Elderly people who live in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to several forms of abuse and neglect. Oftentimes, they are physically or mentally impaired, which can make them targets for abuse and neglect by nursing home staff. Nursing home negligence and abuse are particularly relevant issues for many Floridians, as Florida is home to over 4 million people over the age of 65.
If you have reason to believe that your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused in their nursing home, you can take action on their behalf. The nursing home abuse lawyers of Osborne & Francis can help you determine the most effective course to recover compensation for costs like medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.
To schedule a confidential, free consultation with one of our expert nursing home abuse lawyers, please call us at (561) 293-2600. You can also contact us online at our Orlando or Boca Raton office.
Medical Neglect Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse
Many families choose to place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes when they do not have the skills or resources to keep up with their medical needs. This means that nursing home residents depend on staff to provide them with quality medical care. When they fail to do so, that can potentially be considered nursing home neglect, or even abuse.
Staff Who Don’t Report Signs of Illness and Infections Are Negligent
When an elderly person exhibits signs of illness or infection, time is of the essence when it comes to providing treatment. Failure to report potential illnesses and infections can exacerbate the underlying health issue. This is particularly dangerous for elderly patients as their conditions can deteriorate much faster than younger, healthier patients.
Nursing Home Staff Are Responsible for Moving Immobile Residents
If a nursing home resident is unable to move on their own, staff have a duty to move them around to prevent injury. When the body is not subject to regular exercise, muscles can atrophy and injuries such as bedsores may develop.
Not Giving Proper Medical Care or Medications Jeopardizes Patient Health
As trained medical professionals, nursing home staff have a responsibility to administer appropriate medications, therapies, and other treatments while an elderly person remains in their care. Withholding physical therapy, carelessly administering an incorrect dosage, or neglecting to provide preventative care can have a profound effect on an elderly person’s health. Additionally, it can constitute negligence or patient abuse.
Neglecting Residents’ Basic Needs Can Leave Nursing Homes Liable
Not Providing Safe Drinking Water or Food is Abuse
Although it should go without saying, nursing home residents have a right to receive adequate, nutritious food and enough water. Starving nursing home residents, only offering them inedible or minimal food, and failing to keep them hydrated can irreparably damage their health, and even cause wrongful death.
Failure To Clean Bedrooms and Common Areas Qualifies as Negligence
Part of a nursing home’s responsibility is to maintain clean spaces for its residents. It’s about more than tidiness. When trash is allowed to accumulate, that can increase the risk of health hazards like bug or rodent infestations. Additionally, clutter creates a tripping hazard, which can lead to serious slip and fall accidents. Elderly residents who are injured in slip and fall accidents tend to have long recovery times and may never regain prior mobility.
Emotional and Social Neglect is Common in Nursing Homes
Isolating Residents and Patients Damages Mental Health
It’s common knowledge that humans are social creatures. Having a sense of community and regular social interaction is especially important for nursing home residents, who may otherwise be extremely isolated from the outside world. When a nursing home deliberately isolates a resident, often to conceal abuse or coerce them into “behaving”, a resident may become emotionally withdrawn and develop mental health issues like depression.
Verbally Abusing Patients Can Harm Their Health
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for nursing home residents to experience verbal abuse from nursing home staff. Staff may try to bully and intimidate residents into complying with their wishes. It can be more difficult to detect signs of verbal abuse in your elderly loved one, but if you start to notice changes in their mood, eating habits, and physical health, it is worth making additional inquiries.
Failure To Provide Mobility Aids to Residents is a Safety Risk
Many elderly nursing home residents rely on canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids to navigate their daily life. Having a mobility aid taken away or not provided can strip them of the limited independence they already have. This loss is significant enough to be recognized as a sign of neglect, which may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, especially if the lack of a mobility aid led to a resident being injured.
Personal Hygiene Neglect Can Cause Serious Health Issues for Elderly Residents
Nursing Homes’ Failure To Keep Residents Clean Can Cause Serious Illness
Nursing home residents may have mobility issues that require them to have assistance while showering and using the bathroom. When nursing home staff don’t offer patients showers frequently enough or wash them inadequately, residents may develop skin conditions or even illness and infections.
Staff’s Failure To Change Bed Sheets and Clothes Compromises Resident Hygiene
As a habit, their care facility should already be changing the sheets and their clothes regularly, especially after an accident occurs. It is not uncommon for elderly people to have issues with incontinence, leading them to accidentally wet the bed. If the nursing home facility staff don’t change the sheets, dirt and bacteria can accumulate quickly, leading to illness or infection.
Failure To Check On Residents Can Qualify as Neglect
Nursing home staff are responsible for keeping up with the day-to-day maintenance of each resident’s personal hygiene, including things like brushing their teeth. If you notice issues such as matted hair, dirty fingernails, and other subtle signs of neglect, that may indicate that your loved one is not receiving the attention to personal hygiene that they deserve.
Why Should I Hire the Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys of Osborne & Francis?
After learning that your loved one has experienced neglect or abuse at the hands of their caretakers in a Florida nursing home, you may be unsure how to proceed. Rest assured that the nursing home abuse attorneys of Osborne & Francis are highly qualified and capable of negotiating maximum compensation.
Our clients trust us to relentlessly pursue damages after their loved ones have been mistreated. We will dedicate ourselves to negotiating a fair settlement that properly acknowledges the physical, mental, and emotional suffering of your elderly loved one. You can depend on us to utilize every resource at our disposal to achieve justice.
Contact a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Osborne & Francis
Under Florida law, elderly nursing home residents have the right to a certain level of care that is free from abuse.
If you notice signs of neglect or abuse in your elderly loved one, we encourage you to report this to the facility and the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration as soon as possible.
Additionally, you should consider taking legal action to recover the value of damages such as medical bills associated with injuries caused by the abuse, wages lost so you could take your loved one to doctor appointments, and the pain and suffering endured by your loved one. As nursing home abuse attorneys, we have helped many elderly residents and their families secure fair compensation in personal injury lawsuits.
Your family deserves to see negligent and abusive nursing home staff held accountable for their actions.
At Osborne & Francis, we have the knowledge and resources to achieve this through negotiations or at trial. Call us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert nursing home abuse lawyers. You can also contact our Orlando and Boca Raton offices online.