Gainesville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It may start with a fall or a bedsore. Maybe your elderly loved one seems distant, depressed, or afraid. It is sometimes difficult to see the early signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. After all, nursing home residents are prone to falls, bedsores, and other medical issues. However, a reputable nursing home informs family members about any changes to a resident’s health. A trustworthy employee is forthcoming about injuries and illness.
What should you do if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect? In a survey from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 59 percent of respondents said they did not know who to ask for advice or information about nursing homes or Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). A nursing home abuse lawyer in Gainesville is an excellent source of information. If you would like to find out more, please call (800) 516-4783 for a free and confidential consultation.
How to Identify Signs of Abuse and Neglect
Seniors are less likely to stand up to exploitation, abuse, or neglect. Their physical and mental abilities are weaker, making them an easy target for corrupt caregivers. Nursing home residents typically do not have the stamina or means to report abuse or neglect. If they report these incidents, they might be dismissed due to the resident’s poor physical or mental condition.
Here Are Warning Signs of Physical Abuse or Neglect:
- Repeated falls, fractures, and broken bones
- Withdrawal from daily activities and people
- Reluctance to speak in front of nursing home employees
- Sudden weight loss
- Genital bleeding or bruising
- Poor personal hygiene
- Symptoms of over medication or insufficient medication
If you suspect that a loved one is being physically abused, do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement or the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
Signs of Hidden Abuse: Verbal, Emotional, and Financial Harm
There are other kinds of nursing home abuse that do not leave physical marks or scars. Emotional, verbal, and financial exploitation also occurs. Emotional abuse is deliberately harming a person’s psychological health. This kind of abuse creates mental distress, anxiety, and depression. Emotional abusers try to humiliate, shame, and demean their victims.
Common Behaviors of an Emotionally Abused Senior:
- Seems depressed or withdrawn
- Appears frightened or disturbed
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Dismisses their self-worth
- Attempts to harm self or others
- Avoids seeing people or speaking on the phone
Emotional abuse often is accompanied by verbal abuse. Screaming, using obscenities, and mocking is typical of verbal abuse. So is giving residents the silent treatment and refusing to acknowledge their requests. The National Center on Elder Abuse found that older women experienced sharp declines in mental health after being verbally abused.
Financial Abuse Can Quickly Drain a Senior’s Resources
Nursing home residents are vulnerable to financial abuse for several reasons. They may have cognitive challenges that prevent them from making sound decisions. They might not realize the value of assets such as stocks and insurance policies. Or they are lonely and isolated, which makes them an easy target for financial predators. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that financial abuse costs senior citizens more than $2.6 billion each year.
Know the Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
Sometimes a nursing home resident does not realize that he or she has been financially exploited until large sums of money or valuables are gone. An effective way to prevent financial abuse is to assign a trusted guardian to check bank accounts and other assets. A Gainesville nursing home abuse law firm can help if there is financial abuse of an aging loved one. For a confidential free consultation, please call (800) 516-4783.
Here are a few indications of elder financial abuse:
- Unexplained bank or ATM withdrawals particularly if the victim is bedridden or otherwise incapable of making such transactions.
- Unauthorized change in address for credit card and bank statements.
- Sudden or unusual credit card activity including on-line purchases that the victim typically does not make.
- Missing cash, jewelry, or other valuables.
How to Report Abuse or Neglect in Gainesville Nursing Homes
Your priority is the health, safety, and comfort of your elderly loved one. If you suspect any kind of abuse or neglect, you should take immediate action. The nursing home staff and management could face civil or criminal charges. At the very least, any facility that hides or downplays such actions should be reported to proper licensing authorities.
- If an emergency, call law enforcement.
- Contact the nursing home administrator in writing with a detailed account of suspected abuse or neglect.
- Call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs or use their .
- Speak with an attorney who handles nursing home abuse cases. For a free and confidential consultation with a Gainesville nursing home abuse law firm, please call (800) 516-4783.
How a Gainesville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
If your loved one suffered physical, mental, or financial harm because of nursing home abuse or neglect, an attorney may be able to recover compensation. However, Florida places a statute of limitations of two years to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. It is important to act swiftly to both protect your loved one and others from abuse, and to seek eligible compensation.
Depending on your situation, a nursing home abuse attorney could recover damages for:
- Medical bills not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance
- Domestic and caregiver services
- Expenses related to moving victim to a different facility
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Typically, There Are No Attorney Fees Unless Recovery
You have the right to know your legal options. A Gainesville nursing home abuse lawyer usually does not charge attorney fees unless and until compensation is recovered. If you would like a free and confidential case review, please call (800) 516-4783.