What to Do If You Discover Nursing Home Neglect during the Holidays in Orlando
The holidays are a popular time to visit elderly relatives living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. You hope to find your loved one happy, healthy, and thriving when you visit. What do you do, however, if instead, you discover nursing home neglect during the holidays in Orlando? It is crucial to know what steps you should take to protect your loved one.
The Orlando nursing home neglect attorneys at Warner & Warner are committed to aggressively advocating on behalf of victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. Let us put our extensive experience and dedication to work for your family to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable, and the victim is fully compensated for all the injuries caused by nursing home neglect.
Nursing Home Neglect Facts and Figures
There are nursing homes that provide compassionate and competent care to the patients living at the facility; however, nursing home neglect occurs far more often than most people realize. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) defines neglect 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.” The NCEA has published the following disturbing facts and figures related to nursing home neglect:
- Studies have found that at least one in 10 community-dwelling older adults experienced some form of abuse in the prior year.
- One study that investigated the prevalence of mistreatment within institutions found that 11.6 percent of residents were victims of neglect.
- For every incident of abuse or neglect reported to authorities, nearly 24 additional cases remain undetected.
Why Does Nursing Home Neglect Happen?
Sadly, nursing home neglect often occurs because facilities are grossly understaffed. Research suggests that up to 90 percent of all nursing homes in the United States lack the staff necessary to meet the needs of residents. Another common problem is that even in a facility that is fully staffed, staff members are often inadequately trained which can lead to neglect. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further increased the already crisis-level staffing problems in the nursing home industry, increasing the likelihood of neglect.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home residents are frequently unable or unwilling to report neglect. If you are visiting a loved one in a nursing home this makes it more important that you actively look for the signs of neglect, such as:
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Anger or hostility
- Deteriorating hygiene
- New or deteriorating health conditions
- Evidence that restraints have been used
Steps to Take If You Discover Nursing Home Neglect during the Holidays in Orlando
Visiting a loved one in a nursing home over the holidays should be a joyous occasion. If you arrive to find what you believe to be signs of neglect it can turn your entire holiday into a nightmare. Knowing what to do next is the key to protecting your loved one from future neglect and holding those responsible for the neglect legally accountable.
- Ask your loved one about your suspicions if possible. Nursing home abuse and neglect often do not speak up because they are afraid or embarrassed to be a victim. If your loved one can communicate with you, try discussing your concerns with him/her, so you can confirm your suspicions.
- Document the neglect. If you see visible signs of neglect, use your cell phone to take pictures while you are at the facility. This might include photos of your loved one, treatment documents, and/or the condition of the facility itself.
- Ask to speak with someone in charge. This may, or may not, accomplish anything; however, it is worth a try to ask to speak to a supervisor about the neglect. Sometimes, administrators are unaware of the situation and will actively work to remedy the problem once notified.
- Consult with a nursing home neglect attorney. Nursing home abuse and neglect can be criminal offenses; however, nursing home neglect can also be pursued through a civil lawsuit that can provide financial compensation to a victim. Individuals, as well as the facility itself, may be held liable for nursing home neglect in a civil lawsuit.
When to Contact Orlando Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
If you see signs of neglect while visiting an Orlando nursing home during the holidays, you need to act quickly to remedy the situation and protect your loved one. The experienced attorneys at Warner & Warner are committed to seeking justice for vulnerable victims of nursing home neglect. If you believe a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, contact the Orlando nursing home neglect attorneys at Warner & Warner right away to discuss your legal options. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.