FORT LAUDERDALE NURSING HOME NEGLECT / ABUSE LAWYER

A Nursing home’s primary aim is to care for our loved ones, especially the aged ones who are too weak to take care of themselves. Because of this necessity, we confide in them with the lives of the family members we hold dear.

What comes to mind when our loved one is neglected or abused? What springs up when our loved one isn’t getting the care the way he or she should?

REPORTED CASES OF NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT

According to research, there are roughly 2.1 million reported cases of nursing home abuse and neglect annually. The horrible thing is that for every case that is reported, specialists believe that there are practically as many as five to seven unreported cases. Our loved ones have the right to be taken care of with dignity and reverence, and we believe that nursing home caregivers will give them that, but with findings like these, it’s obvious that some gruesome people slip through the cracks.

NURSING HOME NEGLECT IN FORT LAUDERDALE

There are currently 150 nursing homes and assisted-care facilities in the Fort Lauderdale area – many of them are within reach at the center of the city. Neglect comes in various forms, and it is not an easy thing to identify the symptoms. Nevertheless, malnourishment, failure to administer medications, unsanitary living (which includes soiled clothes or bed linens), and dehydration are all forms of neglect. Emotional neglect is also one thing our loved ones can suffer from, like when someone is ignored, left alone, or treated differently from his or her peers.

SIGNS OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT

It’s hard to compare the symptoms of nursing home neglect with the behavior, appearance, or condition of your loved ones. However, these signs can make you suspect that he or she isn’t receiving proper care in a nursing home facility.

  • Changes in personal hygiene 
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Preventable injuries from falls
  • Dehydration
  • Withdrawn behavior or other unusual changes in behavior
  • Lack of friendly interaction with home staffers
  • Malnutrition
  • Lack of close interaction with other residents
  • Preventable injuries from falls
  • Obvious environmental hazards (such as unsafe furniture, bad lighting, and slippery floors)
  • Bed sores or pressure ulcers

Nursing homes are presumed to have outstanding facilities, but only some possess these, as the real obstacle is from the facilities that always appear to be in perfect place while covering the abysmal and unhealthy conditions of the facilities from patients’ loved ones.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU EXPECT NURSING HOME ABUSE OR NEGLECT

If you have a suspicion that your parent, grandparent, or other loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect in A Fort Lauderdale facility, it is of utmost importance that you speak up. You are his or her voice and sometimes talking to the director of the facility can make a huge difference.

However, you can also consider speaking to a nursing home neglect lawyer whose primary focus is the neglect of the elderly. The people responsible for injury to your loved one should be held accountable because nobody deserves to suffer under someone else’s “care.”

CONTACT OUR FORT LAUDERDALE NURSING HOME ABUSE AND NEGLECT LAWYERS

If you need help, call our Broward accident attorneys, and we will examine your loved one’s situation and help you determine whether neglect is an issue in your case – and then we’ll work hard to get justice for your family.

Fort Lauderdale, the largest city in Broward County, FL, is home to over 165,000 residents. With an average temperature of 77°F and over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Fort Lauderdale is both a tourist attraction and a favorite retirement destination for “sunbirds.” In fact, nearly 12% of the city’s households are made up of individuals over the age of 65. Unfortunately, because Fort Lauderdale is such a draw for senior citizens, there is an increased likelihood of cases of Nursing home abuse and neglect in the region.

At Madalon Law, our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorneys understand abuse and neglect scenarios and have years of experience handling elder abuse lawsuits. We have the expertise and resources necessary to help you and your elder family members with your claim and to recover compensation for pain, suffering, and financial losses caused by such abuse or neglect.

Understanding What Constitutes a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case Seniors residing in elder care facilities put their physical and mental well-being, and often their financial futures, in the hands of nursing home administrators and staff. All too often, this dependence can lead to abuses such as physical harm, sexual molestation, emotional maltreatment, neglect, or even misappropriation of a resident’s money. If it can be demonstrated that a facility or its employees have acted with malice or neglect, causing pain, suffering, increased medical expenses, disfigurement, disability, or financial losses, the resident and/or their family members can file a claim to hold the facility and/or the responsible individual liable for all damages.

You may have grounds for filing a Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse and neglect claim if damages result from any of the following:

  • Negligent hiring (unqualified, unlicensed staff or failure to perform background checks)
  • Understaffing so that staff members cannot spend adequate time providing care and companionship to each resident.
  • Inadequate training
  • Injuries caused by a third party (another resident or visitor) on facility property
  • Breach of a resident’s rights to autonomy, dignity, and privacy
  • Errors in prescribing, distributing, or administering prescription or over-the-counter medication
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Misappropriation of a resident’s money by those entrusted to monitor an elderly resident’s spending

Damages Possible in Nursing Home Abuse CasesIf your elderly loved one has suffered physically, emotionally, or financially due to the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of a nursing home or its employees, you may be able to receive compensation for such damages as medical bills, pain, and suffering, disfigurement, or disability. In the state of Florida, victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may also receive punitive damages, but such damages are usually only awarded in the most egregious cases.

If you believe that an elderly loved one has suffered abuse and/or neglect at the hands of adult caregivers or nursing home staff in Fort Lauderdale or surrounding areas such as Davie, Hollywood, Plantation, Tamarac, Pompano Beach or other Broward County cities, contact the Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys of Madalon Law to discuss your case. We offer a free consultation with an elder abuse lawyer, and if we take your case, you will pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your case. You should seek the compensation your loved one deserves for their suffering.

Signs to Look for if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Signs of abuse in nursing homes: Protect your loved ones by knowing what to look for

The state of Florida currently has over 73,000 elderly people living in nursing homes. Many of these nursing homes are badly understaffed for the amount of residents they have. This lack of staff can often lead to poor health care.

It is completely normal and should be expected for someone to go through a transition period, but sometimes there might be something more to it. Recognizing the following signs can help identify possible neglect or abuse and protect your loved one.

When attempting to identify signs of abuse in a nursing home, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is your loved one complaining frequently and insistently?
  • Is your loved one complaining about a particular care provider or nursing home staff member?
  • Does your loved one show physical signs of neglect and/or have injuries?
  • Has your loved one shown unusual behavior changes?

The General Signs: (You can look for these to identify possible nursing home abuse or neglect)

  • If the nursing home staff does not allow visitors to see the loved one.
  • If there seems to be a delay by nursing home staff for you to see your loved one when you visit.
  • If the nursing home staff does not allow you or other visitors to be alone with the loved one.
  • If there seems to be tension or frequent arguments between the caregiver and your loved one.

Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes:

  • Broken bones will obviously raise questions, but also pay attention to unexplained injuries like bruises, burns, and/or cuts.
  • Check for signs on their clothing. Is it torn, pulled, bloody, or stained?

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect:

  • Are there bedsores?
  • Does your loved one have poor hygiene?
  • Does your loved one seem weaker and/or have strange weight loss?
  • Are there signs of dehydration when you visit, i.e., constant thirst or signs of very dry skin?
  • Does your loved one seem incoherent or over-medicated?
  • Is your loved one complaining about painful blisters or abrasions?
  • Is there soiled bedding?
  • Do the living conditions in the nursing home seem hazardous or unsafe? This also includes the temperature in the facility – do they have sufficient AC or Heat?

Warning Signs in Behavioral Changes:

  • Is your loved one showing anxiety, a lack of interest, or an uncharacteristic anger?
  • Are there sudden personality changes?
  • Is there a change in alertness?
  • Is the staff rude?
  • Is your loved one frequently crying or overwhelmingly sad?
  • Is your loved one afraid of being alone?

With so many understaffed nursing homes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and the rest of Florida; it is no surprise that there are so many of these types of cases. It would be ideal for you to witness an incident or act of negligence, but the unfortunate reality is that you will not be there most of the time. Nursing homes will most likely be on their best behavior when you do visit.

By knowing the signs to look for and being able to identify them, you will be able to not just protect your loved one, but also other elderly people that may also be suffering.

If you suspect a nursing home of abuse or neglect, then please contact the Fort Lauderdale nursing home neglect lawyers at Madalon Law for a free consultation. If we feel you may have a case, we will take on all the fees for litigation and you will not be billed unless we win. Contact us today.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Emeritus Corp. v. Pasquariello, 95 So. 3d 1009 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012)

This case involved a claim of negligence which alleged nursing home abuse. A legal representative for the resident of the nursing home, who had durable power of attorney, brought on this lawsuit after it was demonstrated that there was apparent abuse towards the resident.

In September of 2009, the victim, Mr. Pasquariello, had been admitted as a resident to the assisted living center, Emeritus at College Park. Mr. Pasquariello’s wife was the one who placed him in the facility and took care of all the necessary paperwork to admit him into the home. After almost one and a half years of living at the facility, Mr. Pasquariello ended his stay at Emeritus, and only a month after doing so, passed away. Mrs. Pasquariello, the victim’s wife, filed a lawsuit after her husband’s death, claiming that the retirement home victimized her husband in the way they treated him. Physical abuse and blatant neglect were among the allegations presented by Mrs. Pasquariello as representative of her husband’s estate.

Admitting a family member to an assisted-living facility can be quite difficult for many people to do, however, many families must face this reality at some point. Florida has a large population of senior citizen residents, and there are over seventy thousand residents currently residing in assisted living communities throughout this state. Florida laws are in place to provide guidelines specifying what type of care is required at these living facilities. The reality is that negligent treatment of elderly residents occurs even with the regulations in place.

The problem that is sometimes presented with nursing homes is that a family member who is under the constant care and supervision of the facility is not being supervised by their loved ones. Many times frustrated, or overworked staff members take out personal problems on the residents. There are also occasions when the health problems of the residents are not properly monitored. Additional issues associated with nursing home abuse that can be readily observed by family members include:

  • Restraint Bruising
  • Lack of Hygiene Maintenance, or Pungent Body Odors
  • Abnormal Skin Coloring
  • Changes in Weight
  • Uncomfortable Silence when Visiting

When a person feels as though their loved one is being neglected by their nursing home, a personal injury claim can be filed with the court to hold the facility accountable. Personal injury claims cover negligent acts, and when a nursing home fails to provide adequate care to the residents who live there, their actions are considered negligent.

In the above case, the victim’s wife decided to make a claim for neglect based on how she felt her husband was treated while at the nursing home. It is important for anyone who has a family member residing at an assisted living facility to continuously be aware of the care that their loved one is receiving. Checking up on a regular basis to see how they are being cared for can help prevent possible harm to them. When you are a regular face at the facility, the employees there will be on alert that a family member visits often and may be reluctant to provide below-par care for your family member.

If you feel your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse in Fort Lauderdale, then it is important to contact a firm that understands the warning signs and what to look for. Contact the Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyers at Madalon Law for a free consultation.