There seem to be stories frequently in the news about elder neglect or nursing home abuse in Florida. Many people spend their golden years in the Sunshine State, which is why ensuring they’re being properly cared for is vital.
If you have a loved one who requires care, you may be unsure where to turn for a safe option. There are many places available to the elderly in Florida for care. While it’s important to know the options, it’s also vital to understand what elder abuse is and the warning signs.
Here is what you need to know about safe care options for your elderly family members, signs that abuse may be occurring, and what to do if you suspect them to be victims of abuse or neglect.
Care for the Elderly
One of the best ways to keep your elder loved ones safe is to allow them to continue living in familiar surroundings. Supportive services make this a reality if the senior can cognitively and physically stay in their home.
Some of the tools used for care include:
You can pay a support nurse to come to your home a few times per week to help with cleaning, grooming, or anything else that requires assistance. You can also get other support involved, such as laundry services, landscaping services, and meal delivery, to help support the elderly who would like to stay in their homes.
You can set up home alarm systems that allow seniors to call for help should they fall down or have some other sort of medical emergency. These systems can also give seniors a feeling of security since they are connected to emergency services at the touch of a button.
If possible, a family member can have a senior move into their home to care for them if the senior cannot stay in their own home. This is a big commitment, and the caregiver will need support to be successful.
If your loved one needs more care, then you may want to consider:
Another approach that many take is an assisted living facility for seniors. These centers are for those who need more support than staying at home can offer but do not need to be in full-time nursing care. Assisted living can offer a senior extensive services, such as meal preparation and laundry, as well as medical services to help them feel cared for as they remain independent.
Retirement communities are another option for those who can live independently but need some extra care. These communities often offer activities to keep seniors engaged but also have options for those who may need more advanced care.
A nursing home is a good option for those with complicated health needs. These facilities offer seniors additional help with daily care activities such as grooming and eating. This is the care level required for those needing regular medical professional help.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Florida defines elder abuse as intentionally inflicting psychological or physical harm on a senior. This could include:
- Committing any act toward a senior from which the expected result is psychological or physical injury to them
- Encouraging someone else to commit such an act
- Intentionally restricting access to or isolating an elderly person
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
There is no one place your elderly loved one might experience elder abuse. It can happen in their own home, in an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. It can even happen in the home of a loved one. That’s why it’s important to understand the warning signs to look for when it comes to elder abuse, such as:
- Bruising that cannot be explained
- Withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed
- Sudden hair loss or weight loss that cannot be explained
- Fractured bones
- Fearfulness or anxiety
- Lack of hygiene
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Soiled bedding
- Stained clothing
- Avoidance of some caregivers
If you spot anything concerning, it may require deeper investigation on behalf of your loved one.
What Should You Do?
If you feel your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, report the abuse to law enforcement or the nursing home’s management. Also, make sure your loved one is in a safe place where they can get the care they need. Then, discuss your case with an experienced attorney who knows how to handle elder abuse cases.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.