With over 1.5 million elderly and dependent adults now living in nursing homes throughout the country, nursing
home abuse, negligence, and neglect has become a widespread problem. Even though some nursing homes provide good care, many (far too many) are subjecting helpless residents to needless suffering and death. Most residents in nursing homes are dependent on the staff for most or all their needs such as food, water, medicine, toileting, grooming, stimulation, and turning – almost all their daily care.
Unfortunately, many residents in nursing homes today are starved, dehydrated, over-medicated, and suffer painful pressure sores, all of which are symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. They are often isolated, ignored and deprived of social contact and stimulation. Because of insufficient and poorly trained staff commonly found in nursing homes (a common problem caused by corporate owners who are more concerned about their bottom line than the care they should be providing), care givers are often overworked and grossly underpaid which often results in rude and abusive behavior to vulnerable residents who beg them for simple needs such as water or to be taken to the bathroom. All of these conditions are known as nursing home abuse, and a lawyer from Clark and Martino can advise you on elder law and help you recover any damages incurred by such abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse includes:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Unreasonable physical constraint, or prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water
- Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication for any purpose not consistent with that authorized by the physician
Nursing home neglect means the negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or a dependent adult to exercise that degree of care which a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.
Nursing Home Neglect includes, but is not limited to:
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter
- Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs.
- Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
- Failure to prevent malnutrition
Federal and State laws require that nursing homes develop a plan of care and employ sufficient staffing to provide all the care listed on the care plan. These laws continually change, and because state laws differ, a nursing home lawyer is recommended to advise before and during lawsuits. Because most corporate owned nursing homes today are not sufficiently staffed, they cannot provide all the care listed on the care plan. Consequently, residents are not taken to the toilet when necessary, they are often left lying in urine and feces, develop painful and life threatening pressure sores (decubitus ulcers), are not fed properly, are not given sufficient fluids, are over-medicated or under-medicated, are dropped causing painful bruises and fractures, are not cleaned or groomed, are ignored and not included in activities, are left in bed all day, are not turned, call lights not answered promptly or not at all, etc., all of which are forms of nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse. A lawyer in Tampa, Florida can advise you on federal and state laws and statutes concerning nursing home abuse and on proper legal action.
Signs & Symptoms of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
If there are unexplained bruises, falls, fractures, grip marks, pain, swelling, or welts, they may indicate physical abuse, and you should immediately contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
If you see evidence of malnutrition, bed sores, soiled clothes, over sedation, lack of medical attention or equipment, unnecessary physical restraints, i.e., tied to a chair or bed, it may be evidence of nursing home neglect, and again, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer located near Tampa, Florida. If the resident appears depressed, hopeless, shamed, withdrawn, passive, guilty, threatened, or fearful, it may be evidence of emotional or verbal abuse, both forms of nursing home abuse. If you smell urine or feces, see body fluids on the floor, and you cannot get adequate assistance from the nurses, it may be evidence that the facility is violating federal laws concerning the minimum standards for the care of your loved one. If this is the case, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Tampa, Florida to take legal action.