Miami Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
While a very difficult topic to discuss, nursing home abuse and neglect sadly occurs all too often. Although it is the responsibility of nursing homes to take care of the elderly and to help them get through every day with respect and dignity, oftentimes our loved ones are taken advantage of, poorly cared for, or injured. Why is this happening? Well, many workers are underpaid, overworked and/or poorly trained. It is your responsibility as the family member to ensure you are placing your loved one in a safe and friendly environment where they can thrive. After all, the elderly cannot take care of themselves, and assisted-living facilities and nursing homes exist to fill this need. But how do you know if a nursing home or assisted-living facility meets your expectations? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the facility in good standing with the state inspectors?
- Are visiting hours reasonable?
- Are therapeutic services available? (Speech, physical and occupational)
- Are social work services or other mental health services available?
- Are community organizations (library, church group, volunteers) involved?
- Do the charge nurses, social workers, department heads, and top-level administrators have geriatric experience and/or education?
- Are there handrails along the walls? Are the doorways wheelchair-accessible?
- Does management take safety precautions to prevent residents from falling down stairs? Is the floor kept dry and free of litter?
- Does the facility appear clean? Are there lingering odors?
- Are heating and cooling adequate? Is the atmosphere pleasant?
- Do staff seem to genuinely enjoy working with the residents?
- Does staff seem interested in speaking with visitors or residents?
- Are your questions answered clearly, frankly, and in sufficient depth?
- Are residents clean and adequately dressed?
- Is the food hot, attractive, and tasty?
- Are planned, posted, and varied recreational and social activities available?
If the answers to these questions are not positive, then seek another facility. And follow your instincts. If something just doesn’t seem “right,” then it probably isn’t. Get involved, get answers, and be very vocal and proactive.
Nursing home negligence and abuse takes many forms. Understanding the different kinds of abuse and neglect can help prevent it from happening to your loved ones. Also, knowing the signs of abuse will help you protect your family from suffering the consequences of abuse and neglect. Signs of abuse can be hard to identify because the victims cannot always communicate them.
According to NursingHomeAbuseCenter.org, signs of abuse include: unusual bruising or bleeding; open wounds; bed sores or cuts; burns and abrasions; sudden and unexplained change in weight; soiling, poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces; infections; loss of hair; torn, stained or bloody clothing or bedding; listlessness or unresponsiveness; infantile or other strange behaviors; physical or emotional withdrawal; disappearance of personal items; and sudden and unusual financial transactions.
If you see any of these signs, or if when visiting a facility, staff members refuse to answer questions or refuse to allow you access to a loved one during normal visiting hours, this may be a red flag that something is amiss. It is important to register your complaints with the appropriate agency and contact our Miami Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers immediately if you suspect misconduct or negligence.
At Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A., we believe that the elderly should be treated with the utmost respect and care. In the unfortunate case that your loved one has been harmed or neglected in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, we are here to help. Let us be the strong advocates fighting for you and your family. Call our Miami offices at 305-448-8585 or 877-448-8585 and we would be happy to assist.