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Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse


When we select a nursing home or assisted living facility for our loved ones, we trust they are going to be taken good care of and hope that the staff will treat them the way we would. Sadly, that does not always happen. The facility may be understaffed or the staff on duty is not sufficiently trained. Other times, the nursing home or assisted living facility will not properly screen employees, and those who are not fit to care for often-vulnerable residents end up in charge of their well being. When this happens, your loved one can become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Although nursing home abuse appears more in newspapers and on the news, neglect is just as dangerous and far more prevalent.

Residents’ Rights

To help protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect, Florida Statutes guarantee that nursing home residents have specific rights that a care facility must respect and work to preserve. These rights include:

  • Civil and religious liberty
  • Private and uncensored communication, including:
    • Sending and receiving unopened mail
    • Unfettered telephone access
    • Freedom to visit with any person the resident chooses during visiting hours, which must be flexible
  • Overnight visits without risk of losing a bed
  • Access to health, social, legal, or other service professionals of the residents’ choice
  • Access to government representatives and immediate family members independent of visiting hours
  • The right to present grievances about the nursing home and care provided
  • The right to organize and participate in social and religious groups
  • The right to examine the services available at the facility and the charges for all services
  • The right to be adequately informed about his or her medical condition and make decisions about medical treatment, including the right to refuse treatment
  • The right to be transferred only for medical reasons or for the welfare of other residents, and, in Medicaid or Medicare certified facilities, the right to challenge a discharge or transfer
  • The right to retain and use personal clothing

These rights are protected by Florida law and their violation can be the basis for or part of a lawsuit against the nursing home.

Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is often a form of medical malpractice in which your loved one receives inadequate or even dangerous care.  In some cases, this care is the result of a profit motive.  In recent years, investment companies have been buying up nursing homes and attempting to make them more profitable.  The number and wages of staff are often strictly controlled, and often times more expensive staff members with a high level of qualification, such as registered nurses and certified dieticians, are replaced with less experienced and trained employees.

Nursing home neglect can have many dangerous consequences for your loved ones, including:

  • Bedsores that progress to deep physical wounds and/or dangerous infections
  • Malnutrition / dehydration
  • Excess medication (sometimes known as “chemical restraints”)
  • Falls
  • Lack of socialization leading to depression
  • Abuse from other nursing home residents

Physical and Emotional abuse

Physical elderly abuse is defined as the “non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment.” This type of abuse includes the obvious assaults like hitting or shoving, and also the inappropriate use of restraints or drugs.

Emotional or psychological abuse is also common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In these types of abuse cases, the staff speaks to or treats the elderly residents in ways that cause them distress or emotional pain. This could be intimidating them through yelling or threatening, humiliating them or habitually blaming them for something they did not do.

There are non-verbal forms of psychological abuse as well. These can include ignoring the elderly resident or isolating them from their friends or social events and activities. A staff member can also terrorize an elderly resident, which can lead to psychological trauma.

Dealing with elderly abuse

Addressing nursing home neglect can be challenging. If you confront the staff directly, you could increase the likelihood of harm to your loved one. However, these problems can not and should not go unobserved. Nursing home abuse should not be ignored. If you believe your loved one was victimized by nursing home neglect in the Miami area, please review your case with us today.


We can get you and your family members the compensation you deserve.

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