Lawyers Protecting Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves In Miami Nursing Homes
If you have a loved one who lives in a Florida nursing home, you expect the professional staff to provide the highest level of care. In some cases, however, these facilities are more akin to prisons. Elder abuse – which ranges from financial theft to verbal harassment and even physical violence – occurs when nursing home staff members mistreat their residents in some manner. Relatives who rely on nursing homes to care for their older family members may live far away or may not be in a position to continuously monitor living conditions. When left unchecked, nursing home neglect or abuse can cause significant emotional, financial and physical harm to seniors.
Nursing homes provide a variety of nursing and medical services, and elder abuse in institutional settings can qualify as medical malpractice. If you are a loved one of a senior who is suffering – or if the mistreatment is directed at you personally – it’s critical that you work with experienced legal counsel to help you stop the nursing home elder abuse and seek compensation for damages incurred. At Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, we have helped numerous families of elders throughout Florida recover compensation for problems with nursing home care.
Types Of Nursing Home Abuse To Watch Out For
Nursing home abuse takes many forms, including:
- Physical abuse: This includes anything from grabbing an elderly resident by the arm to pushing them down the hallway. A common form of physical abuse involves slapping or hitting someone.
- False imprisonment: This occurs when staff or other individuals in a nursing home confine a resident to a certain area, sometimes by leaving the resident without a needed mobility device.
- Financial abuse: This can include a staff member stealing money or personal property from a resident. A resident being pressured into signing a false will or deed also would be a form of financial abuse.
- Emotional abuse: This can include intimidation and ridicule.
- Sexual abuse: This can occur when an elder is forced to undress, participate in sexual acts or view objectionable materials against their will.
- Fraudulent medical care: This occurs when staff members provide fraudulent medical care to residents, which can include administering too little or too much medication.
Seniors can suffer abuse in many settings, including licensed nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Abusers in a nursing home can include staff members, vendors, other residents, and family members or friends of either staff members or residents. In some cases, abuse such as physical violence is apparent and may be observed by many people. However, other nursing home abuse cases, such as those involving financial abuse, may be more discreet and difficult to detect.
How To Detect Elder Abuse
A range of warning signs can indicate different types of elder abuse within nursing homes. Signs of physical abuse may include bruising, bleeding or other physical marks; rapid and unexplained weight loss; bed sores; broken bones; marks left from restraints; and sedation or confusion due to incorrect medications.
A senior who has been sexually abused may have bruising or bleeding in genital areas, or they may suffer from sexually transmitted diseases. If you are in the facility and notice a caregiver, a visitor or another resident exhibiting hostile behavior – including yelling, threatening, intimidating or controlling – you should consider it a possible sign of emotional or physical abuse.
In addition, a senior who is being emotionally abused or intimidated may exhibit behaviors similar to those of dementia, such as talking to themselves or rocking. If your loved one seems afraid of certain people in the nursing home, you should investigate the cause and contact our law firm to discuss your options.
If you believe that criminal acts – including physical violence, sexual abuse or theft – have occurred or are ongoing, alert law enforcement authorities immediately. The district attorney may file criminal charges against individuals at the nursing home if an investigation finds evidence of criminal behavior. At Kaire & Heffernan, our experienced attorneys can help determine if your loved one is in immediate danger. We can assist you with filing a nursing home abuse claim and a complaint with the appropriate government agencies, and we will pursue a civil lawsuit to recover monetary damages for any injuries stemming from the abusive treatment and to prevent further abuse from happening.
We Are Ready To Help – Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, then you must work with skilled personal injury lawyers to receive fair compensation. To speak to an attorney about your case, please contact Kaire & Heffernan to schedule a free initial consultation. Just call our Miami office at 305-376-7860 or reach out online.