Has Your Elderly Loved One Been Abused or Neglected?
When our loved ones reach their golden years, we often reach a point where we are faced with a decision to place them into the care of a nursing home facility. For many, this is not an easy decision. While many facilities provide an appropriate level of care, there are those that fall dangerously short – leaving our elderly loved ones to suffer the consequences.
Common forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Neglecting basic needs
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
If your loved one is being abused, your best course of action may be to explore your legal options. With decades of collective experience, our Tampa elder abuse attorneys at Robert Sparks Attorneys have the knowledge you need to fight for and secure the outcome you deserve. Contact us today to tell us all about your situation.
Call Robert Sparks Attorneys today at (813) 606-5050 to discuss your options with our nursing home abuse attorneys in Tampa.
Claims of Negligence Against Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have an obligation to provide reasonable care to their patients. Preventable injuries, illnesses, and death that result from negligence, whether by act or omission, can warrant a personal injury claim against a nursing home facility and at-fault personnel. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are responsible for harm to their residents and patients, regardless if the harm was caused by a single employee.
With a negligence claim, a plaintiff is accusing the nursing care facility of failure to supervise its employees and ensure that each employee delivers a reasonable standard of care. Negligence can also claim that a nursing care facility failed to implement state or federal guidelines that could have prevented injury, illness, or death.
Here are a few alarming statistics about nursing home negligence:
- Approximately 33% of all U.S. nursing homes have been cited at least once for harm to patients caused by failing to adhere to regulations.
- In a major survey published by the National Center on Elder Abuse, about 50% of nursing home staff admitted to either abusing a patient or neglecting a patient.
- Yelling at patients seems to be the most common form of abuse, with 51% of certified nursing assistants admitting to yelling at a nursing home resident.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse victims may not communicate their situation with their loved ones for a number of different reasons, including fear or retaliation, fear of seeming too weak to take care of themselves, or being unable to communicate due to conditions like dementia.
If your loved one is currently living in a nursing home facility and you suspect that they are being mistreated, abused, neglected, or exploited, it is important that you take immediate steps to secure the assistance of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.
Some of the most common warning signs of abuse include:
- Broken bones, fractures, dislocations, sprains, etc.
- Burns from hot water, appliances, or cigarettes
- Abrasions resembling strap or rope marks
- Conflicting or implausible explanations for injuries
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss
- Treatment from different medical facilities
- Delayed treatment for serious injuries
Any of these could be signs of elder abuse. Regardless of the exact circumstances, it is important that you contact a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer at Robert Sparks Attorneys at once to take necessary steps. We know how delicate these cases are and will do everything we can to make them as painless as possible.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
The U.S. Department of Justice reported that financial exploitation is among the most commonly reported types of elder abuse, and an estimate from the National Center on Elder Abuse showed that fraud costs senior citizens $2.9 billion every year. Financial abuse can be difficult to track without a dedicated effort.
Signs that could indicate a risk for elder financial abuse include:
- Disputes over future inheritances
- Attempts to convince the victim to alter their estate plan
- New “best friends” of your elderly loved one
- Financial transactions that the elder is not able to fully explain
- Unusual activity in the elder’s bank account
- Increased interest from friends, family, or others in the elder’s assets
- Diminished mental capacity or health of the elder
While our elderly citizens are protected by the Elder Justice Act, which was signed into law in 2010, that doesn’t prevent people, whether they are a caregiver, scammer hunting for their next mark, or a member of the victim’s own family, from targeting our elderly loved ones in an attempt to steal their money.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Because physical abuse may cause more visible damage, it is often easier to identify, but emotional abuse can also cause considerable damage to your loved one’s mental state.
Some common examples of emotional abuse include:
- Using threatening behavior
- Yelling at or berating the elder
- Isolating them from friends and family
- Preventing them from attending special occasions
- Menacing, intimidating, or terrorizing behavior
- Ignoring the elder’s basic needs
- Ridicule and/or humiliation
- Demeaning or blaming the victim
While it may be difficult to know whether your loved one is being emotionally abused, there are number of warning signs you can keep an eye out for, including sudden changes in mood, aggression towards others, becoming withdrawn or depressed, expressing feelings of hopelessness, and more.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect can either be intentional or unintentional. Some caregivers, either through their decisions or an inability to complete the necessary work, neglect those they are trusted to care for.
A few indications of nursing home neglect include:
- Preventable conditions like bedsores
- Poor personal hygiene, including unwashed clothing
- Worsening of chronic diseases, despite the existence of a care plan
- Lack of necessary items like glasses, wheelchairs, dentures, etc.
- Untreated medical conditions, like infections
- Signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- Failure to supervise, resulting in preventable falls
If your loved one was neglected by a caregiver or nursing home staff, you should explore your legal options. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our elder abuse lawyers in Tampa are here to help you and your family.
Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse
Due to the infrequency that victims of sexual abuse report their abusers, it’s important for their loved ones to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or actions in order to provide protection.
Common warning signs of elder sexual abuse include:
- Unexplained pelvic injuries
- New sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Inappropriate behavior between the abuse suspect and the victim
- Emerging symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Stained, torn or bloody undergarments
- Bruising around the genital area or on the inner thighs
- Genital or anal irritation, bleeding or pain
Call Robert Sparks Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Dealing with abuse can be incredibly stressful, but you can find comfort in knowing that our nursing home abuse lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys have spent decades providing the legal support our clients deserve in their time of need. If your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, give us a call today.
Call (813) 606-5050 to take advantage of a FREE consultation.