Cruelty toward the elderly is almost unimaginable. Who would inflict hardship, suffering, or distress on those who need our care the most?
Unfortunately, though, abuse and neglect are a fact of life for far too many seniors throughout Florida and all across the United States. Sometimes, mistreatment is glaring and conspicuous. But perhaps more common are the quieter, less obvious forms of elder abuse.
Indeed, it is the subtlety of some abuse that allows it to go undetected for so long.
Families with loved ones in assisted living or senior care should understand that neglect is itself a form of abuse.
Seniors are sometimes allowed to live in uncomfortable or even inhospitable conditions because a nursing home staff is too overtaxed to tend to their needs, for example. Even absent an overt act of cruelty, such pronounced neglect certainly constitutes abuse.
The information below will help seniors and their families recognize nursing home abuse and neglect, whether conspicuous or latent.
Nursing Home Abuse Examples
In the classic case of outright physical abuse, family members may notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, lacerations, or burns
- Medication overdoses
- Evidence that important medication has been withheld
- Hospital trips
- Sudden or suspicious death
All of these signs warrant urgent action. If you suspect physical abuse of a loved one, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Less Obvious Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Senior abuse isn’t always physical, nor is it always obvious. In fact, the seniors themselves are often confused as to whether they have been victimized, owing perhaps to medication or emotional manipulation.
Anyone with a close family member or friend living in any senior care facility should look for the following signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse or neglect:
- Evidence of unsanitary living
- Bacterial infections
- Dramatic weight loss
- Unexplained weight gain
- Strange hair loss
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle contractions
- Signs of sexual molestation or abuse
- Pneumonia (especially aspiration pneumonia)
- Frequent or severe falls
- Suspicious injuries
- Dejection or an unsettling change in demeanor
- Paranoia, resentment, or a sudden change in attitude toward the facility staff
Remember to check in with your loved ones often and to closely monitor their care. Take what they say seriously and always follow up on warning flags.
A Miami Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
If you believe that you or a loved one may have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida, a Miami nursing home abuse attorney can help.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact our office as quickly as possible.