can do if you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect?
Because these cases are highly personal and vary from person to person, there are no universal steps to reporting elder abuse. You can begin by reporting the suspected abuse to the authorities or a mandated reporter (doctors, nurses, home healthcare providers) and also make sure that the abuser faces legal action but hiring an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to handle your case. Adult Protective Services is also a resource that can help you or your loved ones stay safe from elder abuse.
The attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. want to help you, help your loved one. Call our offices today to discuss the specifics of your case with a nursing home abuse lawyer Longwood, FL clients trust and find out what options you may have in bringing forth legal action.
Nursing Homes, Elder Abuse, and Arbitration
Elderly adults who reside in nursing facilities are a vulnerable population. Many of them rely heavily on others for help with their day-to-day activities. Many seniors are cognitively impaired or unable to speak for themselves. Nursing homes are often understaffed and may struggle to meet the needs of the seniors in their care. As a result, residents may experience injuries, illnesses, and even potentially, death. Regardless of the reasons an elderly nursing home resident experiences abuse, an experienced Longwood, Florida nursing home abuse lawyer can help.
How Can I Recognize Elder Abuse?
A Longwood, FL nursing home abuse lawyer can work to hold nursing homes accountable for neglect and abuse. Neglect or abuse may appear as:
- Bedsores and ulcers
- Negligence, carelessness, and wrongful conduct resulting in death
- Medication errors
- Burns, bruises, bumps, burns, scratches, scrapes, wounds, and broken bones
- Falls or drops
- Unsupervised wandering
- Physical harm
- Sexual abuse
These and other forms of nursing facility neglect and abuse cause needless suffering. When a family makes the difficult decision to put a loved one in the care of a nursing facility, they have the right to expect that the loved one will not be injured as a result of abuse or neglect.
Sadly, nursing facility neglect and abuse are unfortunate realities. Nursing home administrators and staff members who injure an elderly adult through neglect or mistreatment must be held accountable for their actions.
What Can a Nursing Home Lawyer Do?
Unlike a medical malpractice claim, which usually concerns a specific act by a healthcare provider, a nursing home case generally involves a pattern of insufficient care over a length of time. An experienced Longwood, FL nursing home abuse lawyer can work to gather the evidence required to prove neglect or abuse.
If you encounter abuse, neglect, or negligence, report it to the authorities right away so they can investigate. However, your next step toward justice should be seeking legal guidance. You may be able to bring a legal claim against the abusive providers and/or facility in order to gain access to rightful compensation on behalf of your loved one.
What is Arbitration?
The paperwork presented to families and prospective nursing home residents often contains an arbitration clause. Frustratingly, these clauses waive a resident’s right to pursue a court case against the nursing facility for any claim brought against it. Nursing home residents are well-advised to consider whether they want to waive this right carefully.
Arbitration clauses are widely used in the nursing home industry. If your loved one’s care is governed by a contract containing an arbitration clause, speak with an experienced Longwood, FL nursing home abuse lawyer about what this may mean for your legal options. Arbitration is a means to resolve a legal dispute without using the court system. Arbitration is typically quicker and less expensive than a traditional lawsuit. Although this may seem like a good alternative for many nursing home residents or their families, arbitration usually favors the nursing facility.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Attorney
If you or a beloved family member has been harmed as a result of poor nursing home care, the experienced legal team at David & Philpot, PL can evaluate the case and make recommendations regarding bringing a suit for damages. Do not let an agreement to arbitrate stand in your way of filing a lawsuit against the facility. Our firm is experienced in bringing cases against negligent and abusive nursing home administrators, supervisors, and staffers, regardless of whether arbitration clauses govern the living contracts of those who have been abused. Please schedule a consultation with our team today. We look forward to speaking with you.