In the United States alone, more than 500,000 older adults are abused or neglected every single year. What is even more shocking is that the majority of elder abuse cases are never even reported. Sadly, this abuse comes at the hands of those who are supposed to be caring for and loving these older patients.
Within the confines of nursing homes, retirement facilities and other elder care facilities there is a silent epidemic of elder abuse. Elders are subject to neglect and abusive treatment by various staff members and by those who regularly have access to these retirement facilities. The abuse may be subtle or overt. In many instances the elder will not discuss this with their loved ones, due to fear, embarrassment or threat of revenge by the abuser.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse may be emotional, sexual, or physical. It may consist of willful deprivation of food or services, shouting profanities, or thievery of funds. The elder may be subjected to chemical restraint, drugs or isolation. In some cases there will be bedsores on the elder’s skin, bruises or other signs of physical abuse or lack of care. Sometimes the elder’s bedding remains unchanged; other times their laundry remains unwashed. Sometimes there is outright sexual abuse by those who bathe and supposedly care for the elder.
Are There Similarities Between Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse?
Yes, in many cases the elder is abused in the nursing home or retirement facility and the boundaries overlap. Elder abuse may occur in retirement homes throughout Florida or it could occur in their very own homes by family members. Anyone who cares for an elderly patient could be guilty of elder abuse and often these abuse cases go unreported.
Speak to a Florida Elder Abuse Attorney
If you or an elder you love is being abused, the authorities should be notified. Your Florida personal injury attorney will advise you as to your rights under a personal injury claim. Your loved one deserves to be treated humanely and abuse should not be tolerated. Federal, state and local laws protect elders from abuse, and in cases where conduct is intentional; the plaintiff may pursue punitive damages.