Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Titusville407 South Washington Avenue, Suite #3
Titusville, FL 32796
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Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Titusville, FL
Florida has about 3.5 million residents who are 65 years old and over. It's projected that by 2030, that number will double. Florida attracts seniors for many reasons, such as no state income tax, no inheritance tax, sunny weather, beaches, and world-class health care providers. However, when seniors can no longer care for themselves or they need 24/7 monitoring for health problems, nursing homes are an option that many families choose to make sure their loved one is looked after properly.
In Titusville, there are about six nursing homes and assisted living facilities. When family members seek the care of nursing homes, they trust their loved ones will be treated with dignity and that caregivers will give them the attention they need. That's the point of a nursing home. However, sometimes that trust is broken. When you suspect your loved one has been abused or mistreated in any way, it's the right course of action to report it and seek compensation for negligence. Nursing home abuse attorneys in Titusville, FL, can help with your claim.
No one should get away with the abuse of vulnerable seniors, and at Morgan and Morgan, we are passionate about getting justice for our clients. You have legal options that could help recover funds to ensure your loved one gets moved to another facility and receives the medical attention they need. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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What Are the Types of Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse can come in many different forms. Seniors can suffer from physical, emotional, financial, sexual abuse, and neglect in nursing homes that are supposed to provide care for them. You have the power to take action against these forms of abuse and make the abusers pay through criminal and civil legal proceedings. Here are the types of elder abuse and red flags that your loved one may be a victim.
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Neglect of basic needs
- Sexual abuse
All types of elder abuse can result in serious harm to the victim. Taking quick action can mitigate the damage. You may be entitled to compensation for your loved one's medical needs, and you may be able to recover funds for any other expenses related to the abuse, plus pain and suffering.
What Is Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Physical abuse of seniors in nursing homes occurs when an older adult is intentionally subjected to pain, injury, distress, or even death due to another person's use of physical force. Physical abuse can include:
- Hair pulling
- Striking with objects
- Uncalled-for restraints (physical or through unnecessary medication)
Physical nursing home abuse can result in a wide variety of harm to an elder ranging from bruises to broken bones or worse. Residents of nursing homes are already in a frail state. Physical abuse can threaten their health and well-being substantially. In some cases, physical abuse could even lead to death. The World Health Organization (WHO) did a 13-year study that revealed that elders who were physically abused were two times more likely to die prematurely than their counterparts who were not physically harmed.
Physical abuse doesn't only result in physical damage. It affects the victim's mindset as well. A physically abused individual may experience suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues. The adverse effects of trauma such as this can be debilitating. However, with the help of nursing home abuse attorneys in Titusville, FL, we can make sure your loved one gets the therapy needed to cope with these emotions and heal from their injuries.
What Are the Signs of Physical Abuse?
Spotting the signs of physical abuse is typically easier than other forms, such as sexual or emotional abuse. Be on the lookout for these signs:
- Broken bones
- Unexplained bruising
- Broken or missing teeth
- Damaged personal items such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and watches
Nursing home residents who experience physical abuse may also exhibit changes in their personality, such as withdrawing and not participating in activities they once enjoyed. They may show fear when their abuser is near and may avoid eye contact with them.
What Is Considered Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Emotional abuse is more challenging to detect than other forms because it leaves no apparent evidence other than changes in behavior and personality. Emotional abuse occurs when a caretaker intentionally inflicts pain, distress, or anguish on an elderly person through verbal and nonverbal acts. Here are some examples of emotional abuse:
- Humiliating the resident
- Making demeaning statements
- Verbal aggression
- Intentionally making the resident wait a long time for basic care
- Not allowing the resident to make their own decisions
- Ignoring the resident when they ask for assistance
- Making false statements about the resident
- Threatening the resident with social isolation
- Deliberately placing assistive devices such as glasses, walkers, canes, and dentures out of reach
Emotional abuse causes individuals to second-guess themselves and can impact self-esteem and cause emotional harm. Intentionally causing emotional damage to someone in a nursing home is cruel, and wrongdoers should be held accountable.
What Are the Signs of Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse can be tough to detect because victims may be unable to communicate or have memory problems that make it harder for them to talk about the abuse. Some signs to look out for include:
- Unwillingness to talk openly
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
Other forms of abuse are likely to occur when emotional abuse is happening. While emotional abuse is hard to prove, other forms can be more evident. Victims may be hesitant to talk about abuse because they may fear retaliation from the abuser, so it's crucial for family members to stay vigilant.
What Is Considered Neglect in Nursing Homes?
Nursing home neglect is generally the most common form of abuse. It occurs when residents don't receive the proper care they need and suffer because of it, either physically or emotionally. Neglect is the failure to provide an older adult with basic needs such as water, food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and vital medical care. There are reasons why neglect in nursing homes occurs; however, it is always unacceptable. Neglect comes in a few different forms:
Medical neglect - When a caregiver fails to give medication when needed or doesn't properly manage existing health issues such as diabetes, this is medical neglect. Furthermore, caregivers can be negligent if they don't ensure residents with mobility issues are moved regularly, so they don't develop bedsores. Caregivers must also report signs of illness or infection to medical staff.
Emotional neglect - Social interaction is critical for people of any age. Still, seniors are more vulnerable if they are accidentally isolated because they have mobility or cognitive issues.
Neglect of basic living needs - If a caregiver fails to provide residents with food, water, and a safe and clean environment, this is a neglect of basic living needs.
Personal hygiene neglect - Adequate personal hygiene is crucial to the well-being of seniors in nursing homes. Assistance in bathing and grooming is often required from elderly residents, as well as ensuring they have clean clothing and bedding is changed when soiled.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?
The signs of nursing home neglect are broad. Family members should be on the lookout for these indicators:
- Personal hygiene problems
- Untreated medical issues
- Broken bones
- Dirty rooms and common areas
- Soiled bed linens
- Hazardous conditions at the facility
- Personality changes
- Any unexplained injuries
Nursing home neglect happens far too frequently, and nursing home facilities are responsible for the damage it causes. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Titusville, FL, can provide you with the legal counsel to help you prove your loved one came to harm from negligence.
What Is Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes?
It's a heinous thought, but sexual abuse of the elderly does occur in nursing homes. Sexual abuse can be described as any unwanted sexual contact. These acts are often committed against the most vulnerable residents, such as those living with dementia or Alzheimer's or those that are incapacitated. Besides any unwanted sexual contact, sexual abuse can include the following:
- Making residents undress
- Forcing residents to view pornography
- Forcing an elderly victim to view sexual acts such as masturbation
- Forcing a resident to perform sexual acts
- Verbal sexual harassment
Many nursing home residents are unable to give consent and may even be victimized by other residents. It's up to nursing home management to ensure they don't hire people with a history of sexual abuse and to protect residents from predators. If your loved one exhibits any signs of sexual abuse, report it and contact Morgan and Morgan. We can make sure the wrongdoer is held accountable.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can be hard to detect, especially in patients who are incapacitated or have cognitive decline. Look out for these indicators:
- Bruising or marks in the genital region, inner thighs, or breasts
- Bloody underwear or sheets
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained bleeding from the genital region
- Any statement of sexual assault
Sexual abuse can impact a victim physically and emotionally and may even lead to suicide or premature death. Sexual abuse victims may exhibit fear around their abuser and experience changes such as loss of appetite, increasing nightmares, and insomnia.
What Is Financial Exploitation of Nursing Home Residents?
Financial abuse occurs whenever someone steals a resident's cash or belongings or uses underhanded tactics to gain control of the person's assets. Examples include:
- Stealing money, bank cards, checks, or other valuables
- Theft of a resident's financial records and documents for fraudulent gain
- Misuse of power of attorney to make changes to a resident's will
- Preventing a resident from accessing their own money in bank accounts
What Are the Signs of Financial Exploitation?
Catching financial exploitation should be relatively straightforward if you have access to your loved one's financial records. Reviewing charges and withdrawals can reveal if financial exploitation is occurring. Here are some common signs:
- New names added to bank accounts
- Unexplained withdrawals
- Unexplained credit card charges
- Unpaid bills
- Changes in spending habits
- Not wanting to spend money on things the victim once enjoyed
Financial exploitation can take a tremendous toll on the victim and their family. The stolen money may cause an older person to lose the means to pay for their long-term care and essentials.
Nursing Home Abuse Justice
If you believe your loved one has suffered any form of abuse, report it to the authorities and contact our nursing home abuse attorneys in Titusville, FL. We will work diligently to make sure you and your loved one will get justice. Nursing home residents deserve to live out their days in dignity, comfort, and with the necessary care required to maintain their health. At Morgan and Morgan, our compassionate lawyers will help to make sure this is possible. Reach out to Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.
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