You expect your elderly relatives to feel safe and comfortable in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. There are far too many cases of nursing home abuse, and sometimes, it does not become apparent to the family for a long time.
Abuse can sometimes go unnoticed because of the vulnerable state of the residents. Nursing home residents may have such conditions as:
- Dementia or a vulnerable mental state
- Complex learning difficulties
- Physical disabilities
For these reasons, they may not speak out, or they might lack the confidence to do so.
When you eventually find out that a member of your family is the victim of abuse, you have a right to hold the abuser accountable.
A Dade City nursing home abuse lawyer from Distasio Law Firm will take a compassionate, personalized approach to your case. We strive on our clients’ behalf to pursue justice and compensation for your loved one’s injuries and losses from those accountable. To find out more, reach out to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.
Florida and Nursing Home Care
While there are no excuses for abuse, repeated reports published in the National Institutes of Health on elder mismanagement, inadequate staffing is often one of the main reasons behind nursing home abuse. Nursing home staffing may be an indicator of the quality of care.
Regardless of the reason, it is done, it is difficult to accept that your relative is the victim of neglect or abuse. However, if you sense that the nursing home or care worker is abusing your relative, you should not delay in acting. Call a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer in Dade City from Distasio Law Firm today.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
As presented by the National Institute on Aging, nursing home abuse can take several forms, such as physical, negligent, and sexual.
Sometimes the signs may be apparent, such as:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruising or scratches
- Inappropriate medications or denial of medications
- Bedsores from being in one position too long or not moved from the bed
- Emotional changes in the resident, signs of agitation or anger, or displaying other signs of distress
- Items going missing
Physical abuse does not just relate to hitting, scratching, or similar behaviors. Sometimes, it can refer to the use of restraints. Restraints are permissible in Florida nursing homes under some circumstances as outlined by Florida Statute §400.9979.
Florida statutes dictate that only physicians, a physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse can order restraints. In accordance with Florida statutes, these medical professionals must document the use of the restraints too.
The client’s representative must also be told about the nursing home’s restraint’s policy when the client first moves into the home.
Nursing homes may use chemical restraints in relation to prescribed dosages of medications when a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse orders them. The medications should also be in line with the resident’s diagnosis.
However, if restraints are causing a nursing home resident harm, then this may be a form of physical abuse.
Other Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are other signs that your relative may not be getting the care they should be. If some of these things are lacking when you visit your loved one at their nursing home, this may also be a sign that the nursing home is not providing suitable and acceptable levels of care. Ask yourself if your relative is:
- Well dressed and groomed
- Alert and moving around
Next, ask yourself:
- Are staff members friendly and respectful?
- Is there adequate staff?
- Does your friend or relative seem scared or quieter when they are around certain members of staff?
These things may be normal for the resident depending on their condition, but they may also be a sign that something is wrong.
Types of Compensatory Awards
If a case is successful, there are several areas where a victim of elder abuse and their families may be eligible for compensation. This compensation includes:
- Economic damages: These damages would cover costs like medical expenses or lost assets. For example, if a nursing home resident received injuries because of abuse that led to medical expenses.
- Non-economic damages: A nursing home resident may receive non-economic damages for their emotional and psychological suffering.
- Lost wages: These damages may apply to younger nursing home residents if the abuse left them unable to earn.
- Punitive damages: In cases of malicious or deliberate abuse, punitive damages may be deemed appropriate by the courts
A Dade City nursing home abuse attorney from our firm could demand compensation for the full extent of your loved one’s losses.
Reach Out to a Dade City Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If you suspect nursing home abuse of any kind, reach out to Distasio Law Firm today. We can carry out an investigation, get your relative moved, and stand by you all the way in your fight for compensation and accountability.
The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident or when you discovered abuse was occurring. However, the sooner you call a Dade City nursing home abuse lawyer from Distasio Law Firm, the sooner we can start investigating your case and work towards gaining the accountability you seek.
For a compassionate, personal, and client-focused service, call Distasio Law Firm.