In the United States, there are more than 2 million senior citizens who live in nursing homes. Some need around the clock care, while some are simply unable to safely care for themselves.

So, when it comes time to select a home where our parent or grandparent will live in their golden years, we want the best for them. The state of Florida has specific laws that deal with elder abuse. In this article, we will help you learn the laws that affect them and how a nursing home abuse law firm can help. We will also give you some signs to look for when it comes to nursing home abuse.

When To Be Concerned

Before we begin, let us clarify a few things. Not every time your loved one has a bruise or a bump does it mean that they are being abused. Accidents happen. However, if the accidents happen over and over again, it needs to be examined.  If the bruises are in a strange area, or if they look like pinch marks or have the shape of an open hand, they need to be investigated.

Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

What is abuse? When a person’s needs are being ignored, and they are left without the care they need, they are being neglected. Neglect is a type of abuse. But, the abuse we are going to address in this posting is physical, and in some cases mental abuse.

If someone strikes another person, they are physically abusing them. When they put them in situations that cause discomfort, they are being physically abused. This includes unnecessary or excessive restraint.

When someone frightens or verbally assaults a person, that is mental or emotional abuse.

It is important that you understand; all forms of abuse are unacceptable and illegal. Here are some of the signs that your loved one may be being abused. Please note, this is a partial list, as there are many ways a person can abuse another person. Here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Unexplained or unusual bruises
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Showing signs of fear
    • Fear of being alone or fear of a particular person who enters the room
    • Flinching when you get close to them
    • Putting their hands up as if to block a blow
  • Wanting to be isolated
  • An excessive number of falls
  • Cuts, scratches, and/or scraps
    • Wounds in various stages of healing, indicating ongoing injuries over time
  • Physical signs of distress
    • Rocking
    • Sucking
    • Biting
  • Patches of hair missing or coming out
  • Refusal to speak when staff is in the room
  • Wandering or trying to leave the facility
  • Bed Sores
  • Unsanitary conditions
    • Not bathed and groomed properly
    • Dirty floors, bedding, and clothing

What To Do

Of course, you should bring your concerns to the nursing home supervisor. You should document the date, time, and name of the person you spoke to, and their reply.

Use your cell phone to photograph the concerns. Do this every time you visit so that you can judge improvement or neglect.

Make surprise visits and check things out when you are not expected.

Consider getting medical power of attorney so you can have your doctor examine the patient and give his professional opinion.

Contact a nursing home abuse attorney. If the abuse is happening, it is against the law. Let your attorney guide you through the process.