Nursing home abuse in Hallandale Beach, like the abuse that happens throughout Florida, can be difficult to spot.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys know that relatives often later berate themselves for missing the signs.
The truth of the matter is, though, that nursing home abuse and neglect is often not easy to see because these organizations are careful to try to cover their tracks. The elderly are especially easy targets because many are unable to tell their loved ones what is going on. Those who can and do are often dismissed as senile.
And then, even when the relatives are clued in to what’s going on, there may be hesitation to report it or reach out to a Hallandale Beach nursing home abuse attorney. First, we don’t want to believe that people we’ve entrusted with the care of our relatives could act so cruelly or with such blatant disregard for his or her well-being. And secondly, we worry that maybe we’re overreacting. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as what it seems. Thirdly, we worry if we’ll be believed.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys have seen far too many instances of abuse not to believe it. By the time the truth comes out, the abuse and neglect is often deeply embedded into the culture of an organization.
Recently on the state’s west coast, in Fort Myers, the Lee Elder Abuse Prevention Partnership has been working to educate the public about what elder abuse is, how to spot it and how to prevent it.
One aspect of elder abuse that is often neglected is that perpetuated by home health care aides. In Florida, home health care givers don’t have to be licensed. Some companies require background checks and some want their employees to be certified nursing assistants. But the state doesn’t require it.
A lot of times, if these individuals don’t pass the background check, they’ll post an ad on a site like Craigslist. This means you have to be especially careful when hiring a person who has self-advertised on a site like this.
In these situations, even if there is some level of exploitation, the state doesn’t get involved unless the actions arise to the level of criminal. And by then, you know it’s gotten bad.
It’s important to note too that elder abuse isn’t only physical. It can be financial as well. Sometimes, it can be relatives perpetuating these scams for prescriptions or money. But nursing home staffers have been busted for this as well. If money or personal items begin to go missing without explanation, you may want to delve deeper into the cause.
One telltale sign of neglect is the smell of the facility. It’s the responsibility of staffers to change bedpans and soiled patients in a timely manner. If the nursing home smells like waste, that’s a key sign that either the patients are neglected or the center is understaffed.
You may also want to note the behavior of the staff. Are they standing around, talking on cell phones, to each other or taking frequent smoke breaks? This isn’t a smoking gun in and of itself, but it can be indicators of greater problems with lack of professionalism.
And finally, take your cues from your loved one, and note whether he or she is hungry, frightened, humiliated or dirty.
If you have questions about whether the treatment your loved one is receiving is in fact nursing home abuse, contact our Hallandale Beach nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss it.
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse in Hallandale Beach, 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.
Advocates try to find ways to prevent elder abuse, By Marisa Kendall, The News-Press