Millions of aging citizens in the United States require long-term care of some sort, making the need for quality facilities urgent. While most nursing homes do provide the caring and competent services our seniors deserve, there are far too many instances in which neglect and abuse of residents produces devastating harm.
According to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, there are currently 683 licensed nursing homes within the state, totaling roughly 83,587 individual beds. The agency also suggests that by 2020, fully 12 million aging citizens in the United States will require long-term care of some sort, making the need for quality facilities more urgent than ever before.
If you or someone you love has suffered in a substandard nursing care facility, it is your right to pursue justice as well as compensation. A Pinellas County nursing home abuse lawyer is prepared to take up the fight on your behalf and seek the recovery and vindication to which you are entitled.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Common categories of elder abuse and neglect for which family members and friends must remain on guard include things such as:
- Physically violent abuse
- Failure of staff to meet residents’ medical needs
- Neglect of resident hygiene requirements
- Psychological abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual assault
- Financial abuse and exploitation
If you believe you or your loved one is showing signs of abuse in one of these areas, contact a Pinellas County nursing home abuse attorney.
How to Recognize Key Signs of Abuse
Because a significant number of aging nursing home residents are already in the throes of cognitive or expressive decline to one degree or another, it may be difficult for victims to give voice to the abuse or neglect they are experiencing.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon relatives, advocates and others to remain watchful and take note of any hallmarks of nursing home abuse, which could include:
- Sudden, unintended weight loss
- Noticeable bruising
- Drop in personal hygiene standards
- Unusual financial worries
- Burn marks
- Withdrawal from social activities or hobbies
Though the existence of one or perhaps even multiple factors included in the above list may not be determinative of an abusive situation, their presence does suggest a need for additional investigation and ongoing monitoring.
Should abuse or neglect be strongly suspected in a given case, swift investigation and possibly even legal action must be considered as a means to safeguard the rights and well-being of our seniors. Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Pinellas County to learn more about your options and how best to proceed.
Factors Leading to Abuse and Neglect
There are numerous reasons why abusive or neglectful conditions might develop in a given nursing home environment, many of which can give rise to legal liability on the part of the facility operator.
Inadequate staffing, lack of quality control standards and improper screening of employees can lead to catastrophic outcomes for residents, and it is vital that victims and their families pursue accountability and financial compensation when harm occurs as a result.
Working with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
America’s seniors deserve a safe, healthy and nurturing environment in which to spend their final years. When trust in those who are charged with caring for our elders turns out to be tragically misplaced, there is no time to lose in the pursuit of justice.
A Pinellas County nursing home abuse lawyer can assist your family in the aftermath of such an unsettling discovery.