The Villages Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When we entrust our loved ones to nursing home staff, we trust they will be treated with respect, dignity, and care. Unfortunately, overworked or careless employees of nursing homes may provide substandard and even negligent care. When the ones we love are harmed under these circumstances, legal action can be taken.
If your loved one suffered abuse in an assisted care facility, a nursing home abuse lawyer in The Villages could help determine if you have a viable case. Nursing home abuse may lead to medical expenses, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and in extreme cases even death. Compensation may be available to victims, the exact amount of which could be determined by a Villages nursing home abuse lawyer.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Maltreatment that starts as minor and unintentional can grow serious and irreversible if left unchecked. Some signs can be more difficult to spot than others, but there are certain red flags for family members to watch out for.
It may be hard to believe, but some nursing home employees pinch, hit, or otherwise physically assault their patients. Be on the lookout for unexplained bruises, cuts, and scratches on loved ones in nursing homes, especially if accompanied by changes in demeanor or mood.
In many nursing home facilities, even the most well-intentioned staff can be overworked and tasked with too many patients to adequately provide care. Under such circumstances, patients can go unattended for days, leading to dangerous weight loss and increased potential for illness and infection. Families should check to see whether bed sheets are changed and their loved one is bathed regularly, and if their relative has bed sores.
Stressed nursing home employees may take their frustrations out on their patients. Threats, demeaning language, and talking down to the patients are all forms of verbal abuse. If a patient suddenly becomes withdrawn and fearful, they may be the victim of verbal abuse.
Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable members of society, so when they are taken advantage of by the people who should be providing them care, it is often difficult for them to speak up. Unexplained bruises and unwillingness to discuss daily life in the nursing home may be signs of sexual abuse.
How Abuse Can Result from Neglect
The most common cause of abuse in nursing homes is neglect on the part of the staff. This means that the staff did not intend for any harm to come to the resident. Still, an injury did occur and the facility must be responsible. This neglect can take on many forms. Some common examples include:
- Not taking care to prevent accidents from spills
- Not turning residents often enough while in bed to prevent bed sores
- Not helping residents exercise in an appropriate manner
- Not allowing residents to socialize
Any of these actions should be immediately reported to the head nurse or administrator of the facility. It may be the case that the situation is fixable with an employee reprimand. However, when a complaint does not fix the issue, a resident or their family may file a claim.
The Villages maintains an agency dedicated to the investigation and resolution of allegations of elder abuse. This agency may investigate claims of neglect and perform their own investigation. This could also serve to stop the neglect. But for someone to collect compensation for any injury, they must file a civil lawsuit on their own accord.
Types of Neglect in The Villages
Abuse in nursing homes can come in many forms. The most common occurs when the staff does not take the necessary precautions to protect their residents. The staff does not intend that the residents suffer injuries, but through their lack of action, injuries do happen. From a legal perspective, this facility is negligent.
All nursing homes and assisted care facilities in The Villages have a legal duty to protect their residents from harm. This includes harm that can be the result of employee neglect. By law, negligent nursing homes must pay out compensation to residents who suffer injuries due to employee neglect. Speak with a qualified attorney to learn more about the different types of warning signs of nursing home neglect in The Villages.
Ways Family Members Can Recognize Neglect
Abuse or neglect can be difficult to recognize, especially when the residents may not have daily contact with family members. Even the residents themselves may not believe that they are suffering mistreatment. In other cases, they are too intimidated to speak out in their own defense.
Common examples of neglect include:
- Not following an approved dietary plan
- Not bathing the resident on a regular basis
- Leaving the resident alone for long periods of time
- Not providing necessary medication
- Using verbal or physical threats against residents
For a greater chance of discovering neglect, visit with a family member as often as possible. Examine that resident’s entire body for signs of abuse such as bruising or sores. Talk with the resident out of earshot of any staff member and remind them that they can tell you anything. Try to notice any changes in behavior or mental state. Any of these indicators may be warning signs of nursing home neglect in The Villages.
What if the Abuse is Intentional?
On occasion, a resident suffers an injury due to an intentional act committed by a member of a nursing home’s staff. While all facilities must fully screen their employees, some people may slip through the cracks. When intentional abuse takes place, the abuser may face criminal charges. This may also expose the facility to civil liability for which a resident may demand compensation.
Intentional abuse can take on a number of forms. Types of abuse in The Villages nursing homes include slapping or using inappropriate physical reprimands, yelling at or teasing a resident, depriving a resident of food or water, or committing sexual assault.
Any resident who experienced this abuse should immediately contact the police. All these actions constitute a violation of the nursing home bill of rights and may be punishable by criminal charges.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in The Villages Can Help
Imagining your loved one is being abused at the hands of a nursing home employee can be a terrifying thought. Fortunately, Florida law allows family members of nursing home residents to take legal action against abusive and negligent facilities.
If you believe your loved one is the target of nursing home abuse, get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer in The Villages as soon as possible. Working tirelessly to investigate your loved one’s claims, a nursing home abuse attorney could be your family’s best advocate in the wake of abuse.
Call Glover Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. Even if you are unsure you have a case, a consultation could help you determine the best course of action.