The aim of putting an older person in a nursing home is to ensure that they get an adequate amount of care that they may not otherwise be able to access at home. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse cases occur more times than most people are aware of or comfortable with.
According to the World Health Organisation, elder abuse is high in institutions such as nursing homes. Statistics show that as many as 2 in 3 staff report that they have committed abuse in the past year. If this happened to someone you know, consult Lakeland nursing home abuse lawyers for advice.
How Do I Identify Nursing Home Abuse?
Identifying nursing home abuse cases might be tricky sometimes as no one goes all the way to advertise it. Elderly abuse in a nursing home can range from blatant physical abuse such as hitting an older adult to being as subtle as mental and emotional abuse. If you suspect the maltreatment of your elderly friend, parent, or relative in a nursing home, here are a few steps to take.
Speak to Nursing Home Staff
To find more information about suspected cases of abuse, especially when you are unsure, you could speak to the nursing home staff, preferably the facility’s manager. It would help you clarify if what you perceive to be abuse is, in fact, not abuse at all. Of course, if their response seems unsatisfactory or the conditions escalate, you should proceed to take formal action, such as reporting to the authorities.
Speak to Your Loved Ones
Sometimes, your loved one is experiencing abuse in the nursing home but cannot be open about it. Several factors lead to this, including being ashamed that they are victims of such and an inability to proactively communicate the abuse to you or anyone else due to cognitive biases. In some cases, just like in domestic violence cases, the victims do not even recognize that they are being abused or think they deserve it. It is crucial to speak to them about it, ask them questions, and draw them out to ascertain if your suspicions are correct. If they are, get Lakeland nursing home abuse attorneys involved.
It is essential to take notes of whatever your findings are. If you physically witness a case, you could take pictures, note name tags, names of the staff members involved, details of the abuse you witnessed, etc. These will support you when you decide to take formal action.
Contact the Authorities
Contact the authorities for any suspected cases of elder abuse or neglect. Every nursing home has a local Ombudsman assigned to it. These people are responsible for ensuring that issues of neglect and abuse in nursing homes get investigated.
Consult a Lawyer
Reporting cases of abuse can be quite nuanced as you would want to ensure that the victim in such cases is safe, especially if they are still in the same nursing home. As such, you must contact a dedicated Lakeland nursing home abuse lawyer who understands the laws behind elder abuse and can take the appropriate action against the abuser. In some cases, the victims would get compensated for the abuse they have experienced. A great law firm such as Burnetti, P.A. will ensure that the victims get the adequate compensation they deserve.
It is essential to call in the police or some emergency service in some severe cases, especially if you suspect that there is imminent danger lurking. While it is crucial to verify your facts, in some cases, your reaching out to the police is the thin line between life and death or permanent physical, emotional, or mental damage to the victim of nursing home abuse.
Who Can Report Elder Abuse?
Anyone who notices or suspects any sign of elder abuse in a nursing home can file a report with the authorities. Also, the law requires certain people to report such abuse if they are aware of it. They include medical practitioners, social workers, case managers, police officers, and directors of nursing homes and care facilities.
Contact a Reputable Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Lakeland
Elder abuse is not the sort of situation to be swept under the carpet. If you live in Lakeland, Florida, and have witnessed or suspect a case of elder abuse, you should contact a Lakeland Nursing Home Abuse Attorney immediately. Our lawyers at Burnetti, P.A. have an excellent reputation for ensuring that nursing home abuse cases are taken up and handled with the urgency that they deserve. You could also schedule a free virtual consultation with our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers in Lakeland so that we can walk you through the process.