Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Many of us have elderly parents or relatives that require our attention. While their safety and wellbeing is a primary concern, the demands of work and family responsibilities often prevent us from providing the level of care these loved ones need. They often have medical conditions that require extra monitoring, and may need assistance when it comes to performing daily tasks that most of us take for granted. Oftentimes, a nursing home or long term care facility is the best way to provide the level of care they need, but making the decision to place a loved one in a care facility is never easy. Unfortunately, as demand for this type of care has increased, so have reports of nursing home abuse and neglect. In order to keep your loved ones safe, it is important to be aware of both the facts regarding this type of abuse, as well as the warning signs that abuse may be occurring.
Facts About Nursing Home Abuse
According to statistics compiled by the National Council on Elder Abuse (NCEA), there are over three million people living in nursing homes throughout the United States, and roughly 40 percent of all people over the age of 65 will eventually require the level of care these facilities provide. Despite federal standards and licensing requirements governing these homes and the ways the people who live in them are treated, abuse and neglect occur with alarming regularity The NCEA reports that roughly one in three nursing homes in the country were cited for violations that threatened to cause harm to residents, and approximately 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to engaging in some type of behavior that had the potential to harm the patients in their care. According to the NCEA, the most common types of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, kicking, or pinching;
- Psychological abuse, such as teasing, shaming, or threatening;
- Financial exploitation;
- Neglect; and
- Sexual abuse.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the United States Department of Human Services Administration on Aging (AOA), it is important for family members and friends of people living in nursing homes to be alert to the signs of abuse, and to notify nursing home administrators and local authorities if they suspect abuse is occurring. The AOA states that signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include the following:
- Unexplained bruises, swelling, scratches, or broken bones;
- Patient emotional changes, such as depression and withdrawal from activities;
- Bedsores, poor hygiene, and unexplained weight loss; and
- Signs of tense or strained relationships between staff and patients.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you suspect that someone you love is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact our experienced Florida medical personal injury lawyer immediately. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, our lawyers can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable for your loved one’s injuries, and assist in getting them the compensation they need to recover. Serving the entire Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, we can help; call or contact us online today for a free consultation.