Articles Posted in Nursing Home and Elder Abuse

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Emotional abuse can involve name-calling, verbal harassment, insults and other forms of verbal intimidation or harm. Although it leaves no physical bruises or injuries, emotional abuse is very serious. It can lead to depression, upset, changes in personality, or even sleeping disorders. In addition, senior emotional abuse can be extremely painful and can eventually escalate to physical abuse.

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Stopping senior emotional abuse in Hollywood and other South Florida cities is important, but unfortunately all too often this type of harm goes unnoticed and unchecked. Not only is emotional abuse difficult to notice, but in many cases authorities do not always take this form of harm seriously enough.

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When we speak about sexual abuse in Hollywood and Florida, we often focus on protecting vulnerable younger people. However, there is also another vulnerable population who may be targeted by predators: the elderly.

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Senior sexual abuse is a devastating problem and it is far more prevalent than many people realize. Elder citizens of nursing homes and care facilities may have cognitive and mobility issues which can make them vulnerable to predators. As well, retirement homes and  nursing homes do not always have security or proper screening measures to prevent abusers from getting access to vulnerable residents. In  some cases, residents of nursing homes have criminal histories and prey on their peers.

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Senior financial abuse in Hollywood and across South Florida is a serious concern. Financial abuse can include seniors being forced to sign over their assets or can involve simple theft. Any time that the elderly are targeted for the financial gain of their caregiver or someone else, they are the victims of financial abuse.

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In many instances, financial abuse occurs because caregivers or others around the senior see an elderly person as a vulnerable adult they can target in order to earn a profit. In many cases, financial abuse leaves significant long-term effects. A senior who has been affected by this type of crime may feel helpless, ashamed, and frightened. They may be left with few financial resources to pay for everyday expenses and for long-term care. Unfortunately, catching signs of financial abuse are difficult and prosecuting someone after the money has been spent can be challenging.

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Nursing home abuse and negligence cases in Homestead and southern Florida are usually filed when an elderly loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or any care facility has suffered negligence or abuse. This can include severe negligence which leads to illness, medical complications, or fatalities. It can also include physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, or assault.

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However, not everyone can file a home abuse and negligence case in southern Florida. In general, you will need to prove damages and you will need to prove your relationship to the elderly person affected. In general, those closest to the elderly loved one are the ones to file a claim. This can include:

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Nursing home abuse and neglect in Hollywood and across southern Florida can be difficult to spot. If you have a loved one residing in a retirement home, nursing home, or any assisted living facility, you may wonder whether your family member is getting the care they require.

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Each year, elder abuse claims are filed against caregivers and nursing homes and in many cases the neglect goes on for some time before being detected. Victims may be embarrassed about their situation, frightened of their abusers, or unable to get help. In many cases, it is family and friends visiting loved ones who notice signs of abuse.

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May is Older Americans Month, according to the Association for Community Living. If you have elderly family members, there many things that you can do to ensure their safety:

1) Help protect your elderly loved ones against nursing home abuse and neglect.

Unfortunately, older Americans who are placed in assisted-living communities, nursing homes, retirement homes, and other caregiver situations sometimes fall victim to abuse and neglect in these Homestead and Florida caregiving settings where they’re supposed to be most protected.

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Elderly family members may need more care and attention, since they may be vulnerable to injury, elder abuse, and other issues. If you have an elderly loved one living in your Homestead or Florida home, there are several things you will want to do to make sure that everyone in your family is protected in the event of an emergency:

1) Create a disaster preparedness plan for your elderly relatives.

If you have loved ones in an assisted living facility or nursing home, do you have a plan in place to keep them safe from elder abuse or nursing home abuse and neglect? If a tornado or other natural disaster were to hit your Homestead home, how would you contact elderly loved ones and keep them safe? Would your family members be able to escape in the event of a fire? Develop a plan to keep everyone in your family safe. If elderly loved ones live with you, this may mean making your home more accessible or contacting your fire department to ensure that your home would permit elderly family members to get out in the event of a fire or other disaster.

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Elder abuse in Homestead is unfortunately quite common and affects hundreds of families across South Florida each year. If you have an elderly loved one, you will want to make sure that your family member is protected from neglect and abuse in Homestead nursing homes and elder care facilities. Neglect and abuse can easily occur in a nursing home or assisted living facility or even in the home with a family-based caregiver. If you’re wondering how safe your loved ones are, keep in mind that you will want to ask yourself the following questions:

1) How much have you researched the facility or caregiver? Before hiring anyone to take care of a family member or before placing a family member in any assisted-living facility or nursing home, it is important to investigate the person or persons who will be providing care. This means doing research, checking for any prior history of abuse or negligence, and conducting a thorough investigation to make sure that the caregiver is well-equipped to handle the care required. If you are placing your loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you may want to speak to other families and visit the nursing home several times before you make a decision about care.

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2) Are there any signs of abuse or neglect? Unexplained injuries, unexplained slip and fall accidents in Homestead, and withdrawal or signs of depression can all indicate neglect or abuse. In some cases, abuse is evident in bruises and broken bones. However, keep in mind that sexual abuse, financial abuse, and emotional abuse may leave no obvious physical symptoms. The symptoms may be so subtle that they are easy to miss.

3) How much good communication is in place? One of the best defenses against elder abuse and neglect is good communication between the elderly loved one and their friends and family. Abusers will often look for vulnerable elderly patients and residents – especially those with no friends and family looking out for them. If you communicate regularly with someone in an assisted-living facility, nursing home, or other caregiver situation, they may be more likely to indicate something is wrong and may be more trusting in revealing abuse and neglect. Frequent visits will also better allow you to spot injuries and signs of nursing home abuse and neglect in Homestead.

4) How healthy is my elderly loved one? Someone who is ill or unable to communicate effectively is much more vulnerable, because they cannot report abuse neglect. Make sure that your family member visits the doctor regularly and gets as much medical help as possible to improve quality of life and to make communication possible.

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Power of Attorney is a legal tool that allows a person to give someone else the authority to handle health issues and financial issues. In some cases, elderly persons choose to sign over power of attorney to a trusted family member to ensure that in cases where they cannot make health or financial decisions themselves, someone else will be in a position to make those decisions. Power of attorney is often used in situations where a person develops dementia or another condition that affects decision-making ability.

According to many legal experts, however, while power of attorney ideally protects an elderly person in some cases it has been used to perpetuate nursing home and elder abuse in Miami Springs and other communities. In the wrong hands, power of attorney can be used for financial abuse, fraud, and other criminal activity.

According to MetLife Mature Market Institute, elderly residents across the US suffer financial abuse on a regular basis, losing an estimated $2.9 billion yearly. In about 24% of these cases, friends and family are the culprits. While there are no figured about abuse of power of attorney specifically, many attorneys believe that it is a persistent and wide-ranging problem. According to legal experts, there are several things that can be done to help prevent this type of abuse:

1) Maintain good communication with an elderly loved one. Good communication and frequent check-ins are important. In many cases, they can help families detect fraud or other suspicious activity around an elderly friend or family member. Frequent check-ins can also ensure that symptoms and illnesses are dealt with promptly. If a loved one develops dizziness or other troubling symptoms after a slip and fall accident in Miami Springs, for example, it is more likely that they can be encouraged to seek medical treatment if family members and friends are checking in.

2) Have a system of checks and balances involving multiple family members and friends. Rather than having one person responsible for care and being the agent in a power of attorney agreement, have multiple people helping with the care of an elderly relative. This does two things. First, it ensures that one person is not overwhelmed with caregiving responsibilities (which has been linked with an increased risk of abuse). Secondly, it ensures that if abuse is taking place, others are more likely to notice it.

3) Understand power of attorney and use it wisely. General power of attorney allows for a temporary power of attorney agreement to complete a specific transaction. A durable power of attorney allows the agent to make certain decisions when a person becomes incapacitated. Estate planning involving power of attorney should be made while an elderly relative is in good condition and able to make their own decisions about agents and estate planning. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney in Miami Springs or your community to discuss these issues.

4) Use additional caution if your elderly loved one needs an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and negligence in Miami Springs and across Florida is a real concern for families and nursing home abuse takes place far too often. If your elderly relative needs to be placed in a facility or nursing home, excellent communication and frequent visits can help ensure that any abuse is detected quickly and addressed. In these cases, power of attorney can be useful in ensuring that there is someone to speak for a relative when the loved one cannot speak for themselves.

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Experts agree that caregivers who care for the elderly need to take excellent care of themselves. This is especially the case in situations where a family member decides to provide care for an elderly loved one. Good self-care is important in preventing elder abuse and neglect in Pembroke Pines. Good self-care can also ensure that a caregiver can take proper care of an elderly loved one. A caregiver who is burnt out and overwhelmed may be distracted or may even suffer from depression or other ailments, making accidents such as slip and fall accidents in Pembroke Pines more likely. A well-cared-for caregiver can take better care of an elderly charge.

There are many things that caregivers can do to take care of themselves in order to stay healthy and in order to provide the best care possible:

1) Seek help. It is important that caregivers get the support they need. There are support groups available for caregivers, which can help provide emotional support. In addition, it is important for caregivers to get some time off. Getting vacation time and days off may require hiring a part-time nurse or more than one caregiver, but various forms of respite care can help prevent burnout and stress. While many families are concerned about nursing home abuse and neglect in Pembroke Pines and other communities, it may be important to consider placing an elderly loved one in a care facility if there is no one who can care for them properly. In some cases, an elderly patient may simply require more help than one in-home caregiver can provide.

2) Know the signs of caregiver burnout and distress. Symptoms and signs vary from caregiver to caregiver, but may include depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, sleeping disorders, and health problems. Caregivers who are struggling may also overreact to small nuisances or may struggle with concentration problems or with feelings of resentment or helplessness. In some cases, caregivers in distress may develop substance abuse problems or may be unable to perform their duties as caregivers.

3) Provide good health care for both the caregiver and the patient. If an elderly loved one has an illness or a mental health issue, getting proper treatment can improve quality of life for the patient while also making life easier for the caregiver. It is also important for the caregiver to take care of their health. Proper rest, nutrition, and exercise as well as medical attention can ensure that a caregiver is in good enough condition to handle the many demands of caring for an elderly patient.

4) Have a good system of checks and balances. It is important for family members or others to check in on both the caregiver and the elderly patient regularly – whether an elderly loved one is cared for by an individual caregiver or is in an assisted living or care facility. Regular checks can help families notice signs of abuse or nursing home negligence. Noticing the signs in time can ensure that an elderly loved one can be removed from an abusive situation and that a personal injury attorney in Pembroke Pines can be contacted in order to help protect the senior.

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