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It started with a broken finger. It’s not clear how the elderly woman’s finger came to be broken, but it was clearly not treated properly. handsholding

As a resident of a state-run nursing home providing around-the-clock care, that was the one thing she should have been able to count on.

But when she was taken to an orthopedic surgeon some five days after the fracture occurred, the doctor noted the bandage was tightly wrapped with 4 to 5 bandages. No fingers were exposed, and the wrapping was so tight, the doctor would later say, “Only God could have removed it.”

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Abuse and neglect of elderly nursing home patients is always reprehensible.wheelchair5

But there is something even more gravely distressing about a victim who dedicated a good portion of her career to protecting seniors in nursing facilities. As a mother of six and the first administrator on the Area Agency on Aging in her Idaho community, the dignity and well-being of elderly patients was her top priority, according to her obituary.

And yet, according to a civil lawsuit filed by her son, those same basic rights were not afforded to her as she resided in a nursing home at the age of 88.

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The troubling increase of mandatory arbitration agreements thrust before new residents at nursing home facilities across the country is the subject of this two-part blog series by our Vero Beach nursing home abuse attorneys.

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While many facilities uphold these agreements as “mandatory,” the reality is that many of them are not and you won’t be denied admission if you choose to sign. (Agencies that do deny admittance on these grounds should be considered suspect from the start anyway.)

Arbitration agreements are problematic because they strip the patient and/or his loved ones of the right to seek redress in court if there is some lapse in the quality of care. Instead, claims are handled by professional arbitrators, and outcomes tend to be far more advantageous to the facilities than the patients.
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When seeking a nursing home or long-term care facility for a loved one, you expect that the operating company or agency properly screens caretakers and other employees. Unfortunately, with more for-profit nursing homes cutting corners and costs, many victims are left in the hands of unscrupulous, even dangerous caretakers. In a case that unfolded this week, a felon was working at a Florida hospital for more than a year before authorities performed a background check and fired him.

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Nurses, doctors and other medical professionals must take certain tests. While tests and licenses can indicate that an employee has had proper education and training, they may not tell the whole story. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorneys are dedicated to protecting victims and exposing caretakers and facilities in the event of an injury or death. We understand that while legal action cannot reverse the damage that has been done, it can help bring justice for victims and ensure that future patients do not suffer abuse and neglect.
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