It is horrifying to learn that the assisted living facility that you carefully researched, paid, and trusted to care for an elderly loved one has shirked its legal obligations. Nursing homes have a duty to provide proper care, but statistics indicate that many fall short. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that around one in 10 individuals aged 60 years and older has experienced some form of elder abuse, though the true figures are likely much higher because of reporting issues. Experts estimate that just one in 24 instances of misconduct are communicated to authorities. The nature of elder care in assisted living centers typically puts family members in the position to raise concerns about the resident, who may suffer from dementia, mental decline, or related medical conditions. It is critical to contact a Miami nursing home abuse lawyer right away if you spot the following signs of nursing home abuse that you cannot ignore.
Some types of bodily harm are visible, so you are right to be disturbed if you notice bruises, abrasions, or lacerations. Still, you must remain vigilant regarding the less obvious signs of physical abuse in assisted living facilities, such as:
- Broken bones;
- Unexplained injuries;
- Sexually transmitted disease, which is an indication of sexual abuse; and,
- Marks around the resident’s wrists, a sign that the nursing home is using straps or other restraints.
While abuse refers to intentional acts, neglect is also a common cause of injuries in nursing homes. This concept focuses on how the facility fails to comply with the legal duty of care imposed by statute, a contract, or other source of law. An assisted living center may be liable for nursing home neglect by:
- Not having sufficient staff on the floor;
- Failing to move patients to prevent bedsores;
- Neglect in administering medications;
- Not providing adequate security; and,
- Failure to prevent violence between residents.
This form of mistreatment is especially challenging to spot because it requires careful assessment of your loved one’s mental well-being. Emotional abuse is every bit as harmful as the physical implications, so take note of changes in the resident’s demeanor or mood swings. Angry outbursts, becoming withdrawn, and exhibiting fear in the presence of certain caretakers are all red flags. Plus, you might be directly confronted with a sign of problems when a nursing home is attempting to conceal deeper issues. If the facility does not allow you to visit or restricts reasonable access to your loved one, get in touch with a lawyer immediately.
Consult With a Miami Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Right Away
If you believe your loved one is at risk or has suffered injuries in an assisted living center, quick action is critical for pursuing your legal remedies. To learn more about your legal remedies, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA today. We can set up a no-cost case review at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.