Nursing Home Abuse Claims
Many families choose to place loved ones in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities to ensure that their medical needs are met. Unfortunately, thousands of violations are committed by these types of facilities every year, many of which involve elder abuse and can leave victims physically, emotionally, and mentally scarred, and in severe cases, can even result in death. Demonstrating nursing home abuse can be difficult, so if you are concerned that a loved one is not receiving adequate care and have notified the authorities, it is important to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can help you file a claim against the at-fault parties in court.
Types of Elder Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are actually five different types conduct that fall under the broad category of elder abuse, including:
- Physical abuse, which includes but is not limited to hitting, kicking, slapping, burning, or pushing;
- Financial abuse, which usually takes the form of stealing money from an elderly person’s account, using a credit card without authorization, or modifying a will without permission;
- Sexual abuse, which includes sexual harassment, as well as unwanted sexual interaction;
- Neglect, which involves failing to meet an elderly person’s needs by not providing adequate water, food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care; and
- Emotional or psychological abuse, such as humiliation, destruction of personal property, or isolation.
Some of these kinds of abuse are more obvious than others, even if the victim is too afraid or embarrassed to disclose that it is occurring. For instance, sustaining unexplained physical injuries like broken bones or fractures can be a sign that an elderly relative is being abused, as can evidence of:
- Symptoms of malnutrition, such as unexplained weight loss, paleness, and dry skin;
- Unexplained wounds, cuts, bruises, or abrasions;
- Sprains or strains; and
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
Aside from evidence of physical abuse, those with loved ones in long-term care facilities should keep an eye out for the following, all of which are indicative of nursing home abuse:
- Soiled bedding;
- Untreated medical conditions;
- Fear of physical contact;
- Irregularities with medication;
- Withdrawal; and
- Personality changes.
If you have noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your own loved one, it is critical to notify the authorities right away before speaking with an attorney.
Who is at Fault?
A number of different individuals can be held liable for nursing home abuse, including the institution itself, managers, supervisors, and employees if the injured party can provide evidence that his or her injury was the result of:
- A failure to impose proper rules and policies;
- Negligent hiring practices;
- A failure to properly monitor staff;
- A failure to discipline staff members for violating company policies;
- A failure to properly train employees;
- A failure to fix dangerous conditions or hazards on the property; or
- A failure to provide adequate medical care, shelter, food, and water.
Nursing home facilities that are found liable for this type of negligent conduct can be required to compensate victims for their physical injuries, as well as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
How We Can Help
When a nursing home facility fails to fulfill its legal duties towards residents, it can be held accountable for resulting abuse or neglect. To find out more about liability in nursing home abuse cases, please contact the dedicated Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse legal team at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 or by sending us an online message today.