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Watch for the Key Signs of Nursing Home Abuse


There’s nothing more upsetting than finding out that an elderly loved one has suffered injuries or other harm due to nursing home abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You will most certainly file a report with the Florida Department of Children and Families regarding mistreatment, which could lead to fines, criminal charges, and other penalties. However, such actions do little to help your loved one recover from injuries – whether physical, emotional, or financial. Therefore, you should consult with a Florida nursing home abuse attorney right away if you note any of these disturbing signs of misconduct.

Physical Abuse: The most easily recognized signs of abuse are often the most disturbing ones because the physical indications are visible. You should take action immediately if your loved one experienced bone fractures, bruises, scars, or cuts. However, other indications of mistreatment that are less obvious, including:

  • Signs of restraint around the victim’s wrists or ankles
  • Broken eyeglasses or assistive devices
  • A caregiver’s refusal to allow you to be alone with your loved one
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, or other conditions that may indicate physical abuse of a sexual nature
  • Unexplained and abnormal bruising

Emotional Mistreatment: This form of abuse may be less noticeable, so it’s important to be vigilant if you have concerns or suspicions. Signs of emotional misconduct are subtle, and you might assume they’re a factor of your loved one’s advancing age. In addition, signs can be confused with dementia in a particularly vulnerable individuals, such as mumbling, rocking, and disorientation. Still, keep a look out for:

  • Mood swings and angry outbursts
  • Cowering or becoming submissive in the presence of certain caretakers
  • Demeaning comments or threats toward your loved one

Nursing Home Neglect: Some forms of nursing home misconduct don’t involve intentional acts, but are the result of careless or reckless conduct. Residents of these facilities may suffer when owners, operators, administration, or employees fail to provide proper care and maintain the nursing home in a clean, secure condition. Indications that they’re failing in their duties include:

  • Dirty or disorganized common areas
  • Soiled linens and filth in resident private rooms
  • Malnourishment or dehydration
  • Unsafe living conditions, such as a lack of heat or unlocked doors
  • Issues with your loved one’s personal hygiene
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers

Financial Exploitation: The elderly are especially vulnerable to financial exploitation, which is typically much more overt than outright theft. In many cases, a caretaker takes advantage of the individual’s trust and reliance to gain access to real estate and personal property. There may be cause for concern if you notice:

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Change of ownership on a home or vehicle
  • Modifications to powers of attorney, wills, or other estate planning documents
  • Overdrawn accounts or the inability to pay a bill – when you know your loved one has the funds.

Talk to a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer About Neglect and Misconduct 

To learn more about the legal remedies available to victims of nursing home abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. Our experienced attorneys represent clients throughout Florida from our offices in Miami and Fort Myers. We’re happy to set up a complimentary and confidential consultation to discuss your circumstances.

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