Elder abuse is a serious issue across the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as five million senior citizens are abused each year. Many cases go unreported, since many people in this vulnerable demographic have limited access to outside help and resources, and victims often worry that reporting the abuse or neglect may lead to even worse conditions. Sadly, several reports have found that only 1 in 14 cases is ever reported.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It’s essential that family members and loved ones advocate for elderly friends and family members by frequently visiting them. This allows you to monitor changes in their condition, as well as spot the early warning signs of abuse.
Since many are too frightened to talk about what’s happening to them, be mindful of the following telltale signs:
- Physical Abuse, including unexplained bruises, pressure marks, scrapes, and burns
- Neglect, including poor hygiene, untreated or ignored medical conditions, weight loss, and bedsores
- Verbal and Emotional Abuse, including sudden changes in personality or demeanor, a decrease in contact with loved ones, and withdrawal from activities and relationships
While it’s true that these signs aren’t always indicative of abuse or neglect, they are cause for further investigation and discussion.
Nursing Home Abuse Reports in Florida
Cameras are not currently required in Florida nursing homes, but some families have started placing hidden cameras in loved ones’ rooms to support suspicions of abuse. Proof of abuse makes it impossible for administrators to ignore or deny a problem, which allows residents and their family members to seek justice.
Recordings taken in a Pompano Beach nursing home show a nursing assistant abusing a victim with dementia. The video shows the nursing assistant hitting the man on the head, dousing him with mouthwash, and throwing him into a chair. In Boynton Beach, nursing home employees were charged after they restrained a resident with duct tape and then used it to cover her mouth.
Getting Justice for Victims of Abuse
Navigating a nursing home abuse case can be challenging, since administrators often try to:
- Cover up instances of abuse
- Handle issues internally
- Flat-out deny a family’s allegations
A lawyer with specialized experience in elder abuse is the best way to get answers and seek justice for victims.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
As the elderly population of Florida continues to increase, more and more people are moving into nursing homes and assisted care facilities. Residents deserve thoughtful and appropriate care. If someone in your life has been the victim of nursing home abuse, call Zimmet & Zimmet today at (386) 210-9629.