Florida is a beautiful place to retire, and Deerfield Beach is no exception. Seniors flock here to enjoy the warm weather, sandy beaches, and all that our southern climate has to offer. But when it comes time to put your elderly loved one in a nursing home, many people are nervous – and with good reason.
When you turn your loved one over to the care of a nursing home, you are counting on that home in many, many ways. You are trusting them to properly care for your family member and to see to their needs on a daily basis. And while there are certainly many very good and even excellent nursing homes and nursing home employees in the Sunshine State, with the good always comes some bad. When you suspect that your loved one may be at the mercy of an abusive or negligent nursing home or employee, that initial trust that you had in them may be shattered.
So where do you turn? Our experienced lawyer can help guide you through this unpleasant and traumatic experience. We can help you to determine if abuse is happening and help you decide what to do about it.
How Do I Know If My Loved One Is Being Abused?
This is a common question. It can be difficult to tell if your loved one is being abused for a number of reasons. Seniors who are at the mercy of abusive caregivers day in and day out become afraid of them – and that includes being afraid of speaking up. If they speak up they are understandably afraid that the abuse may get worse before it gets better. Or they may fear that it will never get better at all and that by speaking up, they are only making things worse over the long haul.
Another reason why it is hard to tell if abuse is happening is that the memory of the elderly can be somewhat faulty or even non-existent if your loved one has dementia. So even if you ask them about their treatment, they may have a hard time recalling specific events. Or if you see bruises or other signs of abuse, they may not have any explanation at all for how it happened.
Look for Telling Signs
There are certain things that you can look for to determine if your loved one is being mistreated.
Signs of Neglect
- Dirty bedding, or unsanitary conditions in the patient’s room
- A disheveled personal appearance, dirty clothes, dirty hands or face, and uncombed or unwashed hair
- Medical needs that go unmet
- Wrong prescriptions being given to the patient
- Drastic or unusual weight loss
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Unexpected or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts etc.
- An unusually high number of bounced checks
- Strange or unusual changes to the person’s will
- An unusually close, new relationship with a person, particularly when that person is much younger than your loved one
Signs of Physical and/or Emotional Abuse
- Unexplained bruises
- Unexplained cuts or abrasions
- Unexplained broken bones, fractures, sprains
- Ardent denial by the patient that any of this is happening may also clue you into a built-up fear of speaking up regarding any of these injuries
- Marks that indicate that pressure was applied to the patient’s body as if they were grabbed harshly – particularly if you see marks like this on both sides of the body
- Patient exhibits fear or withdrawal the minute a certain employee walks into the room
- Marked change in personality that has no other explanation (e.g., a once happy and outgoing person becomes sullen, depressed, withdrawn, or fearful)
Contact an Experienced Deerfield Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Answers
As you can see from the lists above, it can be a daunting task to attempt to determine if your loved one is being abused. Many signs and symptoms are somewhat ambiguous, and when the patient is fearful, they may deny that anything is happening. It helps to get an outside opinion, right from the start. We can assist you in looking over the signs that you’ve noticed, and help you put together the pieces to decide if there is actually a case of abuse or neglect.
And if there is, we can do something about it. Allow us to help you get justice for your elderly loved one by contacting the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A., today. Our Deerfield Beach nursing home abuse lawyer will fight for the rights of your loved one so that they don’t have to live out their lives in fear. So call today or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.