Elderly lady being helped from chair by nurse and she doesn't seem to want help

For children, putting parents into a nursing home can be one of the most difficult decisions to make. At first, there comes a feeling akin to anger or guilt because this is someone who has done so much for us over the course of our lives. Eventually, we come to realize that they will receive a better standard of care in a nursing home than they will elsewhere.

When choosing a nursing home, we place lots of trust in those who work there on a daily basis. Sadly, stories of this trust being misplaced seem to be common these days and it’s shocking to see.

While some residents in nursing homes are subjected to negligence and a lack of care, others are forced to endure abuse. Although this is a difficult topic, we want to address the issue today because there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. At Cannella Legal, we would love to be the ones who bring this saga to a close while ensuring that other families don’t have to go through a similar experience.

Examples of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

According to some statistics, over two million seniors are subjected to abuse in some capacity. What’s perhaps even more saddening than this statistic is the knowledge that more people could be suffering without it yet being known.

As cases have shown in recent years, there are many types of abuse and negligence. With the latter, this can include not providing regular meals for seniors, not taking them to the toilet when they don’t have the ability to go themselves, not cleaning bed sheets regularly, forgetting medication, and not providing the activities and service the facility is designed to provide.

Unfortunately, abuse is more serious and potentially fatal. In terms of physical abuse, seniors have reported broken bones, cuts, torn clothing, and bruises. When seniors are unable to defend themselves, this is where some workers see an opportunity to exploit them emotionally or financially.

Emotional Abuse

This may include;

  • Humiliation
  • Mocking
  • Intimidation (shouting and threats)
  • Isolation from others
  • Ignored needs

Financial Exploitation

For some in the industry, they see their patients as opportunities to boost their income. We’ve read about examples of;

  • Forged signatures
  • Misuse of cards and financial accounts
  • Stolen cash, items, or checks
  • Stolen identity
  • Withdrawal of money

If your loved one has been subjected to anything we’ve discussed so far, we can help at Cannella Legal.

Warning Signs

After being neglected by their nursing home, you might visit and notice dirty bed sheets, poor living conditions, dehydration, lost weight in your relative or friend, and medication that hasn’t been administered as it should.

Alternatively, signs of abuse include illness, bruising, cuts, and even flinching or a fear that has never been present before. In extreme cases, seniors may be exploited sexually. Some warning signs that this is occurring include venereal disease, bruising around the genitals or breast, bleeding in these areas, and bloody undergarments.

Filing a Lawsuit

We think you’ll agree that anybody who uses their position to abuse the elderly should face the consequences. Abusing people while in their role is quite obviously a disgraceful act, and negligence is something that simply shouldn’t happen (why enter this industry if you don’t actually want to provide the care for which you were hired?).

You aren’t alone; if you don’t know how to file a claim, build evidence and a strong case, and go about the process in the right way, you have our support. With experience handling nursing home neglect and abuse, it’s important we go through the proper procedure and avoid mistakes that prevent the case from being successful. Especially where medical knowledge is required, it can be a delicate situation.

Resident Bill of Rights

In order to protect the elderly population, Florida law provides that no resident of a facility shall be deprived of any civil or legal rights guaranteed by law, the Constitution of the State of Florida or the Constitution of the United States, including the right to live in a safe and decent living environment, free from abuse and neglect. A violation of the resident’s bill of rights can form the basis of a lawsuit.

Gathering Evidence

When making a serious allegation against a facility, or a particular member of staff, evidence is critical. After experiencing neglect or abuse, we need to prove liability…and this can be difficult. Before a lawsuit can be filed, Florida law requires that the facility undertake its own internal investigation for a period of 75 days, at the conclusion of which they must either deny the claim or present a settlement offer. During that investigative period, we are permitted to conduct our own investigation, which can include taking statements of witnesses, including facility employees, and obtaining documents.

Taking Action

With Cannella Legal as your partner, you can take action against the facility while also making good decisions along the way. If the nursing home accepts responsibility and sends a settlement request, we can read the agreement and discuss the fairness of their offer. Depending on the case, you might want to negotiate a stronger deal or proceed to court. We will never decide for you, but we can provide you with the information you need to make a decision that suits your family.

At all times, we need to consider not only the abuse/neglect but also the compensation for medical bills. Again, our experience here will be pivotal.

We could tell you about our qualified team, experience, resources, and other brilliant features. With a case like this, though, we believe passion and determination to be just as important; this is something we have in abundance because we want to help and stand on the side of ‘right’.

Contact Cannella Legal with any questions you have today; let’s get the process started!