How Can You Detect Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing homes house the most vulnerable among us, and we look to them to help us look out for our aging loved ones when they need more care than we can provide. This is what makes nursing home abuse so repugnant. Nevertheless, nursing home abuse does happen, and it is a good idea to know the tell-tale signs. If you are concerned that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, don’t delay consulting with an experienced Tampa nursing home abuse attorney.
Nursing Home Abuse Claims
In order to bring a nursing home abuse claim in the State of Florida, the following elements must apply:
- The facility or the person accused of the abuse must owe a duty of care to the claimant. The nursing home, for example, owes its residents a duty of care.
- The facility or the person accused of the abuse breached this duty of care.
- This breach is the direct cause of the claimant’s injuries.
- The claimant suffered damages as a result of the abuse.
The deciding factor that tips nursing home negligence into abuse territory is intent. For the act to be classified as nursing home abuse, the accused must have intended to harm the nursing home resident (rather than causing him or her to be injured as a result of neglect.
Physical abuse refers to using physical force against a nursing home resident, but it can also involve the inappropriate use of physical punishment or medications – or the act of using force to make a resident eat. Physical abuse is obviously a serious offense, and some of the signs that your loved one may be the victim of physical abuse include:
- An unexplained injury, such as a broken bone
- Unexplained bruising, cuts, welts, and/or abrasions
- Any indication of having been restrained
- A newly acquired and unexplained scar
- An indication that your loved one is newly afraid in general or newly afraid of a specific staff member
- A sudden change in your loved one’s personality, mood, demeanor, and/or appearance
- Indications of withdrawal and self-isolation
Sexual abuse in the nursing home setting refers to any sexual behavior or contact that is not consensual, or that is with a resident who is incapable of providing consent. Such abuse can include the exposure of private body parts, inappropriate touching, rape, and more. Signs that can be indicative of sexual abuse include:
- A diagnosis of an unexplained STD or infection of the genitals
- Stained, torn, and/or ripped underwear
- Genitals that are bruised or bleeding
- Newly acquired fear, withdrawal, or self-isolation
- An abrupt change in your loved one’s personality, demeanor, mood, and/or appearance
Residents can also face mental abuse and financial abuse, which can be even more difficult to detect.
Speak with an Experienced Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
The compassionate Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos understand the urgency of your situation and are committed to aggressively advocating for a case resolution that upholds your loved one’s best interests. For more information, please do not hesitate tocontact us online or call us at 813-223-6405 today.