Nursing Home Abuse is Still Prevalent
Nursing home abuse and elder abuse is a serious problem in Florida. The state not only has an agency to look into the claims, The Florida Department of Elder Affairs, but also provides assistance with locating nursing homes to help residents find the best homes for their loved ones.
Florida has over 4.4 million residents over 60 and that number will continue to increase. Unfortunately, our elderly population is at greater risk for abuse—and the statistics show it. Nationwide, about 9.5% of people over 60 are victims of some form of elder abuse. In Florida, over 11% of those over 60 are victimized.
How can we curb this problem and keep our loved ones safe?
Recognizing Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Those over 60 are more at risk for the following types of abuse:
- Physical Abuse such as hitting and kicking.
- Verbal Abuse such as demeaning remarks, shouting, and threats.
- Sexual Abuse such as unwanted touching or forced sex without consent.
- Financial Abuse such as manipulation of funds or stealing.
- Neglect such as dehydration, starvation, and having needs left unmet.
To lessen the chances of abuse you can:
- Thoroughly vet and visit any potential nursing homes. Don’t just sign up for a nursing home because it’s covered by insurance or close to home. Stop by unexpectedly and have a look around. Check to see that residents look well taken care of, that there is enough staff, and that everything (and everyone) looks clean.
- Visit loved ones in nursing homes. Regular visits lift the spirits of our loved ones and also allow us to better notice any changes in mood and behavior that can signal something is wrong.
Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the signs of abuse. Because abuse isn’t just physical, signs may be more behavioral or psychological. Once any of the following signs have been identified, speak to those in charge of the facility in order to start an investigation or remove your loved one from the situation.
If your loved one has suspicious cuts, bruises, welts, broken bones, or other unexplained injuries, they may be a victim of abuse. Similarly, if there behavior changes, if they become withdrawn or quick to anger, or if they pull back from their favorite activities, they may be a victim of abuse. This pamphlet from the Department of Elder Affairs details more of the signs of abuse.
Seeking Help From a Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms—physical, verbal, sexual, and financial. If you discover your loved one has been abused because of a negligent nursing home, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for recovery costs. Consulting with a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney can help provide you with legal options as you determine how best to move forward.
Nursing home abuse victims may suffer from physical and behavioral issues after abuse. In addition to medical care, they may require therapy to help them heal and overcome their abuse. Victims of financial abuse may find they’ve been swindled out of their savings.
It’s important that we protect this at-risk population and do what we can for the elderly residents of nursing homes. Our elders should feel safe as they live out their golden years and those who would harm them should be punished.
If you believe your loved one is being abused, be sure to report the abuse and remove them from the situation immediately. Afterward, call a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney to help you protect and fight for the needs of your loved one.