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West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

The decision to move an aging family member to a nursing home or other assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult decisions that a family makes, and it is usually done with the assumption that their loved one will be provided with the dedicated care and attention that they need and deserve. Sadly, reports of abuse, neglect, and medical malpractice in these types of facilities are all too common, exposing vulnerable individuals to deplorable conditions that can result in serious injuries, illnesses, emotional trauma, and even death.

At Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers realize firsthand how much of a problem this is in Florida and across the United States. The state of Florida alone has more than 250,000 individuals living in assisted living facilities, and that number is only likely to grow as medical advances expand lifespans. As inexcusable as this type of mistreatment is, it’s important to know that victims and their families are not without legal options for taking action. By filing a lawsuit against the responsible nursing home worker or facility, you can protect your loved one and other residents from suffering further harm and send an important message to this industry that abuse and neglect will not go overlooked and unpunished.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases We Handle

It can be very disconcerting and worrisome to suspect or know that your loved one is being abused and mistreated by people you entrusted their lives with. We aim to bring down these abusers and fight to end the mistreatment of nursing home residents. There are many forms of abuse that can be occurring at your loved one’s facility. Some are easier to spot than others while some can be very tricky and difficult to notice or convince others of that it is happening. Knowing the different types and how to spot potential abuse will allow you to safeguard your loved ones and prevent abuse from occurring and or continuing. Let us take a brief look into the types of abuse that can occur in nursing homes.

Some reports have stated that as many as 1/3 of all assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the United States have been cited for some type of abuse or mistreatment, and at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., we want to help you take aggressive action against abusive or negligent nursing home facilities to hopefully end this epidemic of mistreatment. As such, we are prepared to put our years of experience to work helping victims and their families in cases involving:

Physical Abuse

We never want to suspect that our loved ones could be in danger with people or a care facility that we entrust them with. Unfortunately, mistreatment that leads to abuse does occur. Physical abuse can be a wide variety of actions such as slapping, hitting with a closed fist, using a weapon or similar method of harm, pushing and shoving, restraining improperly. This type of abuse can be easily noticed in some situations if you notice bruising, scratch marks, burns, broken bones, fear and intimidation of others, and unusual behavior attempting to discourage investigation. An example of physical abuse would be the following; A nursing home resident is targeted by another or an employee in which the offender frequently slaps the targeted resident when they see them. That would be a form of physical abuse towards a resident.

Emotional Abuse

We never want to suspect that our loved ones could be in danger with people or a care facility that we entrust them with.Unfortunately, mistreatment that leads to abuse does occur. Physical abuse can be a wide variety of actions such as slapping, hitting with a closed fist, using a weapon or similar method of harm, pushing and shoving, restraining improperly. This type of abuse can be easily noticed in some situations if you notice bruising, scratch marks, burns, broken bones, fear and intimidation of others, and unusual behavior attempting to discourage investigation. An example of physical abuse would be the following; A nursing home resident is targeted by another or an employee in which the offender frequently slaps the targeted resident when they see them. That would be a form of physical abuse towards a resident.

Neglect

Of all the forms of abuse, neglect is the most common and is not always malicious in nature. This form of abuse occurs when nursing home residents are not receiving adequate care and nutrition on a regular basis. This can be poor sanitary conditions for living, lack of required nutrition in the diet, etc. Even a lack of accessibility in the complex is a form of neglect if a resident falls often because there is not a ramp and handlebar for them to reach common or required areas of the complex. In many cases, residents require assistance in maintaining their personal hygiene. A lack of care in this area would be considered neglect if the residents are not being assisted with their necessary hygienics to maintain proper health.

Malnutrition / Dehydration

This is a type of abuse that can be a form of neglect as it can result from a lack of nutrients and water to maintain a residents hydration. An example would be if a facility was not providing enough water stations and food with nutrients to support a residents wellbeing and they began to dehydrate. Noticing dehydration in a loved one can be tricky, however, there are symptoms you can watch out for such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Headaches

Dehydration can lead to serious health problems and should be looked into even if you are unsure. It is best to be safe and is never too late to seek help from a professional opinion if you are concerned for a loved one.

Slip and Fall Injuries

This can also be categorized under neglect in some cases, however, happens often enough for it to be a focus on what to look out for. There are many causes for falls and usually, are due to negligence and a lack of accessibility for residents. A fall can be caused by weakened muscles due to age or a change in medication which can lead to instability or a lack of strength required to prevent a fall. In other instances, the facility may lack accessibility for their residents such as wheelchairs and handlebars which would have prevented a fall or slip. Furthermore, there are cases where the facility employees may not have warning signs for hazards such as wet floors or icy areas that can lead to a fall. For example, if a facility fails to put wet floor signs up when they mop or perhaps don’t own one at all and multiple residents slip, fall, and injure themselves repeatedly because of this, that would be negligence on the facility and be a form of abuse.

Theft or Fraud

This form of abuse can come in a variety of ways. A nursing home resident could have their purse or wallet and other valuables stolen by an employee from their room. There are also instances where employees attempt to acquire retirements and life savings through financial scams targeting their residents. Furthermore, an employee may try and force residents to transfer power of attorney as well as ownership documents. Additionally, some residents have had their medication stolen from them as well. In some cases, theft can be easily identified and therefore an investigation can begin if it is an instance where personal belongings or medication is missing. However, some cases are more difficult if its a financial scam or being forced to transfer ownership or power to an abuser.

When you have entrusted the care of your loved one to an assisted living facility or nursing home, you have every right to believe that they will be treated with care and dignity. When this trust has been violated, we are ready to help you aggressively fight for justice.

Contact a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help

If you or a loved one has been forced to endure mistreatment of any kind in a nursing home facility, it is important to make your voice heard and take legal action against those responsible for such inexcusable actions. Learn how we can help you in this fight by contacting the West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A., today at (561) 689-8180.

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