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Understanding Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse

Our elderly relatives and loved ones deserve our love, respect, and appreciation. Just as importantly, they deserve quality, ongoing care for their health and well-being. This holds especially true for our loved ones who live in nursing homes, assisted living and elder care facilities. Sadly, neglect and abuse of the elderly in these types of facilities is very common, and most victims do not have the physical or mental capacity to object to such treatment or report it to officials. For that reason, it is important for relatives of the elderly to recognize the types of neglect and abuse that may occur.

Types of Neglect and Abuse

  1. Physical Abuse: This type of abuse is typically when physical harm is inflicted on a victim. Physical harm can include punching or hitting, shoving, scratching, biting, excessively tight restraints, and other acts. This type of abuse is usually the easiest to detect with bruising, scratch or bite marks, and other physical signs of trauma.
  2. Psychological/Emotional Abuse: Emotional and psychological abuse is very serious but may be harder to recognize due to the lack of physical harm. Emotional abuse includes threats, intimidation, shaming, humiliation, causing fear, and even ignoring a resident when they call out for help.
  3. Financial Abuse: This is a fairly common type of abuse within care facilities and refers to a variety of theft or fraud. This type of abuse occurs when a victim has property or money stolen from them. It can also occur when abusers exploit a victim to gain access to financial information like credit card numbers or bank accounts. In severe circumstances, this type of abuse includes coercion to alter a will, trust, or other estate-related document.
  4. Sexual Abuse: This type of abuse occurs when any type of non-consensual sexual activity occurs. This type of heinous abuse often comes alongside physical and emotional intimidation or coercion tactics by the abuser.
  5. Neglect: Neglect is when a caregiver does not provide for an elder’s safety, or for his or her physical or psychological needs. Physical neglect can mean failing to provide an elder with adequate and necessary medication or physical therapy, not taking care of an elder’s personal hygiene needs, or forcing an elder to live in unsanitary or potentially harmful conditions. Psychological neglect can mean leaving an older person alone for long periods of time or failing to provide social contact, activities, or information.

Reporting Abuse & Getting the Legal Help You Need

If you suspect that your elderly loved one has experienced abuse or neglect, call the Florida Abuse Hotline right away: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Victims of this type of abuse and their families may also have a legal claim against the facility and the care providers responsible for the neglect or abuse. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a legal claim and how to go about pursuing it. Elder care facilities are typically owned and controlled by large corporations that are trained to minimize and conceal these types of cases. An attorney can help you successfully handle your claim.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of elderly abuse or neglect, call the attorneys at Baggett Law for a free consultation. 904.396.1100

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