Elder Abuse in Florida
Elder abuse, or mistreatment, results from intentional actions, or inactions, which harm the elderly person or which can create a serious risk for harm for the elderly person. The elderly are vulnerable to their caregivers whether they are a spouse, children, extended family or nursing home professionals. Nearly 10% of elderly in nursing homes experience abuse. Still, most abuse goes unreported. If you have a loved one in the care of a nursing home, it is important to understand the causes and type of abuse your loved one may experience in a nursing home.
What Causes Elder Abuse?
While there is no definitive list of causes of elder abuse, there is a generally consensus of how much of it does arise. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, then the list below may be useful in helping you understand the various factors which may lead to elder abuse:
- Negligent Hiring: A nursing home has failed to properly hire trained staff and conduct proper background checks on staff.
- Understaffing: When there are more nursing home residents than staff, staff feel overworked. When this happens, nursing home staff are overwhelmed by their responsibilities and may lose compassion for the elders placed in their care.
- Inadequate Training: Nursing home staff should be properly trained to work with residents with physical and mental challenges. If nursing home staff members are not properly trained this can lead to accidents that injure the elders in their care.
Signs of Elder Abuse
If you notice that the nursing home you have trusted to care for your loved one seems to have staff members who appear overwhelmed and untrained then you should pay attention to your loved one’s behavior. Victims of elder abuse are often too frightened, embarrassed or medicated to report the abuse. The AARP reports that common signs of elder abuse include:
- Anxious behavior;
- Confusion; and
- Hesitation to speak freely.
Florida Law Provides Special Protections of Victims of Elder Abuse
Florida has special elder abuse laws that make elder abuse a felony. These special sanctions were developed with the goal of protecting the elderly from predators. Furthermore, if an elder abuse victim can show that a nursing home or nursing home employees acted negligently, then they may be able to recover damages. Damages in a nursing home abuse lawsuit may include compensation for pain and suffering and medical bills. Though less commonly sought, Florida law also allows victims of nursing home abuse to seek punitive damages.
Victims of Elder Abuse Deserve Compensation
No one should have to suffer the indignity and humiliation of abuse. This is particularly true of elder Americans who are dependent on the nursing home and caregivers for the most basic aspects of life. The elder abuse attorneys at our office can help you determine whether your loved one is being abused. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today for a free consultation.