The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home is a tough one. Even when you conduct thorough research on the best facilities, there’s no guarantee it’s abuse free. Sadly, even the best-ranked home can have bad employees. Fortunately, victims of nursing home abuse and their families have legal options. If you suspect abuse or neglect, it’s time to contact a Sarasota nursing home abuse attorney.
With over a decade of personal injury experience, James Home Law PA can help. We know what’s at stake and the importance of holding the facility and responsible parties accountable for their actions. If you’re searching for a lawyer for nursing home abuse near Sarasota, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, but it can be categorized into four main types of abuse.
As its name suggests, physical abuse involves someone physically harming your loved one. Elderly people are less mobile and more fragile, leading to more accidents and serious injuries. However, some injuries are the direct result of a nursing home’s actions or the actions of a caregiver. Examples of physical abuse in a nursing home include:
- Overmedicating, and
- Forceful restraints.
If your loved one is a nursing home resident, be on the lookout for unexplained injuries like broken bones, welts, dislocations, and lacerations. Forceful restraints might leave symmetrical bruising or abrasions on the legs and wrists.
Emotional abuse is often challenging to spot because there are no physical signs. It’s typically verbal and involves:
- Aggressive words,
- Demeaning comments, and
Emotional abuse can also involve isolation. A resident might be isolated from other residents or their family members. Unexplained changes to your family member’s personality and emotional state may indicate something is amiss.
Look for signs that they are withdrawn or depressed. Perhaps they seem scared or angry when particular caregivers are present. Notice how your loved one reacts when different staff members come into the room. Being vigilant can help you spot signs of emotional abuse.
No one wants to imagine their family member becoming the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home facility. Sadly, this is one of the four main types of abuse. It’s important to note that staff members are not the only perpetrators of sexual abuse. Other patients or even visitors commit sexual abuse. In some cases, the abuser turns out to be a family member.
Sexual abuse is not limited to rape. It includes any unwanted touching or exposure to sexual materials. Other examples include:
- Sexual comments,
- Forcing the victim to remove clothing,
- Unwanted kissing,
- Forcing the victim to watch pornographic videos, and
- Showing the victim sexual images.
Signs of sexual abuse can be physical or emotional. Look for torn undergarments, blood, bruising, and other physical signs. In some cases, your family member might have a newly diagnosed STD. You might also notice changes in your family member’s mood, or they may seem withdrawn.
Nursing homes do not take control of your family member’s finances, but some caretakers might try to take advantage of them. Monitor your loved one’s accounts and be on the lookout for sudden changes to their estate planning documents. Any unexplained large withdrawals or changes to account signatories could also be red flags.
Nursing Home Abuse Vs. Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is another issue you should watch out for if your loved one is in a nursing home. Neglect often happens because nursing homes are understaffed or workers lack adequate training. However, that doesn’t mean neglect is excusable. You should speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Sarasota immediately if you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect.
Neglect can include failing to feed, bathe, or provide medical care to a resident. Signs of nursing home neglect include bedsores and pressure ulcers. Residents may suffer from malnutrition or dehydration, or their health might decline. Pre-existing conditions may worsen if victims do not receive proper medication.
Both neglect and abuse can lead to death. If someone dies due to nursing home abuse or neglect, certain surviving family members have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Risk Factors for Nursing Home Abuse in Sarasota
Some residents are at an increased risk for nursing home abuse. People with a strong social network are at a lower risk for abuse when compared to someone who receives no visitors.
Residents with dementia or who cannot verbally communicate are also at higher risk. That’s because their impaired memory, confusion, or lack of communication skills makes it difficult for them to tell someone about the abuse. Women residents may also be bigger targets than men.
If your family member is in a Sarasota nursing home, it’s crucial to be a regular presence at the facility. Make regular visits and show the facility your family member has a strong support system. It’s also important to contact a Sarasota nursing home abuse attorney who can help get justice for your loved one if they have suffered abuse or neglect.
Why Hire James Horne Law?
You have many personal injury lawyers to choose from in Sarasota. You might wonder why you should hire James Horne Law as your Sarasota nursing home abuse attorney. James Horne understands the serious nature of these cases and the importance of reporting these facilities. He is a compassionate advocate who will fight for you and your family at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
Unlike some other firms, we aren’t afraid to go up against the large corporations that own some of these nursing home facilities. We will work tirelessly to protect your family member’s rights and also help you file a report with the Agency for Health Care Administration. By coming forward and pursuing a claim, you’re also preventing another family from becoming the offender’s next target.
Nursing home abuse is woefully underreported, making it easier for these unscrupulous individuals and facilities to continue harming residents. Even if you aren’t sure something happened, it’s best to speak with an attorney. You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation. Let us discuss your concerns and help you decide on your next step.