Many people associate nursing homes with long-term, personalized care of elderly loved ones, but they are not always safe places for residents. Elderly abuse in nursing homes is unfortunately common, but understanding and recognizing the signs of caregiver mistreatment can help prevent it from happening.
Defining Elder Abuse
According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a single or repeated incident, action, or inaction that causes harm to an elderly individual.
There are many types of abuse that elders can endure at the hands of nursing home staff, including:
Warning Signs to Look Out For
It is important for a resident’s loved ones to be aware of the signs of elder abuse. Spotting them can help stop the abuse from happening and get the resident the help they need. Warning signs include:
- Unexplained injuries or health conditions
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Sudden withdrawal from activities
- Sudden and dramatic changes in a resident’s finances
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
Anytime someone sees these signs and symptoms of abuse, they should report it and remove the resident from the situation if possible.
What Can be Done About Elder Abuse?
In Florida, elder abuse is a crime. Those convicted of mistreating an elderly person will face third-degree felony charges and spend at least five years in prison. However, an abused resident can also claim compensation in civil court with the help of a skilled attorney to offset their injuries and losses.
Compensation awarded in elder abuse cases varies depending on the circumstances of a case. Injured residents can receive damages for medical care, physical and psychiatric therapy, alternative living arrangements, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.
A claimant in a civil suit must prove that the opposing party hurt them and intended to inflict physical, mental, or emotional harm. While these factors are often obvious to residents and their loved ones, they are sometimes difficult to prove without qualified legal counsel.
Contact a Local Elder Abuse Attorney if You Suspect Caregiver Mistreatment
If you suspect someone of abusing your elderly loved one, you should report it as soon as possible. An elder abuse attorney in Florida could help you stop the mistreatment from continuing and help your loved one get the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer today to learn more about elder abuse.