Charles “Kip” Sinclair

Medical Malpractice/ Nursing Home Injury


Elderly Abuse Attorney Port St. Lucie FL

What is The Reason for Elderly Abuse?

Elderly abuse is an unfortunate and very complicated issue that can take place in the nursing home.

In most instance, those in the care of a nursing home have limited faculties of sight, hearing, touch, memory and/or response. This makes it very easy for those in control of the situation to apply their will in arbitrary and abusive manner.

It may be easier to compare the case of an elderly person with the care provided for an infant. While they both are completely reliant on a caregiver to provide for them, clean up after them and feed them, only the baby has an advantage of being cute, innocent and invariably charming. The treatment of an elderly person can be very different depending on their mental state and personality. This means that there are over 5 million adults across the US today suffering from abuse. There is an obvious need to stop this growing trend and come up with a preventative plan to reduce the problem. The only apparent solution is to keep your aging relative in a nursing home that is close enough for frequent visitation and close supervision. However, this in itself is no guarantee that abuse is not happening. While the situation seems grim, there are some specific practices that can be applied by relative to ensure their loved ones are safe from abuse while in the care of a home.

How to Find a High-Quality Nursing Home

Word of mouth advertising is one of the best ways to find a home where you and your elderly loved one will feel safe and well-attended. Take some time to speak with a friend and loved ones you trust an see if you can find some suggestions there. After you have a few ideas, plan a visit and consider some of the questions you may have for yourself and the nursing home staff.

  • Did you receive a copy of the care plan?
  • Are there restrictions for visiting hours and areas?
  • Was the staff friendly and polite?
  • Does the home readily provide you with a Medicare/Medicaid required inspection report?
  • Can you rely on one RN on duty 8 hours each day, 7 days per week
  • Is the nursing home kept impeccably clean?
  • Will your loved one have continuous access to a phone or computer?
  • Does the facility readily offer nutritious food and drinks?

As an attorney experienced in these matters, I always advise my clients to protect themselves and their loved ones with information. It is equally important to assume an active role in the life and care of your loved one so you can identify any signs of abuse quickly before the damage becomes very serious. If you do suspect your elderly loved one is being abused, report the matter immediately to law and contact me to discuss how this situation can best be solved.

Protect Your Aging Loved One From Elder Abuse and Neglect

There are more than one million people in the United States who currently live in nursing facilities. Many people have serious concerns about the care their elderly loved one receive while they’re at one of these facilities. The residents should be properly cared for and protected by their caretakers rather than put into situations that would cause them any harm.

Does Neglect Happen in Nursing Homes?

Neglect can happen in nursing home environments. Although most caretakers take the job seriously and are responsible, caring individuals, there are a few bad apples who don’t care about their patients. Often, nursing home owners put profits over patients and cut down on staff, supplies and services for their patients. Neglect consists of not doing the tasks that are required of the caretakers to help the patients. If the basic needs of these individuals are not being met, they’re being neglected.

In some of the more severe cases, elderly individuals aren’t fed, aren’t bathed, and aren’t being taken care of properly. As a result, they’re being neglected when they’re supposed to be cared for by someone who has been put in the position to assist with those different tasks.

What Is the Difference Between Neglect and Abuse?

When a caretaker is being neglectful, they may be avoiding their responsibilities and not provide the necessary care to the patient. However, abuse is even worse than neglect. It involves mistreating the patient, denying them of the medication they need to remain healthy, emotionally abusing them by talking down to them and screaming or even causing physical injuries to the elderly individual.

Different types of abuse can occur. These are just a few things that are considered abuse in a nursing home environment:

  • Depriving the patient of both food and water needed to survive. The nursing staff sometimes does this so they won’t have to change the resident as often.
  • Restraining the patient. Restraints without a doctor’s order are illegal.
  • Sexually assaulting the patient
  • Using physical force to cause harm to the individual
  • Not providing the medical care that is necessary for survival
  • Shaking the patient in a violent manner out of frustration

How Can You Tell If Abuse or Neglect Is Going On?

It isn’t always easy to find out if an elderly loved one is being neglected at the nursing home facility. However, as the relative or friend of this individual, you may have your suspicions based on your loved one’s sudden change in behavior. Some elderly people are afraid to discuss the abuse and don’t know how to get help, so there are a few signs you should pay attention to if you’re concerned.

  • The patient is suddenly losing a lot of weight
  • The patient has sores in different areas of the body
  • Bruises are visible in different areas of the body
  • The patient suddenly doesn’t want to talk or interact with others
  • The patient seems suddenly depressed and is acting out of character

If you have any concerns, there’s a possibility your loved one may be neglected or abused while living at the nursing facility. You would need to contact the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Abuse Hotline. You should also contact Kip Sinclair at Sinclair Law Offices, who can help you get justice for your loved one.

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