Every year, numerous families in Florida, and all across the United States, place an elderly loved one in a nursing home. The reasons for choosing a nursing home can range from in-patient rehabilitation from an injury, to chronic illness requiring specialized care. Once placed in a nursing home, elderly individuals and their loved ones expect a safe, healthy, supportive environment with well-trained staff to provide care. Unfortunately, as Florida nursing home abuse attorneys point out, these expectations can be devastatingly misplaced.
Nursing home abuse is a problem plaguing many states across the U.S. While numerous reports are filed every year, many others go unreported due to fear, denial, or a lack of knowledge about the reporting process. In order to protect elderly individuals in nursing homes, it is critical that any friend, family, or staff member suspecting abuse contact appropriate authorities.
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Offer Guidance
Nursing home abuse can be difficult to recognize and prove. Abuse can occur physically, emotionally, sexually, and financially, and may not immediately exhibit obvious signs of a problem. Because of the complexities of proving nursing home abuse, it is important to involve appropriate authorities immediately. In Florida, the primary agencies to contact for suspected nursing home abuse include:
- The Florida Office on Aging
- Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs
- Florida Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
Individuals can also file a report of suspected elder abuse online via the Florida Department of Children and Families website.
If there are physical signs of nursing home abuse, local law enforcement should be contacted immediately. If the individual is in immediate danger, contacting 911 and getting immediate help is always advisable.
Nursing Home Abuse needs Specialized Legal Guidance
In addition to contacting appropriate authorities, it is also recommended to seek proper legal guidance if nursing home abuse is suspected. The rights of nursing home residents are protected by state and federal laws, and a skilled nursing home abuse attorney can help Florida families exercise those rights, protect their loved ones, and hold those responsible for the abuse accountable for their actions.