One of the most difficult decisions you will likely ever have to make is the decision to put a parent or other loved one in a nursing home. Failing to do so, however, could lead to physical injury or financial victimization. Although many nursing homes provide attentive and compassionate care, nursing home abuse and neglect occur all too often. If you suspect that a family member has been neglected while residing at a nursing home, the Orlando nursing home neglect attorneys at Warner & Warner are available to explain your legal rights and ensure that the parties responsible for that neglect are held accountable.
Nursing Home Abuse Facts and Figures
The older population in America has increased dramatically in recent years and is expected to continue to increase over the next several decades. That also means that elder abuse and neglect have become increasingly common. Unfortunately, it is difficult for experts to provide accurate statistics regarding nursing home neglect for several reasons.
Many victims of nursing home neglect fail to report the abuse because they do not want to be viewed as a victim. Fear that the neglect will get worse, not better, is another common reason why victims remain silent. Finally, many nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, making it virtually impossible to report neglect. Sadly, the fact that nursing home residents are unlikely to report neglect increases their risk of being the victim of neglect.
Although accurate statistics are difficult to come by, experts offer some estimates regarding the prevalence of nursing home neglect:
- An estimated 5 million elders are abused each year, according to the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys (NANHA)
- More than 1 in 10 (11.6%) of nursing home residents have experienced neglect, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
- Women are more likely to experience nursing home neglect than men at a ratio of 3:2
- When able to answer, more than half of all nursing home residents admit that they or another resident was the victim of abuse within the last year.
- Approximately 90 percent of nursing homes are understaffed which frequently leads to neglect.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Many nursing home administrators and staff work hard to ensure that residents are treated well and that their needs are met daily. The sad reality, however, is that nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Physical abuse can be easier to spot than neglect; however, even physical abuse often goes undetected for a startlingly long time at a nursing home. Neglect is even more difficult to define and detect.
Neglect in the context of a nursing home is defined by the NCEA as “the refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties of care to an elder which include, but are not limited to, life necessities such as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, and personal safety.” It can be difficult, however, to identify the signs and symptoms of neglect. If you have a family member in a nursing home, some signs to look for include:
- Excessive, unexplained, or frequent bruising
- Indications of restraints used on ankles and/or wrists
- Weight loss
- Anger or hostility
- Depression or mood swings
- Frequent rocking or thumb sucking
- Basic personal hygiene needs not being met
- Unnecessary and/or continual sedation
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
When to Contact an Orlando Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
If you have a parent or other family member in a nursing home, and you suspect that they are being neglected, do not hesitate to act on your suspicions. The adage “better safe than sorry” applies when you are concerned about nursing home abuse. Elderly nursing home residents are often unable or unwilling to speak up for themselves, meaning they depend on their loved ones to do so for them. If nursing home neglect has occurred, the party (or parties) responsible must be held accountable and the victim fully compensated for all injuries.
At Warner & Warner, our experienced Orlando nursing home neglect lawyers are dedicated to advocating and fighting for some of society’s most vulnerable members – nursing home residents. Anyone who neglects a nursing home resident should face the full force of the legal system and the victim should receive compensation for all emotional and physical injuries that occurred because of the neglect.
Our nursing home neglect attorneys at Warner & Warner have the specialized experience and knowledge required to successfully prove and litigate cases of nursing home neglect. This type of experience is rare, and these cases are especially important to us. In our past cases, we have worked closely with law enforcement and criminal prosecutors to help prove our case and punish those who neglect nursing home residents. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.