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The Nursing Home Abuse Law encompasses Florida Statute 400.22 which basically spells out a resident’s right as a patient in a nursing home facility. Some of the highlights of the law are:
•A public statement of the rights and responsibilities of a resident, to include the right to civil and religious liberties, knowledge of choices and freedom to make personal decisions regarding these matters.
•The complete right to uncensored mail, visits, and other communications. It is also their right to leave the facility for visits with family members WITHOUT possibility of losing their bed. However, if a resident is sent out to the hospital, that bed does not have to reserved and the nursing home does not have to accept that resident back.
•A resident also has the right to an Ombudsman, which is a person who may represent that resident and assist that resident while making sure their rights are granted.
•Residents also have the right to have funds, usually kept in the business office that they may have as they wish.
•They have the right to file grievances as well as view the latest JHACO requirements on long term care.
•Residents have the right to refuse treatment, medication, or care at any time, unless they are deemed unable to make these decisions for themselves.
•Privacy is a huge area that is often overlooked in observing residents rights. It is their right to be able to close their door and responsibility of the staff to knock and gain permission before entering. Privacy in dressing, bathing and other personal care items is often overlooked in the nursing home environment.
• The most important resident right is the right to be free from abuse, extended involuntary seclusion and freedom from physical and chemical restraints.
This is not an all inclusive list of the Nursing Home Law but it is common for an elder abuse lawyer to recognize the possible signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. Residents with pressure sores, residents not released from restraints during meals, residents left alone in rooms all day without the ability to move themselves out of the room are just some of the common issues elder abuse lawyers deal with. Other issues may be family members disagreeing with a resident’s right to terminate or refuse medical care and often the family will speak with the Doctor who will then decide the patient is unable to make those decisions for themselves.
A complete list of a Nursing Home Resident’s Rights can be found online and elder abuse attorneys generally offer a free consultation and understand the rights and regulations completely should you feel your family member’s rights are being violated.
Legal representatives come with many specialties. For individuals whom may be being abused in a nursing home environment we have the great advantage of having nursing home abuse lawyers available. They specialize in the recognition of different types of abuse, documentation and the necessary proof needed for a legal case against the nursing home. You, as a family member may know automatically that there is just “something wrong” with your loved one, even though you don't see what is happening. A nursing home lawyer may be able to give you a more clear and precise view of the potential harm being pertraid upon your loved one. When it comes to a family member, you don’t want just any attorney, you want an attorney that can help you protect your loved one from the abuse whether it is from one person within the facility or it is the entire staff working as a unit in this injustice. If you feel your loved one is being abused within the confines of a nursing home, then you will want to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away to protect their rights, safety and well being.
With more and more seniors finding it difficult to maintain themselves financially and keep up with their health care needs, they are frequently left with no options but to move to a nursing home. Frequently reviews aren't read and the latest infractions of the nursing home are not part of the guided tour or glossy advertisement.
Nursing home lawsuits have become common place, with nursing homes understaffed and employees overworked, often being responsible for 11 to 13 patients at one time it’s no wonder eldercare attorneys are finding themselves busier.
Signs of nursing home abuse are frequently overlooked by family members, though they may feel ill at ease with the care their family member is receiving in the facility. Common signs of neglect or abuse are bed sores, dehydration and malnutrition. Those signs are generally easy to notice while some signs are more difficult.
Constant urinary tract infections may be a sign that the resident is not receiving proper hygiene care. Skin tears are actual tears in the skin because skin becomes quite a bit thinner as we age and often times employees transferring residents or providing other care can carelessly cause a skin tear, sometimes not explained to the family.
Unreasonable restraints of a resident, either chemically or physically are also signs of nursing home abuse. A Doctor's order is required for any type of physical restraints, including wheelchair lap bars, which keeps a resident from getting up, bed rails, which keep a resident confined to bed and other chemical restraints such as a tranquilizer as needed ordered by the Doctor. These orders are sometimes used with much leeway and it is up to the discretion of the staff as to whether chemical restraints are actually necessary.
Elderly abuse in nursing homes are a concern for anyone looking to place a loved one in a nursing home environment. Most people have a difficult time deciding to put a loved one into a nursing home. The first question that usually comes to mind is: Is it time to take this step. This is a big and difficult question to ask and answer for most. When you and your other family members are no longer able to care for your loved one whom is struggling with maintain basic daily living activities for themselves and the immediate family is unable to fulfill their daily requirements, then it is probably time to seek outside assistance. There are numerous agencies available to help you find, locate and receive the necessary information to make the best decision for your family member. When looking for a nursing home for a family member you will want to start by searching and visiting nursing homes in your area. When you visit the nursing homes you will want to check for cleanliness, staff responses to their ability to care for your loved ones specific needs, speak to some of the residents to find if they are happy with their care and if they have any complaints about the services provided. If you are unable to speak with any residents or they state that they may not be getting the care and treatment which is adequate, you may want to look elsewhere. One of the first signs you may want to watch for from the residence would be the inability or lack of desire to speak with anyone. This may mean they feel there will be consequences if they were to speak out against the staff or organization.
Nursing home abuse is a very serious issue. We take great pain staking time and consideration before we finally decide it is time for our loved one to go to a nursing home. Then we visit them as often as we possibly can with our busy schedules with work, home, family, children and such needed rest. When we are able to visit, and spend time with them they seem a little withdrawn from the companionship. This can be very concerning and is the proper time to begin investigating as to the care and treatment level your loved one is receiving. If your loved one is incontinent, bed ridden or has very limited mobility you may consider participating in the process of helping them get cleaned up and changed during your visits. This will give you an opportunity to visually observe any bed sores, bruises or other injury due to a lack of care or heaven forbid any physical abuse which may be being inflicted during their stay. If you take a more pro active approach to your loved ones care and treatment from the very beginning you will not raise any suspicion and you will be able to rest assured that your loved one is receiving the best care possible. If you do find bed sores which are not being treated, bruising or other marks that cannot be explained you will want to take note of estimated time of discovery, shape, size, description and if possible a photo. Talk to your loved one, if they appear to be concerned, nervous or hesitate to state how they received these marks you may want to contact a nursing home neglect attorney to find out more about what can be done to stop this kind of treatment not only for your family member, but also for others in this facility.