Unfortunately, it happens in South Florida every year: nursing home residents in Miami, Hollywood, and other cities suffer abuse and neglect. Neglect can mean seniors are left alone and without proper care or medical attention for extended periods of time. Abuse can involve physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse.
This type of situation can create devastating effects. An elderly resident may not be able to seek out help and any physical injuries they suffer as a result of neglect or abuse can take longer to heal, especially if there are underlying conditions.
Unfortunately, families are often frustrated when they try to report wrongdoing. In many cases, abuse and neglect is not detected until it has gone on for an extended period of time. This is because nursing home abuse is often under-reported due to:
1) Abuse of trust and abusers’ manipulations.
Seniors can be vulnerable, and unfortunately perpetrators know it. They may blame accusations on dementia symptoms or may target seniors who cannot speak or communicate as readily to keep their actions hidden. In other cases, abusers gain victims’ trust, so the person they are targeting is reluctant to speak against them.
2) Less frequent family contact.
Regular family contact is one of the best preventative measures against abuse or neglect. When families visit often, they may see signs of abuse – such as bed sores, poor hygiene, weight loss, personal changes, bruises, and more – and act. When families do not or cannot visit often, the symptoms of abuse and neglect may go undetected.
3) A victims’ actions.
Sometimes, a victim will come to trust someone who has targeted them. They may be frightened or embarrassed to report abuse or neglect if this happens. In some cases, they may simply not recognize neglect or abuse and may not report it. In many cases, abusers will use emotional abuse and other tactics to separate targets from their families to encourage them not to tell.
4) Attempts to hide the evidence.
Abusers may go to extensive lengths to hide wrongdoing. They may blame bruises on a residents’ mobility issues or may lie to investigators about signs of neglect and abuse. Finding evidence can be difficult. Personal injury attorneys often work with investigators or brave whistleblowers to gather proof.
There are solutions
If you suspect abuse or neglect in a Hollywood or South Florida nursing home or long-term care facility, you can contact authorities, The Department of Elder Affairs, and the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrator. Another option is to contact a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or South Florida. An attorney can advise you on filing a legal claim and can guide you to local resources to help you stop abuse. If you file a legal claim, you may be able to get compensation to help a loved one pay for safe care and medical treatment.
If you’d like to speak to a compassionate legal team about a possible elder abuse claim, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in any long-term care facility, there may be legal options available to you. Contact our law team to explore those legal avenues.