person holding elderly woman's hand

For many, deciding to entrust someone else with the care of an elderly loved one is not something made lightly. However, if you decide to place a family member in a nursing home, you may do so after researching all other options. Unfortunately, however, you may find that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse. This is an incredibly upsetting matter, so understanding how to pursue justice for your family member is critical. If this reflects your circumstances, it’s imperative to keep reading to learn how to report these matters and how a Wesley Chapel, FL personal injury attorney can help you fight for justice.

What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?

As the name would suggest, this kind of abuse can occur when any caretaker of an elderly person physically, emotionally, mentally or financially abuses or neglects them. This can include workers in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, understaffing or lack of training is often the leading cause of this abuse. When workers do not have enough time or energy to allocate the appropriate amount of care to each patient, it can lead to abuse and neglect. However, others may simply be malicious in their actions.

The following are common forms of nursing home abuse elderly patients may be victim to by those supposed to care and provide for them:

  • Physical abuse (slapping, kicking, hitting)
  • Failure to treat sustained injuries or medical issues in patients
  • Sexual abuse
  • Using unnecessary restraints on patients
  • Verbally assaulting patients
  • Threatening patients
  • Stealing money or valuables
  • Withholding food or medication
  • Failing to turn immobile patients, leads to bedsores

It’s imperative to understand the signs of nursing home abuse so you can help your loved one if you believe they are a victim. If your loved one has unexplained injuries, seems fearful of staff or refuses to speak to you about the care they receive, they could be a victim.

What Agency Do I Report This To?

If you have reason to believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse by the staff you entrusted with the care of your vulnerable loved one, it can be a devastating revelation. However, it’s important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to help protect them from further harm.

You’ll need to report instances of abuse to the Complaint Administration Unit of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. They will ask for a litany of information, so you’ll want to provide them with as many details as possible about the abuse.

It’s important to understand that if you are interested in fighting for financial compensation for your loved one to cover the cost of their medical care or moving to a new home, filing a complaint with this unit cannot help you recover funds. Instead, you’ll need to reach out to a personal injury attorney who can help you file a lawsuit for the damages your loved one sustained as a result.

At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, we understand that the elderly are some of the most valuable members of our community. As such, if your loved one has been the victim of abuse or negligence in their long-term care facility, we can help. Connect with us today to learn how we can fight for you.