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Seminario de Seguridad Negligente | Marzo 2015>

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    What to Do If You Suspect that Your Loved One Has Suffered Abuse in a Nursing Home

    As senior citizens begin to face age-related challenges that make it difficult to live independently, it is common for their family members to move them into a nursing home or assisted living facility. These facilities are intended to provide a safe, nurturing, comfortable environment for seniors—but sadly, nursing home staff may sometimes neglect or even abuse the residents under their care. In fact, the National Council on Aging estimates that up to 5 million Americans are affected by elder abuse each year, with many of these victims living in nursing homes and similar facilities.

    If you suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, it is crucial to act swiftly in order to protect their physical safety, dignity, and psychological well-being. Here are a few steps to take:

    • Familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse. While unexplained bruises and other wounds may be obvious indications of physical abuse, elder abuse and neglect can take many different forms—including psychological, sexual, and financial—and can cause a variety of signs and symptoms. For instance, you may notice that your loved one experiences bedsores, unusual weight loss, problems with medications, and mood or personality changes. You may also notice signs of poor hygiene, including dirty clothing or bedding. If you have access to your loved one’s bank accounts, watch for any unusual transactions, missing valuables, or other indications of financial abuse.
    • Document any of the signs you notice and collect other information that may be helpful in supporting a claim of abuse. This may include taking pictures of your loved one’s injuries and other questionable conditions, compiling medical records, and speaking with potential witnesses.
    • Report the suspected abuse to the proper channels. Nursing homes in Florida are legally required to investigate allegations of abuse. While it’s best to avoid confronting the staff members you believe are directly responsible, reporting your concerns—supported by the evidence you have gathered—to the facility’s administration should trigger a proper investigation. If you do not trust that the facility will handle the matter professionally, or if you’re concerned that they may retaliate against your loved one, you can contact the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or And if you believe that your loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
    • Contact an attorney with experience handling cases of nursing home abuse. Learning that your loved one has been abused or neglected by the facility that is supposed to care for them is a heart-wrenching situation, and working with a skilled attorney can help you explore the legal options available for recovery while ensuring that the perpetrators will be held responsible.

    At Leighton Law, we are committed to advocating on behalf of elderly and vulnerable adults and their families, and our team applies extensive knowledge of both state and federal law to ensure that nursing homes and other facilities that allow abuse to take place will be subject to civil liability.  We have represented many nursing home patients and their families, including those whose loved ones were lost in the worst nursing home abuse case in Florida historyClick here to learn more, or call us at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation.


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