Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Daytona Beach Florida
Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Helping People In Volusia and Flagler County, Florida
Nursing home abuse is a very real problem in the United States. In fact, some experts estimate that for every one case of nursing home abuse that is reported, there are as many as five instances that go unreported. Approximately 40% of all nursing home residents report being the victim of at least one incident of nursing home abuse. And if this all isn’t quite alarming enough, 95% of nursing home residents report having seen other nursing home residents being abused.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nursing home abuse comes in many forms:
- Physical Abuse – The use of physical force can cause acute or chronic illness. It may also cause physical pain, bodily injury, impairment of functioning, physical distress, and in the worst cases, death. Examples of physical abuse include striking a patient; hitting a patient; scratching, biting, or choking a patient suffocation; pushing, shaking, shoving, slapping, kicking, or burning a patient. Physical abuse also includes the use of physical or chemical restraints to keep a patient in their bed.
- Sexual Abuse – The CDC defines sexual abuse as any forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind. This could include sexual contact by a body part or by an object, forced or unwanted touching, or forcing a person to watch pornography.
- Financial Abuse – The illegal, improper, or unauthorized use of a nursing home resident’s resources for the benefit of someone else is known as financial abuse. This may include taking belongings, using a person’s check book or debit card, misappropriating pension payments, forging signatures, using coercion or deception to obtain money or property, or the improper use of a guardianship or power of attorney.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse – Emotional and psychological abuse includes both verbal and non-verbal behavior designed to inflict anguish, fear, mental pain, or distress. This might include humiliation tactics such as name calling, derisive insults, threatening negative consequences, isolating the person from family or friends, or exercising undue control over a nursing home resident’s decision to leave the home to attend church, visit with family, etc.
- Neglect – Neglect involves a caregiver’s failure to provide a safe environment, proper nutrition and hydration, medical care, good hygiene, clean clothing, human interaction, and other basic needs that result in compromised health and safety.
Common Signs of a Bad Nursing Home
Inadequate staffing, an absence of quality training of staff, and poor leadership all contribute to a nursing home environment where abuse can occur. Some things to be on the lookout for, whether you have already placed your loved one in a nursing home or are considering it, include:
- The frequency of falls in the facility (while they can’t identify the person or particulars, they should be able to tell you about the statistics they keep on injuries in the home)
- Bed sores – not every bed sore is evidence of abuse, but it can be an indicator
- The number of cases of dehydration. For your loved one, watch and listen to see if they are “rationing” water – this should sound alarm bells
- Bruising on patients, especially on wrists and ankles, which is suggestive of physical restraints
- Scratches or other unexplained injuries
- Food being kept at improper temperatures
- An absence of a comprehensive care plan for patients
- A constant smell of urine or feces, or other evidence of unsatisfactory housekeeping
- Failure to regularly and proactively check for incontinence issues
- Overprescribing drugs, resulting in chemical restraints (the use of drugs to keep patients docile or immobile)
- Patients who are fearful of one or more staff members
- Deficient infection control
When Evaluating Nursing Homes
If you’re presently evaluating nursing homes, Medicare has created a free nursing home check list you can download. The state of Florida also maintains a nursing home watch list, which includes information on facilities that do not meet minimum standards at the time of an inspection.
We have also written a free book, The Five Things Nursing Homes Do To Cause Needless Suffering: Proven Ways to Protect Your Loved One, and a comprehensive article, An Important Tip for Choosing a Nursing Home for your Loved One.
If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact our Daytona Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers today at (386) 255-6400. We provide no cost, no obligation consultations, and welcome the opportunity to discuss your options.