Elder and Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyer Miami FL
Elder abuse is an issue that has always existed, but only recently has drawn attention.
Unfortunately, the elderly in our society are too often relegated to substandard and neglectful environments at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.’s, attorneys’ experience includes years of handling cases of elder abuse and nursing home neglect and abuse. Give us a call to discuss your particular case in a no-cost, initial consultation. We serve clients in the Miami area and in communities throughout Florida.
WHAT EXACTLY IS ELDER ABUSE?
State laws define elder abuse, and those laws vary from one jurisdiction to another, in terms of what constitutes the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly. Many states have isolated definitions of elder abuse according to where the abuse occurs. There are two categories:
- Domestic abuse — This type of abuse refers to any of several forms of maltreatment of an older person by someone who has a special relationship with the elder person (e.g., a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend, or any caregiver in the elder’s home).
- Institutional abuse — This type of abuse refers to the maltreatment of an elder person that occurs in a residential facility, (e.g. nursing homes, foster homes, board and care facilities and group homes). The perpetrators of this type of abuse are usually those who have a legal or contractual obligation to care for and provide care to the elderly person.
In addition to breaking down abuse according to where the abuse occurs, states have defined the types of abuse the elderly may endure. These include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial or material exploitation
Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Although you care for and want the best for your elderly loved one, you are not necessarily the best person to take care of them as they grow older. In many cases, you must know how to properly administer medication, provide for their basic needs, and be patient when their memory slips away. For these reasons, many people choose to place their loved ones in a nursing home so they can receive the proper care and treatment. However, nursing homes do not always offer state-of-the-art care. That is where a Miami, Florida elder, nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer could help you. In some cases, the nursing home staff may even abuse your loved one. If you suspect someone on staff may be abusing your loved one, there are certain warning signs you should look for when bringing this to the attention of the facility and to an elder and nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer that Miami FL relies on.
Elder Abuse Warning Signs
It is the legal responsibility of the nursing home staff to take care of your loved one while they reside in the facility. There are certain signs you can look for to determine if they are abusing these laws.
- Poor Personal Hygiene. Depending on your loved one’s circumstances, they may or may not be able to take care of their hygiene on their own. However, there are no circumstances where they should smell like feces or urine, wear dirty or soiled clothes, or lack basic personal care. Nursing home staff must provide them with a clean, hygienic place to stay.
- Dehydration Or Weight Loss. The nursing home is also responsible for providing all patients with the necessities of food and water. If you notice on your visits that your loved one appears to be rapidly losing weight, their skin and lips are dry and cracked, or they appear weak, they may be suffering from malnourishment or dehydration.
- Bedsores. Nursing home staff must ensure their residents move frequently, whether it is through physical activity (if they are able), or simply not laying in the same position on their bed for a long time. If you notice bed sores, it may be an obvious sign of neglect. Document any bedsores that your loved one may have and be sure to relay these instances to an elder, nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Miami, Florida while building your case.
- Confusion And Disorientation. You likely know your loved one’s mental state when they went into the facility. However, if they appear even more confused or disoriented or high amounts of medication make them drowsy, this may be a warning sign.
- Unexplained Injuries. Elderly people are typically more prone to injuries due to weak bones and the ability to bruise more. However, significant bruising, fractures or broken bones, and scratches or gashes are signs of physical abuse that you should not ignore.
- Fear And Anxiety. If your loved one begins displaying signs of anxiety and fear—especially around particular staff members—this may be a sign that staff have been neglecting them, bullying them, or even punishing them. You are the best advocate for your loved one. With the help of an elder nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer Miami, Florida trusts, you could get your loved one the treatment they deserve.
Help For Elder Abuse
Nursing home abuse is not always so obvious, but if you keep in mind the warning signs above, you may spot signs you did not see before. If you believe a nursing home is allowing the abuse of your loved one to go on, speak with a trusted Miami, Florida elder nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.’s today.
To schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer at our firm, call (305) 530-0000 or 877-810-2864. Or, if you prefer, complete our online form.