If nursing home workers knew someone could tune in to watch them at any moment, would we have anywhere near the levels of nursing home abuse in Florida that we do?
Our Belle Glade nursing home abuse lawyers have been watching closely the push for such a move in Australia, where representatives with local advocacy groups there are trying to make it a part of national policy.
We in the U.S. and Florida are a long way off from any such move (and our counterparts Down Under may be as well). However, it’s an important point to note: If you suspect abuse, but your loved one can’t tell you and you can’t prove it, why not explore filming or audio recording it?
Of course, you will want to consult with a Belle Grade nursing home abuse lawyer before taking such a drastic step, but it can be one way of finding solid proof of your suspicions.
Australian advocates for making this a uniform measure say that roughly 60 percent of all allegations of sexual or physical abuse are filed against staff members. Another 15 percent involved another resident in about 10 percent of the cases, the offender was unknown. (The rest involved relatives or someone else known to the older person.)
However, these are merely the cases that were reported. The actual numbers are much higher, and we can all but assure that many more cases aren’t reported by the resident out of fear of retaliation or worsened abuse.
That’s because even when abuse is reported, residents fear they won’t be believed. Even family members may have a difficult time convincing someone to act, particularly if their loved on is on Medicare and can’t afford to have their relative moved to a different facility or care for them on their own.
Many often feel it may be their word against the staff’s, and oftentimes, the staff will be given the benefit of the doubt. With video or audio proof, there could be no question of what occurred. This can be powerful evidence in both criminal and civil cases.
Of course, those within the industry are going to say that this is an extreme response to a relatively small number of extreme cases. However, consider that recent statistics indicate that of the roughly 2.6 million people living in nursing homes, about 30 percent will suffer some form of abuse or neglect during their time there.
Not only is that asinine – it’s possible to prevent.
Of course, you can’t be there every waking hour. That’s why it may be time to consider legislation that will allow us to install these preventative measures in all Florida facilities.
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse in Belle Glade, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for legal assistance. 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Call for cameras in nursing home rooms, By Julia Medew, theage.com.au