Common Signs of Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse

Posted on June 22, 2016

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly two million Americans live in long-term care facilities. While most nursing homes strive to care for their patients, abuse and neglect against the elderly happens. Knowing your rights or that of a loved one can help you protect against elder abuse.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is intentionally inflicting injuries, unreasonable confinement, deprivation of care or services, punishment that results in physical pain, harm, or mental anguish. Abuse is neglect that is defined as a failure, intentional or not, to give patients with the care and services essential to ensure freedom from harm or pain, failures to react to potential dangerous situations, or putting patients in potentially dangerous situations that result in patient harm or distress. Seniors who have aphasia, the inability to talk, are at the highest risk for abuse and it is critical for staff and families to be advocates for these patients.Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Many types of abuse occur in nursing homes. Physical violence including assault and battery such as kicking, slapping, shaking, and threats of physical violence are unfortunately common. Neglect is another type of elder abuse. It can include lack of care for existing medical problems or deprivation of food or water. Unreasonable physical restraint or seclusion, or use of chemical or psychotropic medication for any purpose not authorized by a physician is a common form of elder abuse. Signs of physical and neglect include bruising, cuts, welts, fractures, or head injuries, infections, pressure ulcers (bed sores), and incidents of wandering where patients are not accounted for by staff. Dehydration and malnutrition are also clues to physical abuse and neglect. Unsanitary and unclean conditions are warning signs that patients are suffering from abusive and negligent conditions.

One of the hardest things to talk about concerning elder abuse is sexual abuse. Signs of sexual abuse can include torn, stained, or bloody bed sheets or underwear, vaginal or anal bleeding and bruises, sexually transmitted diseases or genital infections. Other signs of sexual abuse of the elderly are emotional distress near certain individuals. Sexual abuse includes coercing patients into watching sexual behavior and pornography or being used in pornography.

Liability for Florida Nursing Home Abuse

In terms of nursing homes, the Code of Federal Regulations states: “The resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” This means the nursing home staff and facility have legal obligations to keep patients free from abuse and harm. This is especially true if the facility receives Medicare or Medicaid funding and is thus under federal law in addition to state and local regulations.

If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, the lawyers at Farah & Farah can help you. Please contact us at (800) 533-3555.

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