DANGER SIGNS OF NEGLECT AND ABUSE
Unfortunately, abuse in adult care facilities is a growing trend, as chronic understaffing due to profit motives by providers continues to create situations ripe for abuse. A survey conducted by the U.S. General Accounting Office reveals that more than one fourth of U.S. nursing homes had deficiencies that either caused harm to residents or put them at risk for death or serious injury. If you or a loved one is being abused or neglected in a Florida or Nevada nursing home or treatment facility, please contact the Nursing Home Justice Center in Orlando and Las Vegas for a free discussion with a lawyer.
Below is a list what families should look for when they suspect neglect or abuse of their loved ones.
Low self esteem or depression
Use of physical or chemical restraints or psychotropic medication not consistent with that authorized by the physician
Bruising and/or fractures
Poor personal hygiene
The above, unfortunately, occur due to insufficient and/or poorly trained staff, a common problem caused by corporate ownership being more concerned with the bottom line in profits than they are in providing the appropriate care. Federal and state laws require that nursing homes develop a plan of care for all residents as provided by the nursing staff and caregiving staff.
These injuries occur due to residents not being taken to the toilet properly; not being fed properly; being given insufficient fluids; being over medicated; being dropped (causing bruising and fractures); having their requests ignored or call lights not being answered properly; and being left in bed all day or not being moved while in bed. These forms of neglect are occurring on a much more frequent basis in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The following is a checklist that the Nursing Home Justice Center has developed for family members to look for if they have a loved one residing in a nursing home and/or assisted living facility:
Do you notice continued signs of dehydration or malnutrition?
Have you noticed the resident is less active or less able to move about?
Have you noticed emotional changes, mood swings, withdrawals, anxiety, or other fears in the resident?
Are residents dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
Are the resident's living quarters clean?
Are the resident's medical conditions being treated in a timely fashion?
Does the resident seem to be suffering from persisting viruses and/or infections?
Are all medications being administered in a timely and appropriate fashion?
Have there been delays between incidents and notification of the doctor and the family and/or guardian?
Has the resident been experiencing frequent falls or broken bones?
Does there seem to be adequate staffing and supervision?
Do the caregivers speak of the resident as a burden or treat the resident with indifference?
Does the caregiver react defensively to routine questions about the resident's care?
RIGHTS OF PATIENTS
A facility for skilled nursing shall protect and promote the rights of each patient in the facility.
The following is a highlighted list of rights provided for under Florida and Nevada law. For more information regarding all rights enumerated in Florida or Nevada, contact the Nursing Home Justice Center.
Receive care in a manner and environment that maintains and enhances each patient's dignity with respect to each patient's individuality.
Exercise his rights without the threat of interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
Choose his attending physician.
Be fully informed, in a language that the patient understands, of his total health status, including, without limitation, his medical condition.
Participate in decisions relating to his health care, unless he is unable to do so because he is incompetent or incapacitated.
Receive services with reasonable accommodation for his individual needs and preferences, unless the health or safety of the patient or other patients would be endangered.
Privacy in relation to his accommodations, personal care, written and oral communications, and meetings with other persons. The provisions of this paragraph do not require a facility for skilled nursing to provide a private room to each patient.
File grievances with the facility without the threat of discrimination or reprisal, and to the prompt resolution of those grievances. Such grievances include, without limitation, complaints relating to treatment that has been furnished or not furnished and the behavior of other patients.
Use a telephone where calls can be made without being overheard.
Retain and use personal possessions as space allows, including, without limitation, furniture and clothing, unless to do so would infringe upon the rights or threaten the health and safety of other patients.
Share a room with his or her spouse, if both spouses reside in the facility and consent to the arrangement.
Manage his financial affairs.
The above highlighted rights enumerated are what a resident of a nursing facility is entitled to. This notice of rights is required to be given to all perspective residents of either a nursing home and assisted living facility.
If you suspect a family member, friend, or person you are legally responsible for is showing signs of neglect or abuse, you may consult with our office for free. In addition to seeking our services, the States of Florida and Nevada have an Ombudsman within the Division for Aging Services under the Department of Human Resources. Below are addresses and phone numbers in both Las Vegas and Orlando for these offices, as well as other helpful resources.
Division for Aging Services (Las Vegas)
Department of Human Resources
340 N 11th Street, Suite 203
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Division for Aging Services (Reno)
Department of Human Resources
445 Apple St., #104
Reno, NV 89502
Bureau of Licensing (Las Vegas)
Las Vegas Metro (Las Vegas)
Attorney General's Office (Las Vegas)
Attorney General's Office (Reno)
The Nursing Home Justice Center serves clients throughout the states of Florida and Nevada in communities such as Orlando, Las Vegas, Tampa, North Las Vegas, Daytona Beach, Henderson, Boulder City, Summerlin, Reno, and Carson City.
Nursing Home Justice Center
3117 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, Florida 32804
(407) 540-0122 or
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
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